CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION SPEICHER, Iraq - The Army has many physical requirements, not only for promotion purposes, but also to ensure Soldiers maintain their physical best.

Soldiers are expected to be able to perform to their fullest potential at a moment's notice in order to complete the mission at hand. Many Soldiers and civilian personnel use the gym to stay fit as well as get away from reality.

There is a group that joins together six days a week and pushes themselves physically to the limit in a combination of two workouts, P90X and Insanity which is led by Capt. Brad Borders, 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion chaplain from Statesville, N.C., and Staff Sgt. Russ Robinson, 422nd Civil Affair's Battalion chaplain's assistant from Winston-Salem, N.C. This workout helps to unite the community at COB Speicher. It brings together Soldiers from various units on the COB through sweat and prayer.

Borders said that working as a chaplain affects the way he runs the classes.

"I always try to be an encourager. I believe that Jesus has called me to lift people up through encouragement, humor and by setting the best example possible," Borders said. "I certainly hope my attitude has been contagious. Staff Sgt. Robinson has been awesome; he is full of energy and by the grace of God we have not had to cancel one class since we started - six days a week for over seven months now. Lastly, I would always hope that everything that I do would glorify God and ultimately the things I do and say would be a sign post for people pointing them to the Lord Jesus."

Borders is an individual that stands tall day in and day out with the tenacity to not just motivate the class but himself as well.

"We were looking for a way to not only work our bodies but also hopefully impact the lives of others through our Christian Witness. We noticed during our pre-mobilization time at Fort Dix that we always seemed to meet a lot of people at the gym. When we arrived in Kuwait we found a guy doing the P90X class and realized it would be easy to put on. We decided right then that once we got to COB Speicher we would figure out a way to make it work. We began asking questions and eventually settled on the MWR facility. We have remained faithful to pray each night after class and offer a safe and inviting atmosphere for folks to come work out with us," Borders explained.

Considering the perseverance and self-dedication that is required to complete these classes, conducting them six days a week for seven months with zero cancellations is an amazing feat.

This is a feat that several Soldiers from the 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion have taken on. Soldiers from the 1083rd Transportation Company along with the 264th CSSB chaplain Capt. Myron Johnson from Springfield, Mo., join together for the struggle.

"I think that anybody with a desire to overcome pain, adversity and discomfort can achieve just about anything," said Borders. "We have a 71 year old man that comes every night and works as hard as anyone else."

There are motivated people that love to push themselves but there are still people that drop out of the class.

"I'd say we have a handful every rotation. You really have to be committed to the physical challenges to stick around," Robinson said. "We have such a bond with all the participants that they won't let you get away with going half speed through anything.

"In our class you either get fit or go home," he added. "It's not a threat, just a promise!"
Most people shun certain activities until they know what is entailed.

"The combination of P90X and Insanity can only be described as the most comprehensive total body workout you can do without the benefit of the big gym atmosphere. Both programs generate strength, power, endurance and flexibility while burning a ton of calories. These are not programs for the uninspired as they require a certain amount of desire to reap the maximum benefits. If you have the will and the desire you can do it!" Robinson said.

He offered the following advice to anyone who is interested in the class.

"Check your ego at the door and remember that the pain is temporary," Robinson said. "Try it out and if it's not for you, the door is only a few steps away, if you can make it there."

Page last updated Tue March 30th, 2010 at 20:26