CrossFit officially came to White Sands Missile Range in the fall of 2015 just in time for the new year, thanks to one very adamant recreation aide supervisor at Bell Gym.
“After being stationed at Fort Hood and Fort Carson CrossFit became my exercise way of life. I was a runner for 10 years and I had hip and knee injuries. I basically couldn’t do complete workouts,” said Sky Clarke, a recreation aide supervisor and CrossFit Level One coach.
“Somebody recommended CrossFit to build up some strength. Within 6 months I was able to do all the workouts and I was able to run again.”
Clarke began working at Bell Gym in early 2015 and was surprised WSMR was one of the few military installations without a CrossFit program.
“Since I was moving into the sports and fitness arena I wanted to bring it here and show the community what an amazing workout it is and unlike other fitness regiments it creates a community and I wanted to establish that at WSMR.”
According to the official CrossFit website, with a motto of “Forging Elite Fitness”, the aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness.
The program was designed to prepare trainees for any physical contingency – not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable.
Conrad Rodriguez with the Materiel Test Directorate says he got tired of the same old gym routines and really wanted to make an effort to get in better shape and better himself.
“When I saw WSMR was offering something different I jumped at the chance. It is good to change it up and get away from behind a desk. Sky is an incredible coach and she knows how to break it down and make you feel like a part of the class.”
“The feedback I get is that they love it!” Clarke said. “They can’t believe they can get such an intense workout in a short period of time. They enjoy every single Work out of the Day or WOD and all they have to do is show up and put forth some effort.”
In CrossFit every workout can be scaled down or modified to the skill level of each person and at the beginning of each class the coach, Clarke, conducts a demonstration and guides her fellow CrossFitters through the movements to ensure proper form and to prevent injuries.
Melanie Schilling, with the Materiel Test Directorate, heard about the new class from Clarke in another fitness class and after a couple of months became hooked.
“I thought it was extremely hard but I pushed through and I just became addicted to the workouts.”
Schilling says she will continue to try and improve and wants to be able to lift heavier. She also offered up some advice for those hesitant to give CrossFit a try.
“Check it out because you don’t know a good workout until you have done a CrossFit workout!”
Clarke also said her goal is to get the WSMR community healthy and fit no matter what fitness regiment they chose but emphasized CrossFit can be life changing.
“What better way to start off the new year than to kick off a better version of yourself,” Clarke said. “Once you start it you are hooked. It can be very powerful physically and mentally.”