By Rick Musselman, Belvoir EagleOctober 10, 2019
During Fort Belvoir MWR's annual Oktoberfest, community members got a chance to push their endurance to the limit in a unique physical fitness event designed to present athletes with the ultimate challenge.
Belvoir MWR teamed up with Healthy Army Communities to present the Alpha Warrior Battle Rig Obstacle Challenge--a massive structure containing ropes, balance beams, cargo nets and grip rings--as part of the Be Strong health and fitness campaign.
According to AlphaWarrior.com, the state-of-the-art obstacle course is specifically designed to test every aspect of ability; the strength of every muscle group; mental fortitude and a body's ability to keep going. The AW Fitness Tour visits installations of all U.S. military branches to introduce the Alpha Warrior Training and Testing Program.
Alpha Warrior athletes and coaches, McKinley Pierce and Kevin Klein, conducted demonstrations and kept participants motivated. McKinley and Klein have competed on the American Ninja Warrior television series.
The 2019 event was the first time Belvoir hosted the Alpha Warrior Rig, said Romel Voellm, Fort Belvoir Outdoor Recreation director.
"This is really exciting to have people stop by," Klein said Saturday. "It already looks like this is going to be a popular event here."
For the athletes who gave the Battle Rig a try, all agreed the course turned out to be more challenging than it looked.
"It looks tough enough, but it actually feels twice as tough when you're doing it," said Andrew Siddall, a college student who plans to join the Navy upon graduation. "I didn't expect my forearms and my grip to start giving out (before the end). Fatigue is the real problem--this course is incredibly hard. When my arms started giving out, I just hung from the nets for a while to give them a rest. But, I made it through."
"This is every bit as hard as it looks," added Anna Wessels. "I think the parts that (tested your) balance were the toughest; stability is definitely something I have to work on. Keeping yourself up is hard when you start feeling the burn in your arms--and I could definitely feel the burn."
The Alpha Warrior demonstrations and competition to teach military members and their Families that healthy living is easy and fun and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
For more information and schedule of events, call Kristen Kinnamon, Fort Belvoir Community Recreation chief, 703-805-1134; Romel Voellm, Outdoor Recreation and Special Events director, 703-805-1488; or visit belvoir.armymwr.com.