Christmas Abbott, Almost an Iraqi Vet

I am neither a fan, nor the opposite, of NASCAR. One day, I imagine, I will enjoy it, but not yet. Still, I like the tech and the teamwork. And Christmas Abbott, a newbie on the NASCAR pit crew in the Camping World Truck Series, (for driver Jennifer Jo Cobb) has a military-support background:

For nearly three years, Abbott spent her days at a military laundry center in a war zone, sorting fatigues stained with blood, sweat and a lot of desert sand. Life became grueling and more than a little bit dangerous. “I remember when we were on a bus and there was an IED [improvised explosive device] in the road,” she says. “I said, ‘What’s an IED and why can’t we drive around it?’ “

Christmas Abbott, NASCAR pit crew in the Camping World Truck Series, where she'll change tires for driver Jennifer Jo Cobb. Clint Bowyer, Daytona 500, Michael Waltrip Racing crew

Christmas Abbott, NASCAR pit crew, Camping World Truck Series, for driver Jennifer Jo Cobb

Christmas found a new respect for discipline because she had no other choice: She worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week. She was surrounded by men, wore “very concealing clothing and not a lot of makeup.” She often slept in the laundry office. Then a soldier mentioned a workout he was doing that he thought she might be into. Christmas hadn’t really been an athlete since her baseball days, but she went to take a look. And her life changed.

Skeptics in Iraq referred to it as “CircusFit” or “MonkeyFit” because it featured shirtless men swinging from bars and throwing around barbells, but CrossFit was on the verge of becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Back then, P90X was considered arduous (and let’s face it, it is arduous), but CrossFit was on another level.

I did CrossFit for two years, it is a heck of a workout. . .

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