U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence crew and several citizens were met with sunny skies and warm spring weather Tuesday during the very first “DILI-Fit” exercise along downtown Wilmington’s waterfront.
The exercise was the first in a series of fitness sessions held by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence in an effort to partner the crew with members of the community for some healthy fun, according to U.S. Coast Guard Spokeswoman Elizabeth Runci.
Eight community members joined more than 15 crew members to learn what it’s like to stay fit for the Coast Guard. During a mile and a half run along the Cape Fear Riverfront, the crew set up several stations along the boardwalk, which included push-ups, squats, lunges, bear crawls and more. The workout started at the the Diligence homeport, continued to Port City Marina and then backtracked to the ship.
Jamie Lynn Miller, a local resident and writer for Port City Marina, said she joined Tuesday’s workout because she has always been curious about what’s going on with the U.S. Coast Guard. Miller said she has lived in the area for about four years and has taken a tour of the ship.
“It looked really fun. I just found out about it. And I exercise a lot,” Miller said prior to the start of Tuesday’s exercise. “This is great! It’s for the community and it’s free.”
Diligence Cmdr. Matt Carter, who also participated in the workout with his crew, encouraged citizens to work at their own pace and enjoy the beautiful weather. That weather put everyone in high spirits Tuesday, with smiles, applause and shouting coming in for the last participant to finish the exercise. The workout took about an hour for everyone to complete.
Following the workout, Miller said the experience was challenging, but fun.
“It was great…It was hard to transition between the running and the lunging, the crawling across the grass. It was tough,” Miller said. “And the pull-ups were hard…I haven’t done those since the fifth grade. It was great, though. It was challenging. And it was cool doing exercise beneath the new band shell at Port City Marina.”
When they are homeported the Diligence engages with local citizens as much a possible, Carter said. The DILI-Fit sessions are just another way for the crew to get out into the community.
“I think it went great; glad to see some folks out here,” Carter said, adding he was hoping for more participation next week. “We had a good workout. It was a beautiful day and it was a whole lot of fun.”
The series is offered for citizens to take part in “military culture,” Carter said. The crew participates in their own exercises on Tuesdays and Fridays. The community is invited to take part in additional workout sessions in the coming weeks.
“We have a really unique relationship with the City of Wilmington as a Coast Guard city. Being one of the few on the East Coast…and because of our location here downtown, it’s kind of a neat situation because we’re not on a base, we’re right here up-front and center of downtown Wilmington on the Riverwalk. And that’s really unlike a lot of other situations that other ships have in the fleet,” Carter said.
DILI-Fit sessions will take place at noon every Tuesday until April 19, except for one session held on Monday, March 28. The workout sessions are free, open to the public and tailored to all ability levels. Participants will receive a certificate of participation and a DILI-Fit sticker.
Check the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence Facebook page for more information and to RSVP for any and all workout sessions. Community members are asked to bring a water bottle, workout attire, workout mat, and a great attitude.
(Click the slideshow below to view more photographs from Tuesday’s DILI-Fit session)