Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, located in Dayton, Ohio, is home to nearly 30,000 individuals. CrossFit Wright-Patt is housed on base.
In a tie for 57th place worldwide, and 1st in the Central East Region, the Afterburners Team proves 722 burpees doesn’t come without its glory.
The Afterburners consist of 36 CrossFitters headed up by team captain Jeff Parr. Parr is actually more Major than Captain. He is an Air force Major leading a military affiliate.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, located in Dayton Ohio, is home to nearly 30,000 individuals and boasts the biggest square footage of any other Air Force Base in the United States. Wright-Patterson’s interior is littered with fighter jets, complicated machinery, and secret areas all meant to test the human condition. None more challenging than CrossFit Wright-Patt, home to the Afterburners.
With nearly 25 L-1 CrossFit trainers, three CrossFit classes per day, and open gym from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., CrossFit Wright-Patt all about CrossFit.
ON BEING A MILITARY AFFILIATE
Parr admits there isn’t much difference between a non-military affiliate and a military affiliate. “CrossFitters are CrossFitters,” he says. While most things are the same, a few things paint a different picture.
The subtle thing that may make CrossFit Wright-Patt and the Afterburners stand out is their unity prior to beginning CrossFit. A unity established by their service to their country. While most individuals connect at CrossFit, our fighting men and women are already connected – CrossFit has just strengthened that connection.
“People are always coming and going, getting deployed, and returning home,” Parr explains. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an Airman, or a base civilian, we all have common ground, and we all just hit that ground running.”
Parr credits a big portion of the Afterburners success to its diversity of athletes, who always find a way to work as a unit. With so many feet treading the Air Force training ground, it only becomes necessary to keep your eyes open, spot the strengths of others, and use that strength to improve the team.
PREPPING A MILITARY AFFILIATE FOR THE GAMES
“There are no tricks to working hard, you just do it and trust that your unique concentration of athlete personalities will form into a team that builds each other up,” Parr says.
Not only do CrossFit Wright-Patt athletes work hard on the floor, they work hard to get time on the floor. The affiliate at Wright-Patterson AFB not only for dedicated CrossFitters, but also for everyone on base. Clearly programming around a 30,000-plus population can be difficult to say the least.
While programming can clearly reflect the base community, it doesn’t mean team strategy is hampered. Team Afterburners generally follow CrossFit.com programming. Team members started training for the Open and Regionals several months ago. Their strategy is mixing heavier weights and 2011 Regional workouts in the mix.
Parr says working together as a team is the best motivation for the Afterburners. “I can’t take credit for such a hard working team, I just herd the troops. The real credit is the entire team making things happen together.”
With 2011 Regional competitors such as Jason Ninnemann, Leah Pound, and Abbey Rogers on the team, the Afterburners are prepped for the 2012 season. With one Open Workout down and four to go, time will tell just how hot the Afterburners will remain.