Sunday, July 5, 2009

Flight deck aerobics

Story and photos by Cpl. Robert C. Medina

USS COMSTOCK, at sea (June 24, 2009) – The occasional sound of music blares from the flight deck of USS Comstock (LSD 45). A group of Marines step awkwardly in unison and seem to be enjoying themselves, making the most of their workout.

The leader of this up-beat aerobics class—Staff Sgt. Colleen Wilcox, radio chief, Communications Detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 13, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Wilcox, from Waterford, Mich., said she began participating in aerobics when she joined the Marine Corps. Through her dedication, she became a certified instructor through Aerobics Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She can officially teach both Marines and sailors.

“Before we came on deployment I taught on base with just my Marines at the gym,” said Wilcox.

“My class is an hour long,” she said. “I like to start out with some warm-ups, then some resistance workouts. We do upper body one day and lower body the next.”

Wilcox says it’s not always easy to find a spot on ship to have class. With all the different moving parts aboard the Comstock, space can be limited.

In addition to space constraints, it can also be a challenge to get diverse participants.

“As much as the male Marines might think they don’t like it and feel it’s more for women, I think it is great for everyone because it works their bodies out in different ways than they would normally do it,” said Wilcox.

Corporal Sarah L. Griffin, also with Communications Detachment, CLB-13, which is part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has been attending classes throughout the deployment.

“I always volunteer to do [the class],” said Griffin, a native of San Clemente, Calif. “The bigger the class the more fun it is.”

When Wilcox teaches an aerobics class, she always takes a couple of Marines from her shop to change it up.

Griffin says her favorite part of the class is watching everyone try really hard to get the moves down.

“You get to see how uncoordinated people are sometimes,” said Griffin. She continued by saying,

“I like to change up my workouts, especially here on ship. I think everyone should try it at least once, it’s a lot of fun.”

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