News: Battle buddies duke it out in the CrossFit Open 2013
Story by Capt. Kerri Brantley
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - On Wednesday, the CrossFit Open began and two soldiers deployed with the 4/501st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion were eager to start competing here at CrossFit Spartan Shield.
Pfc. Jose Martinez, of Jacksonville, Ala., and Pfc. Kiefer Maestrejuan, of Winnemucca, Nev., both ammunition specialists with Echo Company 4/501st ARB have experienced a lot together in their young Army careers. They met at basic training, were in the same class for advanced individual training, arrived to same unit for their first assignment, deployed together and now are competing in the 2013 Open as rookies, together.
The coaches see these two coming into the box every day to push them to become fitter, stronger. These two are truly what being a band of brothers is all about. They have experienced a lot of the Army life together since the very moment they entered into service.
Martinez has been a part of the CrossFit community since 2012, when he started the event he could not complete the Olympic lift, the snatch. The snatch is one of the two lifts used in Olympic weightlifting. In the snatch, the barbell is lifted from the floor to an overhead position in one motion. His personal record (PR) is now 160 pounds.
"CrossFit has helped me push myself in my training," said Martienz. "I started CrossFit to help me lose weight, get stronger and become a better athlete."
As for Maestrejuan, he has been involved in CrossFit since 2011.
Muscle-ups are the one exercise everyone wants to accomplish when they begin CrossFit, and it’s because they are super challenging. The muscle-up is a skill that is essentially a pull-up followed by a dip. It is used to take someone from below a set of rings or bar to above a set of rings or bar. Many can do a pull-up and many can do a dip, but transitioning between the two takes a certain level of strength and coordination.
After much practice, he can perform 15 muscle-ups as his new PR.
"I like the competitive side of CrossFit," said Maestrejuan. "CrossFit has changed my outlook on life. I can't get enough of it."
These two are a great example of what the CrossFit community is all about. They push each other to achieve new PRs, they cheer on fellow athletes, and they are constantly improving their skills.
The first event in the open was a 17-minute workout of as many rounds as possible of burpees and snatch lifts. Both gentlemen did well as they kept attacking the bar and pushing the weight, fighting through the pain.
"I saw a lot of improvement in myself. I had zero no reps, to mean that shows that I was pushing myself to perform the exercises perfectly," said Maestrejuan. "I didn't want to cheat myself. I gave it everything I had."
"After this workout, I feel amazing, tired, exhausted and happy," said Martinez. "But that’s what makes CrossFit different than any other fitness program. It sucks but it’s awesome at the same time."
As we continue to enjoy the open in Kuwait, we are reminded why we love CrossFit and that we need to challenge ourselves and be better than yesterday. Let's go CrossFit Spartan Shield.