“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
— Joseph Campbell (Prolific author, teacher and mythologist, 1904-1987)
What’s the major dilemma preventing a person from achieving a leaner, healthier, and more aesthetic body?
Solve this dilemma, and you’ll live a healthy lifestyle for your entire life.
Think it’s diet related? Or, maybe the lack of a great workout routine? If you think so, you aren’t even close.
It’s motivation! I receive more questions concerning how to increase motivation than any other topic, including how to improve the abdominals. The key to being consistent with your diet and workout routine is to create motivation every day of your life. If you are consistently motivated to be health, you WILL get in shape.
Queue excuses…you have a busy work schedule, you have family responsibilities, you don’t have time.
Spare me – I have heard them all.
Here we are, at the beginning of the New Year and resolutions to get fit and healthy are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The problem is, most of you are going to quit your ‘fitness journey’ before March. Why? It’s because you aren’t MOTIVATED to change.
So, I decided it was the perfect time to show you what motivation means. Actually, my buddy Sgt. Joe Chiarella of the 101st Long Range Surveillance Detachment for the United States Army, stationed in Iraq, is going to tell you. He’s going to make all your excuses about not having the time to work out and take care of yourself look minuscule. What you are about to read will give you some serious perspective. I’ve read it about 10 times in total astonishment and with absolute pleasure.
Sgt. Joe Chiarella is aware that people struggle with motivation, so he wrote to me concerning this issue while “dodging bullets” in Iraq and asked if his message might be appropriate content to share with my audience. Understatement of the year!
I’m going to share his words with you and hope that they send chills up your spine the way they did mine. I also hope this gets you to reevaluate what’s preventing you from reaching your goals.
Before I share Sgt Chiarella’s letter, let me first provide you a glimpse into his character.
When U.S. troops entered Iraq in March, Sgt Chiarella was preparing to take an exam to become a U.S. Army Recruiter. When he found out that his unit was being sent to Iraq, he asked his commanding officers if he could go with them and forego the exam. When his commanding officers denied his request, he failed the exam on purpose — so he could go to Iraq.
Now, from the man himself in his own words:
STAYING IN SHAPE WHILE IN COMBAT!
“I’m sure there are plenty of people who say, ‘I don’t have the time to work out’ or ‘I can’t find the right gym.’ Whether it’s the desire to keep one’s body in premier condition or just in a healthy state, you must manipulate time and adapt to your surroundings.
My unit and I are deployed to Al Sumalineyah, Iraq, where we are training Iraqi personnel to guard the Iraq/Iran border against smuggling and terrorist insurgence. My unit and I began our workout efforts from almost day one on the ground.
In Baghdad, we constructed a flat bench out of spare plywood and 2x4s. Our weights were sandbags and old gears found in abandoned factories. We found time in between skirmishes, moving locations every few days and guarding our perimeter to squeeze in our workouts.
As we moved farther north into the country
, our weights became more sophisticated. We finally reached our present location and have an entire room for physical fitness.
We purchased our benches and squat rack from a local junkyard and sanded them down. We also gave them a fresh coat of paint and even re-upholstered the padding (not bad for a bunch of guys)! All our weights are still mostly gears, but now they are welded onto handles. We have several weights and a homemade Olympic weight bar. We have even managed to purchase some actual plates from a local gym.
Our schedule is just as busy as ever, but there is always time to do a quick workout. Even if it just means a light day or some work on our stomach muscles, we find the time.
So, I guess the moral to this story is that we’re in Iraq dodging bullets and guarding the border, and we still find time to hit the gym. You must motivate yourself and create time. To quote a creed near and dear to our hearts (and muscles), “I will give 100 percent and then some.” We all live and train by that creed, and I hope you will give 100 percent and then some in your next workout, wherever it may be.”
SGT Joe Chiarella EMT-I, T
101st Long Range Surveillance Detachment
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Do yourself a favor and re-read Sgt Chiarella’s words again and again. Allow them to sink in and then begin to think about the excuses you give for not working out and taking care of yourself. Print out this article and put it on your refrigerator. Post it on your company bulletin board, and hand it to your family, friends and acquaintances. Help spread the word.
Sgt Joe Chiarella is a modern-day hero, and he and his unit have taught us all something valuable about motivation.
So, what did you say your excuse was?
About the Author – Raphael Calzadilla
A drug free competitive bodybuilder and 2005 winner of the prestigious WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation) Pro Card, Raphael Calzadilla is a veteran of the health-and-fitness industry. He specializes in a holistic approach to body transformation, nutrition programs and personal training. He earned his B.A. in communications from Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal trainer with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1 program based on biomechanics.