NEW ORLEANS -- Marines do many things to relieve stress during breaks at work. Some go out for a smoke break or gather around for some “water cooler” talk, while others go outside to catch a whiff of fresh air. Sgt. Emmanuel Dickson, however, does not do any of those things.
Dickson, an administrative specialist with personnel sourcing, Marine Forces Reserve, takes “pull-up breaks” instead.
“Everyday individuals sit in front of their computers, and by the end of the day, they are exhausted and tired and do not feel like doing anything,” he said. “I go out to do pull-ups because it gets my blood pumping and keeps my mind going. It will get me feeling energized.”
His frequent trips to the pull-up bar have earned him the top spot on the MARFORRES Pull-Up Campaign leader board.
The campaign, which kicked off April 1, aims to have Marines perform more pull-ups through friendly competition, according to Sgt. Maj. James T. Booker, the MARFORRES and Marine Forces North sergeant major. As a part of the campaign, installing new sets of pull-up bars and inspiring participants to do more sets will ultimately help Marines improve their future physical fitness test scores.
For Dickson, this just meant writing down what he was already doing. “When [the MARFORRES Pull-Up Campaign] came out, it gave me an opportunity to do… something I just like to do… go out there and knock out as many [pull-ups] as I can whenever I can,” said Dickson, a native of Kaduna, Nigeria.
Pull-ups have always been a part of his workout regimen. Dickson, who can perform 38 pull-ups now, said to stay overall physically fit he takes part in everything from cross-fit to gymnastics. However, he prefers bodyweight exercises like pull-ups. He declared that fitness is a lifestyle and being inactive is not an option.
“He’s always out there and he’s really good at [physical training],” said Sgt. Enrique Trevino, administrative specialist with MARFORRES Installation Personnel Administration Center, and also a teammate of Dickson’s. “I’m glad he’s on my team.”
Dickson said he never planned on doing so many pull-ups, but the campaign motivated him to beat or match the number he performed the day before.
The campaign website has an individual leader board, lead by Dickson who has logged more than 2,500 pull ups since mid-April. There is also a team leader board, which shows the teams and sections with the most pull-ups.
Team “Lat’s for Days,” Dickson’s and Trevino’s team, has lost most of its team members either to a different duty station or temporary additional duty. This means that Dickson and Trevino have to carry the team while other members are gone. So far they have been successful holding the team in the top spot, while Trevino is also holding the second spot on the individual leader board.
Trevino said they like to go out as a team and face-off because it allows them to motivate each other and ultimately build camaraderie by competing between themselves.
Marines around Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans started to notice Dickson’s name on top of the leader board. Some have been curious about what he is doing and what his routine is, but others approached him with something else. Dickson has been getting called out publically; one friendly competitor in the MARFORRES Pull-Up Campaign video vowed to take his spot on the pull-up throne. But Dickson sees it as a win-win situation. He loves it when other Marines are motivated and work hard on improving themselves, even if it means trying to beat him as the top dog.