MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Corporal Freddy Cantu can spend hours at the gym pushing his body to its physical limits. For Cantu, keeping his body in peak physical condition is a priority and is what drives him to be bigger, faster, and stronger than any Marine in his unit.
In addition to being as strong as an ox, Cantu brings the same passion he has for physical fitness to his job as a cyber-network administrator for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
In this interview, the 22 year old from Bakersfield, California, tells us where his drive for physical greatness came from and how it has brought him and his unit success.
Q: What inspired you to join the Marine Corps?
A: It was something I always wanted to do. A friend of mine came to my class and gave a presentation after he graduated [military occupational specialty] school and that pushed me over the edge to join. I was in the [delayed entry program] when I was a junior in high school. I loved what the Corps had to offer.
Q: Did you choose to be a cyber-network administrator?
A: No. I just wanted to be a Marine. I had a high [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery] score so I knew the Marine Corps would put me where they needed me.
Q: How important is your job to MEU operations?
A: Extremely important. We keep communications going; everything from secure internet access to emails.
Q: What got you into physical fitness?
A: When I was in high school I did a lot of sports. I started out going into the gym at six in the morning for lifting sessions with my football team and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Q: How does being physically fit translate to success in your job?
A: I bring the same dedication to my job, as I do the gym. I believe that you get out what you put in. If you work out the right way and dedicate yourself to improvement then you’re going to get stronger. The Marine Corps is the same way. If you put in the effort you’re going to be successful.
Q: What does maintaining a high level of physical fitness mean to you?
A: It’s a stress relief really. I get to unleash my frustration out at the gym. When I walk into a gym; I’m zoned in. I don’t care about who’s there, I’m focused on what I’m doing.
Q: Is it hard to maintain this lifestyle?
A: It can be, but once you get started it’s hard to get off of it. If I don’t go to the gym for a few days, something in me feels off. It definitely takes dedication and planning to make sure you do the right exercises and meal preparation. It’s addicting.
Q: What drives you to keep up this lifestyle?
A: Results. I see the results and I want more. I don’t necessarily want to be the biggest guy in the gym; I want to be the biggest I can be. Everyone is different and you can’t try to be like someone else. Trying to be like someone else can easily discourage you, especially if you put in all you got and don’t see yourself like that person. Some people are just built different. The best thing you can do is push yourself to the max. First impressions is another one, you only get one and I want people to see me and think, ‘Man that guy’s fit. I want him on my team.’
Q: When you look at yourself in the mirror are you happy with your results?
A: I am. I see the results of my hard work. That’s one of the things I love about it. You see where your hard work pays off. I see the results and I want more. It’s become an addiction for me.
Q: Is this a permanent lifestyle for you?
A: I’ll continue to do this as long as my body allows me to.
For the Warrior Wednesday video on Cantu, visit our YouTube page at: http://youtu.be/fKDCO1L7aSc.