CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (Mar. 23, 2018)--Master Sergeant Charles Johnson Jr., Area Support Group-Kuwait operations noncommissioned officer in charge, competing from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, placed in the top 100 in a CrossFit Open event against competitors from southern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, March 23, 2018.
Johnson has pushed himself up the ranks to 92nd out of 1,325 in the Middle East and Africa and 32,632nd in the world amongst nearly a quarter million others, but insists it's more about personal goals and team work than competition.
"We're all peers. We compete against each other, but at the end of the day we help each other out and see where we end up," said Johnson. "I may not make it to the CrossFit games, but it's fun to see where you stand in the world."
The workout that Johnson competed in was the final of five workouts in the open and required that participants repeatedly pull themselves up to a bar so their chests make contact and "thrusters" where the contestant starts from a squat position, then stands and lifts a 100-pound
barbell over their head. Each person had seven minutes to complete as many repetitions as possible, switching between exercises and increasing the amount of repetitions by three for each set. Johnson completed 105 repetitions total for both exercises. That was an improvement of 35 repetitions from a previous attempt just weeks before.
"A lot of people think CrossFit is a way to injure yourself," said Johnson. "You just have to leave your pride at the door, listen to the coaches, and focus on doing better each time and you'll be fine."
The open competition took place from February 22 to March 26, 2018, and consisted of five different workouts. The competition leads into the CrossFit games. CrossFit is for anyone, not just those interested in competing but also people who just want to improve their physical fitness.
"I'll never go back to a regular gym again," said Johnson.