Competitors perform squats during the inaugural Buddy Games, Aug. 26. The event brought together two-person teams to compete in CrossFit-style events, such as box jumps and rowers. (Photo by Nathan Clinebelle)

Buddying up for fitness

By Nathan Clinebelle and Emily Hileman, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Vanguard Gym was alive with the spirit of teamwork, camaraderie and fitness Aug. 26 as two-person teams competed in the first ever Buddy Games, a CrossFit style competition.

“The CrossFit Games are a big deal worldwide every year, so I thought it would be fun to bring a similar-style competition to Fort Jackson,” said Penny Hadgeoff, Chief of Sports and Fitness for the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

“These exercises are movements that use major muscle groups, tests of strength and endurance,” she said. “It’s a combination of doing events for time, repetitions, and in some cases both.”

Teams of two “buddies” competed against others in activities such as wall balls and power cleans, box jumps and rower, double dead ladder, sync (or swim) in motion) and bench press, assault bike and carry.

The buddy games were a fun way to try something new with a friend. “A lot of times when people are trying something new, it’s fun to do it with a friend,” Hadgeoff said. “When people are trying something new, it’s especially fun to do it with a friend to have them cheer you on.”

There were three types of teams which were based on the gender of the teammates. Male-male, female-female, and male-female teams competed for first place and for the addition of 50 points to their unit for the Commander’s Cup.

Cory Dunn and Quintin Braimah, two Fort Jackson firefighters competed and won first place in the male-male category.

“Being a firefighter, working out is pretty much a requirement,” Braimah said. “… We work on a lot of cardiovascular exercises as well as muscle endurance, so this is a great combination of both.”

Although it was a great way to work out and exercise, Braimah said it was also a great way for the firefighters to bond as a team, work out and have fun doing it.

Joshua Vaughn and Capt. Jane Marshall from the 193rd Infantry Brigade’s Holistic Health and Fitness team echoed their excitement and the teambuilding aspect of the Buddy Games and were excited to meet others in the health and wellness community on Fort Jackson.

“We’re H2F and we’re supposed to be promoting health and fitness,” said Vaughn, a physical therapist at H2F, “and this is a way that we can show H2F amongst the bigger Fort Jackson Community.”

Although Vaughn is familiar with CrossFit-style workouts, it was new to Marshall, an occupational therapist at H2F, who is more familiar with endurance-style workouts.

“I think a lot of this is just about team building and having fun with your friends,” said Vaughn. “When you do a workout with someone, (they) help to push you a little bit harder.”

Having a buddy to push you harder and further in the competition was exactly what Hadgeoff had in mind. I wanted it to be a more fun, relaxed version of CrossFit,” she said.

Vaughn and Marshall placed first in the male-female category, earning an extra 50 points for 193rd in the Commander’s Cup race.

The Commander’s Cup competition ends the last week of November, so there’s still time to get on the leaderboard.

The 369th Adjutant General Battalion is in the lead with 3,265 points. The next Commander’s Cup event is the Bicycle Poker Run, Oct. 14. Fort more information, call 751-5839.