Fit for the Fight

By E.M. Burton

In LEO/Mil

November 19, 2012

PDF Article

Sheri Dilena talks about seven years spent training soldiers deployed in the Middle East.

At Camp Buehring (formerly Camp Udairi) in the northwestern region of Kuwait, Sheri Dilena trains new recruits and their leadership in the CrossFit method.

Using basic equipment—sand-ball kettlebells, sandbags, tires, cases of water bottles, barriers for box jumps, mooring ropes, and anything else they can find around the camp—Dilena has helped over 4,000 troops become harder to kill. There is a lot we can’t publish due to the sensitive nature of the work and location, but Dilena is quick to thank CrossFit for helping bring the fight to the enemy.

For over seven years, Dilena has been working with the troops at Camp Buehring and in the region as a civilian contractor. Having worked in the area of physical fitness training for many years, Dilena had been discouraged with existing fitness programs until 2008, when a visiting Marine captain introduced her to CrossFit’s brand of fitness.

Training outdoors, in the sand, in harsh desert conditions, with spartan equipment and training facilities, Dilena instructs U.S. and British troops in the CrossFit method. She finds that training in these unavoidable conditions with ready-to-hand equipment instills in the troops a “newfound confidence that comes from having an elite combat readiness ... . This training actually gives them a sense of security that they are legitimately trained warriors.”

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