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PHOTO CAPTION:  CAMP CASEY, South Korea - Christa Castillo (right), the wife of Sgt. 1st Class Alberto Castillo, an infantry platoon sergeant assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, both from Winnsboro, Texas, demonstrates how to properly perform a power clean hang snatch Nov. 13, 2013 at Carey Fitness Center on Camp Casey, South Korea. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Carlos R. Davis, 210th Fires Brigade Public Affairs/Released).

November 22, 2013
Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Carlos R. Davis


CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- CrossFit has been sweeping the nation for quite some time. Spouses from Area I were not letting this opportunity pass them by.
Spouses of military members who are assigned to 2nd Infantry Division participate in an Area I Women's CrossFit group three times a week on Camp Casey, South Korea to improve their health and confidence.
The ladies' use this self-rewarding, self-motivating group to come together and build a strong readiness community on which they all can depend.
"When I got here there wasn't an established CrossFit program so I started doing it on my own," said Paula Walsh, from Wyo., Iowa. "That is when a neighbor asked if she could join me, and Christa asked if she could borrow some chalk, and it grew from there."
From those three workout buddies, 60 active friends are now working out together, pushing each other towards the same goal.
"We strive to get the girls to focus on overall fitness from working out to eating right, all that keeps the body in shape," said Christa Castillo, from Winnsboro, Texas. "We are starting to see changes in the girls who have been here doing this for while, and it's exciting."
Since the group isn't officially part of Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program, the spouses depend on one another to help each other out with their needs and concerns.
Castillo talks about ways to accommodate the spouses who have children, they formed a support group.
"If someone is working out and she has children then one of the other spouses who is not engaged in a workout will watch her kids while she completes the workout," said Castillo. "Then they will flip-flop until everyone has completed their workout."
With this support group, the women's confidence has grown.
"Since I have been doing CrossFit, I have gotten in shape enough to actually finish the Manchu Mile, a 25-mile ruck march," said Maria Dodge, from Dallas.
"Before this program I wasn't able to lift 45lbs or walk 25 miles on my own. Now I can do just about anything I put my mind to," she added.
The spouses' CrossFit group has not only changed their lives but also has assisted in helping others.
By reaching out to friends and family, the group was able to raise $3,700 for the 'Barbells for Boobs' fundraiser, according to Walsh.
"'Barbells for Boobs' was a fundraiser that we participated in," Walsh said. "It's a workout dedicated toward funding free mammograms for women who cannot afford breast cancer type screening."
Everything the group does they do together. Whether it's running in the zombie run on Camp Red Cloud in Uijeongbu or teaming up with Fight Tonight CrossFit Gym in Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, these ladies have formed something special.
"This is my version of the Family Readiness Group," said Walsh. "These girls are my friends now. These are the girls who I hang out with. These are the girls I turn to when I have problems."