Thursday, October 25, 2007

I'd like you to meet a great American

 Hello everyone, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Wiggy. Well he's not my personal friend but I have no doubt that we would get along if we met.

Wiggy is a physical fitness trainer and has helped some of the best MMA fighters train for fights. His website Working Class Fitness details his training methods which emphasis real world actions and methods that go beyond simple weightlifting. I read his blog regularly and I really enjoy it.

About three months ago he took a job as a contractor in Iraq. I'm not sure exactly what he does but he sits at a desk for almost ten hours a day. And that, as you can imagine, is tough for a fitness guru/gym rat.

And today it got even tougher for him.

As I walked by, I comically thought to myself, “Man, that would be messed up if I got to the gym, and they’d taken everything out of there – hahaha.” I got changed and hit the gym. The place was EMPTY.


To say I was pissed off would be an understatement. It’s hot out here, you work all the friggin’ time (average of 84+ hours/week), you can’t see your friends and family, the food sucks, I could go on – one of the things that keeps me going is working out.

It’s not like there isn’t another gym on the camp, because there is. It’s not *that* far away, but it’s a good 10-12 min. walk from my hooch. That basically cuts out any chance of a lunchtime workout

Well that sucks. But there have to be other options right? Nope, it just gets worse.

I could go in the afternoon (my boss would probably let me have the time), but as the earliest I get off now is 7:30-8:00pm (I get into the office at 7:00am), if I take 1-1.5 hours in the afternoon for a workout, that puts me in the office until 9:00pm or later. That makes for a mighty long day. And since I’m going to be in this office every day for the next two months (been here for three already) before I go home for a couple weeks on R&R at Christmas, I need to keep a close eye on the “burnout” factor. Staying in the office until 9:00pm or later every night is gonna take that burnout factor and shoot it through the roof. The same goes for getting up a couple extra hours early to workout in the morning.

Running still wasn’t a real good long-term option, because our uniform posture keeps changing – that means that one day we might be able to come and go as we please. The next we might be able to during the day, but have to wear our flak vests and helmets at night. The next we might have to wear them whenever we’re outside – regardless of the time of day. Ugh.

Man that is rough. Life is truly giving him lemons. Think about your own life, how many times have you faced problems that compound upon other problems to create a situation that seems hopeless. The temptation is to get down and be depressed, you want to whine a lot, complain and moan about how bad your situation is. And it might seem like that's what he is doing.

But wait, what does Wiggy do? Does he give up and decide not to workout anymore? Does he stop his blog post after detailing his complaints? Not a chance.

Well, the first thing I did was to decide that I wasn’t going to let this little setback beat me. Nothing ever has before, and I sure as h**l am not going to let this.

The first day was all bodyweight exercises is circuits – burpees, dive bombers pushups, situps, different kinds of jumps, etc. The next day, I had a brilliant idea. I’ve got a trunk I used for bringing my things out here (used it as a suitcase). I put a couple cases of water in it, totaling around 60 lbs. or so. It’s pretty big, but I can use it for cleans, deadlifts, rows, presses, etc. My next workout was more circuits – burpees, jumps over the trunk, cleans with the trunk, suitcase deadlifts with the trunk, etc. Then, I got with a guy out here that works for the MWR. I won’t get into it all, but let’s just say that when all was said and done, I had a pair of 50 lbs. dumbbells, and one 60-pounder to take back to my hooch to use. ;-)


What I’m trying to get at is this – sometimes life throws you a curve ball. When it does, you can either let it keep you down, or you can take your lumps, and come back stronger. It’s kind of like the line from “Rocky Balboa”:

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!

Now go find a way to win…

Wiggy you are a great American and an inspiration to us all!

Working Class Fitness: ALWAYS Find a Way to Win