By Tazanyia Mouton, USAG-Natick Public AffairsAugust 7, 2013
NATICK, Mass. (August 7, 2013) -- Getting sculpted legs that you can run with for days … 100 squats each day. Having chiseled arms that can probably lift a Buick … 200 push-ups every day. Having rock-hard abs fit for washing the laundry … 300 sit-ups each day. Knowing that you're getting into shape and leading a healthier life … priceless.
In 2009, Darin St. George, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation fitness program manager, came aboard and created a fitness class for the staff here at the Natick Soldier Systems Center. St. George is also known to many as "Trainer X," the name he used while writing a fitness column for more than 10 years that was published in small newspapers across the country.
In those columns, St. George had 500 words or less to explain why people should care about exercising.
"I'm going to say 50 things to you today, and one of them might grab you," said St. George. "But it might be the one thing that gets you into it. It could be that positive rock making the positive ripple."
St. George has worked very hard to make positive ripples here at Natick by creating a program to get people up and away from their desks.
"People have 30 minutes for lunch, so I created a program called '30 minutes to Win It,'" said St. George. Each person has 30 minutes "to get the best body, the best physique, the best you, the fittest you. Whatever the `it' is, is up to you."
The fitness class has a five-week rotation, and students meet up and work out twice a week. Some joining in may partake in one cycle of classes, while others make it a way of living.
"If you want to get in shape, change your body, change your life, you need to run like someone is chasing you, lift like something fell on you, and you need to eat like somebody else," said St. George.
Oftentimes, people avoid working out because they're content with the plan they've been following all along. St. George said that plan needs to go out the window.
"If you don't want to be where you're at, don't go back down that road because it just got you here," said St. George. "You give me a rock and a floor, and a person that's willing to do what I tell them to do, I'm going to get you in shape. We don't use machines; we make them."
Since the creation of "30 Minutes to Win It," or TMtWI, a number of participants have given their testimonials.
"This is the first class that has changed my lifestyle," said Laka Bulathsinhala, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. "Now I watch what I eat and get excited about working out! Until I joined this class, I wasn't aware of what a professional trainer can do for you ... I have newfound respect for the profession."
Participants in St. George's class say they can appreciate his training style.
"TMtWI provides the perfect opportunity to get a solid workout in a short amount of time," said Lauren Oleksyk, a team leader with the Processing, Engineering and Technology Team, Combat Feeding Directorate. "Trainer X has great energy, enthusiasm and experience! He constantly varies the routine to keep it fun and challenging."
Some who may feel that an injury or weakness should keep them away from the training class should think again.
"I have been taking TMtWI since it was first offered, and over that time, I have seen great improvements in my strength, conditioning and overall energy," said Diane Steeves, a research chemist with the Nanomaterials Science Team in the Warfighter Directorate. "Luckily, TMtWI is designed in such a way that modifications were easily incorporated, and I was able to maintain, and even improve, my fitness, despite a serious injury."
Steeves also mentioned that she feels stronger than she did prior to becoming injured.
"Why do I go to Trainer X? Simply, it works and I get results!" said Gregg Gildea, a team leader with the Army Field Feeding Directorate. "It's the most efficient, physical and cost-effective 30 minutes you can spend to get fit. We are very fortunate to have this gem on post ... I'm hooked!"
At the end of it all, St. George wants his participants to know that he is there for them.
For those afraid of fitness coaches, have no fear, St. George's demeanor during class doesn't exhibit an in-your-face approach that makes you want to crawl into a ball after each workout.
"I do every possible thing I can to make sure it's fun, exciting and engaging," said St. George. "In between success and failure is a wall built on excuses, and each person is their own bricklayer. You're in charge of your own destiny."
Those interested in the TMtWI program that begins Aug. 12 can contact Darin St. George at firstname.lastname@example.org. Classes are at the Lord Community Activities Center on Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday at either 11:40 a.m. or 12:20 p.m. The cost is $50 for a five-week session, which is held twice a week.