CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait –
A new leader among the Defense Logistics Agency employees at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, recently demonstrated some of the strength and endurance he uses on the job to take first place in a local swim meet.
Eric Reich, the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services’ operations supervisor and site lead, often endures long days and the heat of the desert sun. Reich uses fitness and wellness practices that enhance his resiliency, which helped him lead the way against 30 competitors during a one kilometer open water swim in the Persian Gulf at Abu Halifa Beach. The Sept. 18 event was sponsored by a local triathlon team that Reich said competes across the eastern and western regions of Asia.
"My time was 18:31, about 1 minute and 42 seconds per 100 yards,” Reich said. “A decent showing, time wise.”
Reich’s 1K swim was one of three competitions that day. The other two included a 300 meter and 2K swim.
“I’ll be doing the 2K next time, along with a 300K bike challenge in October,” Reich said.
Swimming and cycling are two elements of the triathlon, which Reich started using three years ago to get in shape.
“I was 300-plus pounds or worse and needed a goal,” Reich said. “So I signed up for a sprint triathlon with three months to prepare and my wife as my coach.”
Sprint triathlons use shorter distances, so many athletes consider them a good starting point for beginning triathletes. Reich said he barely finished his first sprint race in regulation time, but still became addicted to the triathlon. Since his first event he has competed in and helped conduct some other races (sprint, Olympic and 70.3 Ironman distances).
“I’m training now to do the Bahrain and Dubai Ironman, assuming current pandemic restrictions go away,” Reich said. “The end goal is to earn an invitation to the world championships in Kona, Hawaii.”
Competing in the community allows Reich to make an impression for his country and DLA – “two things that motivate me to get up every day at 3 a.m. to get my 2-3 hour training sessions done before going to work,” he said.
For more information on resiliency, please visit the DLA Resiliency page.