I was recently blessed with the honor to travel to Europe to for my second tour with Armed Forces Entertainment to provide workouts for the U.S. Military men and women stationed overseas. I had my A-team with me including master trainer Shay Kostabi, photographer Jesse Deyoung and my publicist Nicole Dunn. Together we had the privilege of visiting bases in the Mediterranean including Rota Spain, Souda Bay in Crete Greece, Naples Italy, Sigonella in Sicily Italy and Aviano in Venice Italy.
I think we sometimes take for granted what the brave men and women in military do to help serve and protect our country. They are stationed away from home and many times their spouses and families for years, and I think it’s important that they realize how much we appreciate them. Many of their acts of service and courage go without notice and I personally wanted to thank them and give back by teaching them some of the most current methods on training, nutrition and mindset. Their appreciation was the best part of the trip as well as their sweat and hard work in every workout.
Each day started with a 7am sweat session with the first group of troops, followed some great European coffee and breakfast. On the bases, the food is not always the freshest or healthiest, but there are healthy options if you search hard enough and we made do. In our workouts together, we did a variety of fun exercises directly from my 20 Minute Body program It was fun getting to sweat together to these bodyweight-only workouts. Besides the workouts, I also got to do talks on nutrition in the afternoon at lunch and discussed healthy options on the base with their limited food selections. They did have access to some healthy options, but they were accompanied by plenty of terrible fast food options and I told them it all comes down to a choice and where they valued their health. “You can eat the cheeseburger and fries every day or the salad and fresh fruit…it’s your choice and your body.” It was also great to provide them with some of the recipes from my new book, which they loved because each recipe only takes 20-minutes to prep and cook.
Afternoons were usually spent relaxing or sightseeing throughout the countryside. We got to visit some epic places and learn more about the culture of each country. Every night we had an evening workout with the next group of troops, which was followed by an amazing carb-loaded dinner and wine! I’m not a big drinker, so I splurged and got one of the desserts instead. Two workouts in the books, dinner and dessert…I was fast asleep in the car ride back to base each night.
Another highlight of the tour was speaking to many of the children on the bases at different after school programs. I lead the kids in interactive, fun workout drills that were inspired by animal movements we do in capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art I train in. The kids loved the drills and my favorite part of being with them, besides their bright smiles, was getting to talk to them about inner-strength and how that is the key to dealing with bullying and confrontation.
All in all is was another unforgettable trip that has inspired me to do more back at home. I send one last THANK YOU to all the men and women stationed overseas and want to thank you for taking the time to read this. Please take a moment to be grateful for our country and for what the men and women do that serve and protect it.
The men and women I visited will also be reading this blog so feel free to personally thank them in the comments below!