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    Toledo Native and CrossFit Coach Offers Functional Fitness in Iraq

    Toledo Native and CrossFit Coach Offers Functional Fitness in Iraq

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Korff | Twelve competitors participated in a CrossFit Competition on Al Asad Airbase, Iraq,...... read more read more

    A crowd gathered at the back of the gym on Al Asad Air Base (AAAB) last Friday, curious to witness the source of cheers and the sound of weights slamming into the ground. The noise was caused by the gym’s first CrossFit Competition, organized and executed by Special Agent and Coach Earl Boxell.

    Boxell started offering CrossFit classes as a certified coach in July at AAAB, two days a week, which quickly expanded to five days a week. The competition was open to anyone serving on AAAB in support of Operation Inherent Resolve as a culminating event to the coaching services Boxell offered the last three months of his deployment.

    “The competition increases awareness of CrossFit, and fitness in general”, said Boxell, “it’s a way to bring everybody together and showcase what each person can do and push limits.”

    The twelve competitors that participated strove to push those limits, while even more of his students served as spectators, referees, and fans for the event.

    “I am a coach at heart and I love seeing people get their own fitness goals.” said Boxell, “Being a part of a community, and working out in a group provides a better setting for motivation and commitment.”

    Boxell started CrossFit in 2009 and started coaching in 2012. Before CrossFit, while conducting military training, Boxell was struggling with his own level of fitness. He said, he felt like he was a liability on the battlefield. After talking to some friends who were fit, they got him involved and he never looked back.

    “I feel in love with the community, the workouts, and everything about it,” said Boxell “I am bigger, stronger, and faster than I have ever been.”

    CrossFit is a functional fitness regimen that has taken hold across the military because of its variety, flexibility, and the sense of community it provides. Cpt. Alex Smith, U.S. Army, has been doing CrossFit for five years and was one of the two women that competed on Friday. She was excited to take part in the competition and see how much she had improved during her nine months at AAAB.

    “It’s so much fun, the community aspect and getting to test out your individual fitness,” said Smith, “it was a perfect opportunity at the end of my [deployment] to test all of the training I have done over the past few months.”

    As Coach Boxell redeploys to his permanent duty station in Okinawa, his hope is that all of the participants will to continue work on their fitness goals, even if it is not CrossFit.

    “Whatever you do in life for fitness, just keep at it,” said Boxell, “I like to encourage folks to stay with whatever program they choose, and just see people be healthy and fit and live longer lives.”



    Date Taken: 09.13.2019
    Date Posted: 09.19.2019 13:00
    Story ID: 342391
    Location: IQ
    Hometown: TOLEDO, OH, US

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