Yesterday, I posted about ‘MuscleFest’, the sixth event of the 2012 Commanders Cup at Marine Barracks Washington 8th & I. The event was part of a series designed to introduce Marines to a variety of physical fitness activities and enhance camaraderie through friendly competition. This morning I spoke with two Marines who participated in the event on July 30.
Staff Sgt. Noel Min
Just 10 minutes before our conversation, Min was informed that he won the Masters Division for Marines 33 years and older. The Huntsville, Ala. native participated in MuscleFest in 2011 and said the preparation of knowing what to expect was definitely helpful going into this year’s competition.
Min said the 2.25-ton pickup truck push (photographed below), was challenging but that a successful performance resulted from strong legs and approaching the challenge with ease. He said exercises that required Marines to carry or lift their own body weight were the most difficult and served as a “gut check”.
Min, who ranks MuscleFest as one of his favorite events of the series said, “It put me in an environment where I was individually competing against the Marines of the Barracks. As a competitive person just by nature, it was really good to go out there and show that an old man can really show up.”
As a certified CrossFit level 1 trainer and a background in lifting and gymnastics, Min now plans to set his sights on training for the Marine Corps Marathon later this year, “I’m just going to try and maintain a good eight minute pace and just beat Oprah’s time,” he said.
1st Lt. Ashley Moore
1st Lt. Ashley Moore helped organize the event and decided just two days before that she was going to participate. Moore was the only female to compete and said she was surprised by the lack of turnout from fellow female Marines, “It was odd. I figured if I participated the pressure was off.”
Moore, who’s also the only female company grade officer on the parade staff, said her male competitors were very supportive at each of the rotations (and a little bit surprised that a female officer was out there). A natural born runner, Moore said the hardest part was the go-cart push, “mentally and physically, I just tried not to think about it.”
She held her own during the day’s activities and said the humid Washington heat made the rotations a little bit more challenging, “The heat was tough. As the day went on the heat got progressively worse.”
Moore plans to participate in additional Commanders Cup events later this year and had some words of wisdom for female Marines who might be hesitant to compete, “half the struggle is just showing up…think of it not as a competition, but as a good time to get to know people out of your section that you work with.”