‘Winter warriors’ reap rewards

By Dianne Ryder

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Senior leaders and supporters gathered in the McNamara Headquarters Complex cafeteria April 9 to praise participants of this year’s Winter Warrior Fitness and Nutrition Challenge, a Morale, Welfare and Recreation program that helps employees realize their health and fitness goals.

More than 150 employees participated in the nine-week program, which integrates HQC fitness center trainers to help employees increase daily movement and learn more about nutrition.

Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams gauged the success of the challenge by asking how many people would sign up again — most everyone raised their hands.

“This is our third year doing it and [the number of participants] is getting bigger and bigger every year,” he said. “I just want to say thanks to all of you for being part of the program.”

The director reiterated his mantra — that DLA's people are the “secret sauce” at the heart of everything DLA does.

“I think that’s true for the whole McNamara Complex,” he said. “I can’t think of an agency that would argue about the fact that people are so important to what we do.”

Williams noted how these challenges, with an emphasis on fitness and nutrition, help employees be their very best selves. He encouraged participants to continue their wellness efforts and encourage colleagues to do the same.

“Again, this is not just about losing weight … this is about fitness — and there’s a difference,” he said. “This is about promoting good health, which includes fitness and a component of nutrition.”

The program helped employees initiate healthy habits, but the real challenge lies ahead, Williams said.

“What do we gain by being disciplined these last nine weeks and then [blowing] it all next week? That’s what I typically do,” he said, wryly. “Make sure that you have made a life change and this really has become part of your routine.”

Williams thanked MWR Program Manager Beverly Hicks and all the HQC fitness staff.

Members of the DLA Energy team, “Pamp it Up!” knew they were close to winning but were “pleasantly surprised” they placed first, since many members of the team had not previously competed in the Winter Warrior Challenge.

“Laura forced us to do it,” Alison Adams, program analyst, said of her coworker, Laura Funk, a management and program analyst.

“I thought it would be a good team-building exercise,” Funk said. “I think it was, and it created a little friendly competition in the office, too.”

Fellow teammate Patty Beyer, a program manager, was one of the few who had competed in the challenge.

“I did it when I was pregnant, so it didn’t really count,” she said. “I did not help my team at all, but it kept me moving!”

“We all took it seriously,” Adams said. “We all changed the way we were eating, the exercises we were doing – I think we really buckled down.”

Team members named food temptations and changes in exercise routines as challenges in meeting their goal. Funk said she had a difficult time adjusting to weight training.

“I don’t really like doing weights, so trying to incorporate that into my workout [was hard], because I’m more of a cardio person – that’s where I struggled,” she said. “But I enjoyed doing the classes a little bit more and just did weightlifting on my own.”

Hicks announced the winners, including two teams who tied for third place. Winning teams were treated to refreshments, gift cards and ‘swag bags’ from the event’s sponsor.

First Place: Pamp it Up! (DLA Energy)

  • Laura Funk
  • Alison Adams
  • Patty Beyer
  • Debra Simpson
  • DaToya Taylor

Second Place: Smokin’ Hot N’ Hungry (DLA)

  • Lance Giddens
  • Stefanie Mancusi-Truong
  • Tavis Hundley
  • Chanel Pittman
  • Carlos Poindexter

Third Place: Donut Judge Us (DLA)

  • Lilly Leal
  • Eura Cherry
  • Lydia Morales
  • Valerie Peyton
  • Alexandra Vanaman

Tied for Third Place: Straight off DA Couch (DTRA)

  • Ericka Mena
  • Vasheka Oliveras
  • James Janneh
  • Kirra Hoskins
  • Solomon Musoke