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    South Carolina National Guard McCrady Training Center firefighters place first in bodybuilding competition

    South Carolina National Guard McCrady Training Center firefighters place first in bodybuilding competition

    Photo By Sgt. Chelsea Weaver | Strength, grit, and resiliency are just some of the many qualities needed to be a...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Flonasia Neals 

    South Carolina National Guard

    COLUMBIA, S.C.- Strength, grit, and resiliency are just some of the many qualities needed to be a firefighter. These same qualities are also what it takes to participate in an intense competition that puts these same qualities to the test. South Carolina National Guard McCrady Training Center firefighters Josh White and Shirley Morgan harnessed these same qualities and placed first in their first bodybuilding competitions in April and June 2021.

    Before competing in bodybuilding, both White and Morgan were heavily into fitness. White previously served in the U.S Army for seven years as a motor transport operator and a master fitness trainer. Morgan participated in a routine workout regiment while serving as a volunteer firefighter for the City of Columbia.

    "I have always been pretty engaged in physical activity, training, and overall health. Once [my expiration of term of service] came, I decided to take on a new challenge and try to take my fitness to the next level and compete," stated White.

    "I used to work out normally just going to the gym for overall health when I decided to do the competition back in February," added Morgan.

    Having a background in fitness and working as firefighters for McCrady Training Center provided White and Morgan with the mental and physical discipline needed throughout the journey.

    "You have to be disciplined as far as getting your workouts in, getting your meals in, and sticking to the game plan," said White.

    Being novices in the field of bodybuilding, White and Morgan faced some challenges.

    "What was challenging about the process [was] the fact that it [was] time-consuming. It [took] a lot of time out of your day. I'm a mom, I go to school online, and I work, so it was sometimes overwhelming, but I got through it, and I said that it was something that I had to do, so I could not quit. I dealt with what I had to deal with," said Morgan.

    Although time-consuming, the results of White's and Morgan's journeys were rewarding. White placed first in the men's physique while Morgan placed first in the overall wellness division.

    "The competition itself was like walking across the stage as far as when you go to school, you do all the hard work and preparation leading up to the actual competition where you display the hard work that you put in," said White.

    Both White and Morgan attribute a significant portion of their success to the support system displayed by their leadership at the McCrady Training Center Fire Department.

    "We have a very supportive team and chief and captain, and everyone here supports us going to the gym," said Morgan

    "My fire chief and all my leadership have been extremely supportive as far as giving me the time I need to get certain workouts done," added White.

    White and Morgan's discipline and resiliency correlate both in the gym and in the fire station.

    "Shirley and Justin are undoubtedly two of our young firefighters who embraced this challenge and continually encouraged other members. As future leaders, they are both ahead of pace because they already understand and are working toward the whole-firefighter concept," said Chief Andrew James, Chief of Fire & Emergency Services for McCrady Training Center.

    With the continuous support of friends and family coupled with the dedication and triumph of their first competition, White and Morgan look to compete again in the next coming months.

    "[My] future looks bright. I'm actually in preparation for my next show, in which I would like to compete in the next level and hopefully take home another first place," stated White.

    The mental and physical strength it takes to be a firefighter and bodybuilder is a strength that others can look upon to reach their goals.

    "I just hope that people look at us and think if they did it, we can do it, or at least motivate someone to work out a little bit, go walking, eat healthier, include a workout now and then for your overall health," stated Morgan.

    The South Carolina National Guard McCrady Training Center Fire Department offers additional fire protection services for the surrounding areas. The team at the McCrady Training Center fire station includes medics, fire marshals, inspectors, and mechanics.



    Date Taken: 11.01.2021
    Date Posted: 11.15.2021 13:03
    Story ID: 408459
    Location: COLUMBIA, SC, US 

    Web Views: 13
    Downloads: 0