NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - (Oct. 15, 2018) (NNS) -- With the morning sun crawling over the horizon, a few Sailors from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) gathered at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News for a run as part of the ship’s newly re-established run club.
Members of the George Washington run club come together every Wednesday morning in an effort to get or stay in top physical condition, and build camaraderie within the club. The run club is organized and operated by Rosalio Nieto, the afloat fitness specialist, also known as the Fit Boss.
Maintaining physical fitness is a requirement for Sailors, but it also has health benefits as well.
“Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes and increases life expectancy,” according to the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center. “According to the 2015 Fleet and Marine Corps Health Risk Assessment Annual Report, 28 percent of active duty Navy respondents indicated a lack moderate or vigorous intensity aerobic exercise in their routine.”
The run club previously existed onboard George Washington, and thanks to Fit Boss and Capt. Glenn Jamison, the commanding officer (CO) of George Washington, it is back.
“In the meeting with the CO, he asked for some extracurricular activities either before or after working hours, and I know that there was a run club previously and I talked about reactivating it and he said ‘make it happen,’” said Nieto.
Trying to get Sailors to wake up early to go run is a tough task for anyone, but Fit Boss has new ideas pending to help motivate Sailors.
“Fluctuating throughout the month, I’ve seen probably 15 different people,” said Nieto. “My goal is to have 25 active members.”
Fire Controlman 2nd Class Cathryn Pellar is one Sailor participating in the newly-revamped run club.
“A friend of mine had mentioned the run club in passing and I was interested in getting into better shape, so I asked him about it and that led me to start participating in it today,” said Pellar. “Running is something I used to do, but I really want to get back into now.”
Sailors join the run club for all sorts of different reasons. Some need motivation or an obligation to meet up with others to force them to run.
“I wanted to participate in the run club to help give me some motivation,” said Pellar. “When I joined the club I made a commitment to it. I can’t say I’m going to be somewhere and not show up, which in turn will keep me participating.”
In addition to being able to motivate Sailors, there’s one part of the run club that Nieto truly enjoys.
“My favorite part is when you take someone who hasn’t run in months or years and they come out because they know this is a safe and comfortable atmosphere running with their shipmates and then hopefully they make a lifestyle change in being active,” said Nieto.
Pellar said that the Fit Boss doesn’t push anyone to exceed their physical or mental limits if they are not ready to do so.
“It’s self-paced so you can run as fast or slow as you want, and that helps to not be intimidated by the faster runners,” said Pellar.
Fit Boss has big plans for the run club that can provide some unique opportunities for Sailors.
“Through the run club I want to build a team to take to Mount Vernon, the home and final resting place of George Washington, and represent USS George Washington in full force with a group of runners that have been running for a while,” said Nieto. “That run will be in September of 2019.”
With Fit Boss’s guidance, Sailors are taken through a warm-up and cool down, and are able to report to work at a reasonable time.
“We warm up from 6:30 a.m. to 6:40 a.m., run for 40 minutes, cool down for 10 minutes, and after that the shuttle will take you back to Huntington Hall if you need it,” said Nieto.
Sailors can sign up for the run club by either emailing Fit Boss or Matt Pennell, the afloat recreation specialist, known as the Fun Boss. Alternatively, sign-up sheets are available on the floating accommodation facility (FAF) quarterdeck at the MWR table.
MWR provides transportation from Huntington Hall Wednesday mornings. Muster is at 6 a.m. at the front desk in the gym. If you want to drive yourself, muster is at the Mariner’s Museum at 6:30 a.m.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.