Podcast welcomes pro body builders, 100 Miles for Hope supporters

Two professional body builders and former officers who served in Iraq, one a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the other of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, share in this week’s episode of the Tango Alpha Lima podcast the value of finding your personal reasons for getting active and enjoying The American Legion’s 100 Miles for Hope challenge.

Julia Waring – a personal fitness and nutrition specialist among her many pursuits – and Rachelle Cannon – a prevention and wellness program manager in Maryland – join Tango Alpha Lima hosts Jeff Daly and Ashley Gorbulja-Maldonado in a special National Physical Fitness and Sports Month episode.

The professional body builders and fitness/nutrition experts are also serving as ambassadors in The American Legion’s 100 Miles for Hope program, which raises awareness and funds for the organization’s Veterans and Children Foundation. The foundation provides necessary resources to assist disabled veterans and military/veteran families with children at home who are facing financial emergencies.

Waring strongly urges veterans to use their “why” for inspiration when jumping into 100 Miles for Hope or any fitness commitment. “You just need to start,” said the Army veteran, who led a base-building platoon in Iraq in 2009 and now works as a civilian engineer at Fort Meade, Md. “It’s not about going on this really quick diet… or being in the gym every day. It’s starting through small adjustments. What it comes down to is the ‘why.’ Why are we doing this?”

She says looking better is only one part of it. Heart strength, pain relief, better mood and longevity are among the multiple benefits of getting up and moving through fitness. “It’s about health.”

A 10-minute walk, she explains, can lead to a longer walk or run, and both athletes say the experience can usually be enhanced with a “battle buddy” or supportive friend.

Cannon, whose grandfather was a World War II veteran and active member of The American Legion, says a support network like 100 Miles for Hope can be a big boost for the fun and purpose of it, but also “for that accountability.”

Moreover, Cannon adds, the camaraderie of a fitness commitment with a partner or a group makes it more fun, which promotes consistency. “Focus on fun, and then the next thing you know, you’re saying, ‘Wow, look what I have accomplished.’”

Both professional athletes plan to use steppers in their gyms to accomplish their 100 Miles for Hope goals, along with other workout machines; Cannon, who has always loved the water, says some of her miles will come in the pool.

This episode is among more than 120 Tango Alpha Lima podcast for veterans, servicemembers and others. All episodes are available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Stitcher or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available for viewing at the Legion’s YouTube channel.