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“Saturday Throw Down” – a community built through competition

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ryan Hayman
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

"Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other fields on other days will bear the fruits of victory," said Gen. Douglas MacArthur. 

Most people do CrossFit to lose weight or to boost their energy, but the Airmen of the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing have built a community through competition during their deployment. 

When the 378th Expeditionary Communications Squadron commander arrived, he observed scattered individuals doing their own CrossFit workouts, which inspired him to organize the “Saturday Throw Down” group CrossFit workout.

"I like working out with people and competing," he said. "Doing hard things together pushes us closer." 

Through a dedication to pushing one another, the workout continued even when the groups fatigued.  

"Every day, I would rather just sleep in, but if I didn't show up one week, the workout wouldn't happen, and the group would disappear," he said. "Since I come up with the workout, that has kept me both committed and honest." 

Planning the workouts has nourished a healthy sense of competition, compelling everyone to improve.  

“Competition is good; it drives everyone to do better when they are trying to compete with someone, even if there’s nothing on the line,” he said. “It makes you push yourself harder than you would if you weren't competing." 

This competitive edge pushes them harder, fostering friendly rivalry and strengthening their bonds. 

"It's not only friendly competition but also a lot of encouragement," he said. "When somebody's struggling, I always let them know that they're doing a good job and that they're crushing it." 

The supportive environment has enhanced the group from a simple competitive workout to something more. 

"There's a community aspect to it," he said. "You make friends with people you wouldn't otherwise, and by doing this workout on Saturday morning, you get to know them better and build a connection through our drive to compete with each other."  

By building interpersonal relationships, the CrossFit workout group has created an environment and culture of community through competition.