Marines maintain fitness in Marjah

12 May 2010 | Cpl. Skyler Tooker

Capt. Robert Schotter doesn’t want to hear any excuses about the inability to find time or equipment for a workout.

Schotter, an intelligence officer with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, lacks access to the state-of-the-art fitness centers he’s accustomed to back in Camp Lejeune, N.C. In Marjah, he must adapt and overcome to maintain his level of fitness.

Marines with 3/6 have consolidated enough equipment to create their own personal gym, including kettlebells, a pull-up bar, sledgehammer and spare tires. They also do several exercises with the use of their own body weight.

“There are not quite as many options when it comes to equipment, be we find a way to mix it up,” said Schotter. “Maybe we will work out longer, or maybe we will do more of one exercise more than the other. There is enough of a variety that we shouldn’t run out of things to do.”

While some Marines maintain a high level of fitness patrolling for long distances with a heavy combat load, Marines like Cpl. Sean Huston, works out to stay physically fit, mentally ready and relieve stress.

The Marines don’t have much time to themselves. They try and make it a quick, but very fast-paced workout to build their strength and endurance, no more than 15 to 20 minutes long.

“When a lot of the guys are at chow, we come out here before the nightly meeting and get some of the excess energy out,” said Schotter, 26, from Lincoln, R.I. “If it is a busy day then we won’t work out, but we try to do the workouts every other day or a couple of days on and a day off.”

Marines change up their workout every day.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot. We can do it with body weight and we can do it with the random equipment that we have,” said Schotter.  “And even if you took this all away we would still find a way to get a workout. There is not really a valid excuse not to workout.”