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07-08-05, 02:00 PM
6th District Marine pumps iron in spare time
MCRD Parris Island
Story by Lance Cpl. Darhonda V. Hall

MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (July 8, 2005) -- Staff Sgt. Lenwood L. Hall, 6th Marine Corps District comptroller chief, made going to the gym and working out part of his daily routine even before he joined the Marine Corps.

The 5-foot-5-inch, 192-pound Maryland native said his stature was created through hard work and persistence.

Prior to joining the Marine Corps, Hall weighed 170 pounds and took up lifting weights in the 10th grade. During his junior year of high school, Hall made the decision to join the United States Marine Corps.

"I didn't have money for college, nor did I desire to attend more school immediately following graduation," Hall explained. "I didn't even have enough experience in anything to land a prosperous job. I most certainly could not hangout at my parent's place and be a bum. My only option was the military."

Hall said the Marine recruiter was the only one that ever approached him, which is the reason he entered the Delay Entry Program in June 1995.
Hall said most of his classmates and peers did not believe he would join the Corps.

"I don't think anyone took me serious about joining the Corps because of my nonchalant and sarcastic personality," Hall said. "Their perception of a Marine was not the always smiling and joking Mr. Hall they had known for years."

Upon graduating from high school in 1996, Hall had become muscular and took on the challenge of recruit training only to return to his home and advertise the finished product of Marine Corps recruit training.

"[Their perceptions] changed once I returned home from Boot Camp," he said. "It could've been that outstanding high and tight I got before leaving Parris Island that changed their minds!"

Hall continued to stay in shape throughout his Marine Corps career. Lifting weights has ultimately become his favorite gym activity.

"I work out to look nice in clothes," Hall said. "Just to look nice. I'm not trying to be strong or trying to get big. Actually, I'm trying to lose weight!"

Although Hall holds a personal best of lifting 365 pounds, his muscular talents have their disadvantages.

"I think that I started working with heavy weights too early," Hall laughed. "I think that I stunted my growth, that's why I'm so short!"

Also, it is difficult for Hall to attain a score of 300 on his physical fitness test.

"My name and 300 PFT have always been in the same sentence," Hall said. "I think it was 'Staff Sergeant Hall has never had a 300 PFT.'"

"I'm not a fan of running, but I have recently incorporated cardio into my workout," Hall smiled. "I'll do the elliptical trainer and the stationary bike, but that's it."

Rest and relaxation has also become one of Hall's favorite past times after working out.

"Lifting weights help relieve the stress of the work day and doing nothing helps relieve the stress from lifting weights," Hall said.

Hall said lounging around with the ceiling fan blowing is what he enjoys the most.

"I did not have a lot of material things growing up, I guess that's why I appreciate the little things like the ceiling fan being able to work," Hall said.

After spending almost 10 years of his life in the Marines Corps, Hall said the experiences provided by the Corps and the people he has met is an experience that can not be matched in the civilian world.

"I like the Corps because there is a variety of people in it," Hall said. "We're like a melting pot. I have met many people that I have nothing in common except the fact that they are in the Corps. It forces you to look at the same situations from various points of view and I like that!"