Keeping Fit, Far from Home

Troops from across the branches recieve instruction before the Strong Man Competition begins. (Photo courtesy mitstephens' Flickr; all rights reserved)

Bagram, Afghanistan: Never a dull moment for the Pat Tillman USO.  Between Hail and Farewells, Cross Fit Challenges, Strong Man Competitions and United Through Reading we are always on the go.  This was not a week for the weak.

With two fitness events happening on the same day you might would think you were at muscle beach!  Service Members on BAF competed in either a Strong Man Contest or the Cross Fit Challenge. With representatives from all the Branches of Service competing it was a sight to behold.

The gym at Pat Tillman USO. (Photo courtesy of mitstephens' Flickr; all rights reserved)

For those who don’t know what Cross Fit is, it’s a strength and conditioning fitness methodology that promotes broad and general overall physical fitness. CrossFit combines weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics.  CrossFit is used in nearly 1,700 gyms worldwide and by many fire departments, law enforcement agencies and military organizations.  It was an exciting challenge, for sure.

The Strong Man Contest consisted of a bench press and dead lift, with both men and women competing for prizes from the USO.  The Service Members on Camp Alpha set out to show who was the true strong man/woman.  Congrats to all of the winners!

The runners were off to a fast start as soon as they heard the starter pistol. (USO photo courtesy of USO Baghdad Facebook page)

Baghdad, Iraq: On a beautiful Saturday morning, USO Baghdad teamed up with Sather Air Base MWR in sponsoring the end-of-summer “Fahrenheit 10K.”  This morning’s run was the second tune-up run for the upcoming US Air Force Marathon which will take place in Dayton, Ohio on 18 September, 2010.

The runners stretched in between jokes with MWR and USO staff as the remaining competitors signed in for the race.  Other USO staff and volunteers were on hand to cheer on the runners.  Despite the less-than-ideal running conditions, the fastest men and women finished the 10K in remarkable time and with enough energy to smile!

Thanks to all who participated ~ it was a great morning!  And good luck at the upcoming Sather Air Base Marathon on 12 September, 2010….we’ll see you there!

The top three male and top three female runners each received a certificate to commemorate their achievement. (USO photo courtesy of USO Baghdad Facebook page)