1st BN, 38th FA Regt. sweeps Thunder Fitness Challenge
By Story by 2nd Lt. Patrick D. Hartman, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment November 13, 2013
CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- More than 100 Soldiers came out to see if they were up to the Thunder Fitness Challenge.
The 210th Fires Brigade held a fitness competition on Camp Casey Oct. 30, 2013 to see who is the most physically fit in the brigade.
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment earned the top three scores. Army 1st Lt. Ka'Ron D. Purnell from Baltimore City, Md., and the battalion signal officer, took first place. In second place was Capt. Shaohong Lu, from Atlanta, Ga., the battalion fire direction officer. Third place went to Sgt. 1st Class Jordan R. Lee a platoon sergeant from Battery A, and a native of Saratoga, Calif. These three leaders from the 'Steel' battalion set the standard for future Thunder Fitness Challenge candidates.
All three agreed that working out and training on their own played a vital role in how they dominated the challenge.
"I liked the idea of challenging myself and my Soldiers, and think that the Thunder Fitness Challenge was a good way to challenge us," said Lee.
The fitness challenge consisted of two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups, as many pull-ups and as many dips as the individual could do, followed by a three mile run.
Each of the top three contestants said that a good night's sleep the night prior played a key role. However, Lu added that fuel was also important to his success.
"I went down to Jihang to eat a huge dinner of beef and leaf with the chaplain, and then went home and to sleep early," said Lu.
In the days leading up to the challenge, after the event the three competitors did not change their regular exercise habits. However, both Lu and Lee said they would alter their work routine a bit during the weeks prior to the next Thunder Fitness Challenge. Lu suggested doing more body weight exercises leading up to the challenge. Lee said that he hopes he is not in the field the week prior to the next challenge so that he can prepare better for it.
Purnell who dominated the competition overall had the top score in push-ups and pull-ups. His tips for success went beyond just physical fitness.
"For Soldiers who are looking to try this type of competition, the best advice I can give them is to stay motivated. Set a goal and strive to achieve it, and if you keep working towards that goal, good results will follow," he said.
Purnell, Lu and Lee all showed how physically fit they were during this vigorous challenge and proudly represented the 1st Bn., 38th FA Regt. in the first of many Thunder Fitness Challenges.