KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq --
Inside the gym here, weights bang and thud as Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Talbot, a scout with Charlie Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, works on sculpting his body.
Talbot, an amateur body builder, believes that weight training improves his discipline and determination with every repetition.
“Lifting weights made me more disciplined in what I do as a person and a Marine,” said Talbot, 23. “It helps me remember that you need to be disciplined in everything you do.”
The native of Torrington, Conn., began working out at the age of 10 when his mom decided to attend aerobics classes at the local YMCA. While his mother was engaged in her workouts, he took the opportunity to achieve what would become his lifelong goal.
“I was big into athletics, and I always wanted to become stronger to give myself the edge,” said Talbot. “I also did it for myself because it made me feel great.”
Once Talbot was in the ninth grade, he began working out every single day to mold himself into a body builder. He graduated high school early and moved to Florida with hopes of becoming a police officer in 2003, where his life would change forever.
“I was working out at a gym in Florida and a man by the name of Danny talked to me about competing at the regional amateur’s bodybuilding contest,” he said. “He became my trainer during the longest nine weeks of my life.”
Talbot spent nine weeks eating a strict diet to bring out his physique for the competition. Everyday he would eat the same rations of high protein and carbohydrates while blowing through a whirlwind of extreme workout routines ranging from four to five hours in the weight room.
His hard work paid off as he placed second in the competition. He qualified for nationals in amateur body building, but instead of proceeding to nationals he embarked on a different journey by enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“When the police department put me on a waiting list, I wanted a challenge and to still serve my country,” Talbot said. “I have always liked helping people and making a difference so I decided to be part of the best at it.”
After serving two years with security forces in Rota, Spain, he is on his first tour in Iraq. Although he is engaging in operations with his company and often away from the weight room, Talbot maintains his work out schedule. Talbot has a set of weights he takes with him when he is out on an operation.
“My head always tends to clear when I am lifting because all of my energy is centered on what I am doing at that time,” said Talbot. “The Marine Corps has made me a stronger person and even more determined to maintain my physique.”
When Talbot is not on an operation, he can usually be found in the gym and openly invites anyone who wants to join him.
Talbot is very experienced and motivated in everything he does,” said 1st Lt. Casey L. Ward, 26, executive officer of Charlie Company from Odenton, Md. “He leads Marines with an example that if you want something bad enough, you could get it.”
He added the workouts with Talbot are very challenging and keeps him driving down the right path of physical training.
Talbot plans on leaving the Marine Corps someday to join the Brevard County Police Department in Florida and to pursue becoming a professional bodybuilder.