Ammo Airman fosters community in gym, Air Guard
By Airman 1st Class Taylor Walker, 124th Fighter Wing
/ Published August 17, 2018
GOWEN FIELD, Idaho --
Thrusts, cleans, snatches and jerks. At first glance, these seem like words used to describe a bad social mixer. While that may be true, they’re more commonly found in the vernacular of CrossFit gyms across the country including Verdant CrossFit, a gym based in Boise, Idaho with a beloved coach who is also a member of the Idaho Air National Guard.
Airman 1st Class Isaac M. Campbell, a munitions systems apprentice in the 124th Maintenance Squadron here, practices and coaches CrossFit because it promotes a sense of community and hard work.
“If you’re looking for a community and a place to fit in, you can absolutely fit in with CrossFit,” said Campbell.
Campbell said his initial attraction to CrossFit occurred more than four years ago when he visited a gym for the first time with his sister.
“I was dead afterward, but I loved it,” Campbell said.
Not shy when it comes to hard work, Campbell channeled his energy into refining his CrossFit performance. After becoming a certified CrossFit trainer, he moved from Alaska to Boise to coach at Verdant.
Campbell said coaching has taught him how to speak confidently in public, operate in a group setting, manage conflict and navigate through uncomfortable situations.
Jake Bolin, a member of Verdant and close friend of Campbell, said he finds value in Campbell’s contributions as a CrossFit coach.
“He impacts people through example,” said Bolin. “He doesn’t motivate others by yelling at them, he creates a safe environment for people to challenge themselves.”
Campbell said he has found success as a coach in large part due to his focus on treating Verdant members like family.
“Even if someone needs more guidance, they’re still a part of our family,” said Campbell. “They’re still our people.”
Bolin said gaining an additional family, home and brotherhood are factors that drew Campbell to join the IDANG.
A tight-knit community is not the only parallel Campbell draws between CrossFit and the military. He said the two are also similar when it comes to the amount of discipline and structure required to be successful.
Bolin agrees that the organization provided by the military is a perfect environment for Campbell to thrive in.
“He enjoys waking up early, working hard, following a schedule and being quite regimented,” said Bolin. “He’s always seemingly been a disciplined individual. Joining the guard was a good fit and it comes to him naturally.”
Bolin said Campbell’s personal values align effortlessly with the Air Force core values, making him an exceptional addition to the military and an asset to the IDANG.
“If I had to isolate what I admire most about Isaac, it would be that at a fairly young age, he possesses integrity beyond his years,” said Bolin. “That’s clearly of the utmost importance to him