The Strongest Man on Okinawa

U.S. Marine Capt. Axel Persaud with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, talks about the dedication and commitment it takes to claim the title of Okinawa’s Strongest. Persaud competed in the Okinawa’s Strongest competition on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, November 3, 2019, and took home the first place trophy in the males over 200 lbs category. Persaud is from South Brunswick, New Jersey. (U.S. Marine Corps Motion Imagery by Cpl. Kameron Herndon.)

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It’s all mental. Right, when I roll out of bed at zero four in the morning, never wanna get up. And so one of the things that I tie to it is something that wakes me up, a kick start, kick starts me. For me, it’s toothpaste. So, I wake up in the morning, and I brush my teeth as soon as I get out of bed, and that wakes me up. I don’t need coffee or anything that, like, wakes me up. Just some water on my face, and at that point I’m in the mode. I turn it on and I know I’m not gonna turn it back off for another two three hours. So, mental, the mental start to it, you have to give yourself a kick and a push. The fitness part of it comes easy after a while. You’re gonna be able to push through pike toes and lift weight that you wanna lift, and build the cardio-vascular endurance that you need to achieve whatever it is you’re seeking. But, it’s not gonna happen unless you have a great mental attitude about it. Coming out of here from Hawaii, I leave, at home, you know, a wife and four kids. When I began, the point that I decided, hey, you know, there’s times where I would have, wouldn’t have sacrificed to get out and go work for myself, my fitness level, away from my family back at home. I’d never had that excuse out here, because I was already here. So, I use it to my advantage, and I decided that I was gonna take some of that time, and put it back into myself.

[Spectator] Drive, drive, keep going, keep going, boy.

Basically, the level of fitness that I’m at right now, is only because that I made it a lifestyle for myself and I’ve surrounded myself with my family members and friends, and other people who have a life attitude about that. Making that a priority, and then scheduling the time to do that. That’s the only way you’ll ever, you know, maintain or even get to a level of fitness to compete in such a crazy event like the one that was put on. This is the validation that I needed. It’s kind of like the culminating benefit in that point that where I’ve got a little bit of weight off my shoulders now and I’m never gonna go back home with something else to show them, that I did and have accomplished while I was out here.

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