Mark Unger of North Carolina — Witnessing a transformation in a person is an amazing thing to behold. It can occur when you are separated from a spouse by thousands of miles of ocean and sand. It can occur while raising a child or coping with the loss of a close friend. While each of these examples have been personal times of growth for me, this particular story occurred while I was covered in a sheen of sweat. Some days the smell and clang of iron was heavy in the air, while others took place on the asphalt and wooded trails as miles passed beneath my feet and Hans Zimmer and James Horner expanded my horizons with their melodies. It was a journey most people don’t really want to take, in order to achieve something we all want to achieve. For me, it came down to a single word…Discipline. It’s a word that’s hard to read, isn’t it? It’s unpleasant. It drips with sweat. It’s what I was missing, and what the Marine Corps demands. As Marines, we are expected to be mentally and physically fit and I wasn’t. I was tired of being tired.
I was always confident that following the Body-for-LIFE® program would net fantastic physical results. Like you, I’ve seen the photographs of past champions. What I never truly expected was the resultant sense of personal well-being and connection to those I serve beside and the God that I worship. It’s been like throwing the proverbial pebble into the pond and witnessing the ripples spread outward touching everything around them. Once started, they are unstoppable. Every facet of my life has been positively impacted by this transformation.
By speeding things up physically, I managed to mentally slow down. The time spent in solitude on the road during my transformation was the most important to me. It allowed me to continue a journey towards intimacy with God as I wrapped myself in the silence of the early morning or late evening. I cannot fully explain how this happens, only that the Spirit of God revealed Himself once I shut out all of the loud and busy distractions around me, closed my mouth and listened. Miraculously, the knots of everyday living simply unraveled. I discovered direction, freedom from worry, and peace. The ever-present furrow in my brow has been replaced with a genuine smile.
I’ve been approached numerous times by Marines fresh from Boot Camp and asked what type of training I’m doing and if I could advise them. I’ve even been asked, “Sir, what are you on?” You must understand that a natural gulf grows between an officer and his junior Marines with each promotion he receives. As officers, we continually seek methods to cross this chasm, often with mixed results. This transformation has given me a tool, a bridge, and a chance to introduce my Marines to this program. One of the greatest compliments a Marine can bestow upon an officer is that, “the old man can really hang in there.” Thanks to Body-for-LIFE® I’m hanging in there now!
Finally, I’d like to share something Socrates once said that has resonated deep within me. It is this, “…what a disgrace it would be for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” I have framed this quote, and it now hangs in a permanent position on the walls of my mind.
If you are reading my story and considering starting the Body-for-LIFE® program…Stop! Start the program now! I waited almost ten years to start. Don’t be me. This is real and it is important. Take the Challenge and change your life. I’ve already started round two. God bless you all.