From teachers to finance managers, many IFBB Pro League participants pursue their physical and competitive dreams as they pursue full-time careers both offstage and outside the weight room. Ronnie Coleman was best known as a police officer early in his reign as Mr. Olympia.
Charjo Grant is just one of many inspiring examples of bodybuilders devoted to full-time military service.
Grant was a former outside linebacker at Newberry College who joined his school ROTC program while participating in an academic / athletic scholarship. He was eventually commissioned as an officer in the Army National Guard. After previously serving as a logistics officer in Kosovo, he is now part of the Command General Staff Officer College of the US Army. For Grant who served in the military since 2002 he has been the youngest member of a family tradition that comes from his point of view.
"I have a long list of people in my family who have served in the military," Grant said. “These guys and women played a role when I was growing up. My father also worked in the army for a short time. I knew I wanted to be a part of it somehow. ”He has served in the military for a long time, but he has made it clear that it is more than a job for him. "I love it," he said emphatically.
He has received honors throughout his career including the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and others. Military service providers like Grant take great pride in their commitment. A pride that is sometimes misunderstood as arrogance. t like that, says Grant.
“Because of our military orientation, people may feel that we think we are better than them. We're just normal people like you. We have feelings and just want to be treated regularly. "
Another aspect of his job that he never takes for granted is maintaining his health and fitness. Grant approaches his training and nutrition plan as much as he does his military service.
"Physical fitness and wellness are very important to me as a service member and as a professional bodybuilder," he says.
“Being able to maintain a high level of fitness on all fronts: mentally, physically and spiritually keeps me in a positive attitude. Mindset is everything, ”said Grant. “As an active duty officer, I have to be prepared for anything. Staying fit all year round gives me security every day. "
Grant was already exercising for his own reasons and career, but he decided to pursue a passion for bodybuilding as well. This passion led him to become a professional in the Men's Physique Division. This year's DC Pro Champion is surrounded by a team of supporters.
“I have a good support system here at home,” he said proudly of his newly married wife, Angelique Grant. "She was great, my three daughters were also very supportive." He also works with coach Omar Ventura, who also works with his competitors Raymont Edmonds and Andre Ferguson and coach Dwayne Turner. Together they have their sights set on Grant competing in the Men's Physique Division at the 2021 Olympics in Orlando, Florida.
“The preparation is going well. School was very stressful. I'm doing a high school diploma so I do a lot of research. Since the diet goes up and down with the carbohydrates, every day is an important day, especially since we are at the end. "
Win or lose, Grant is humble knowing he gave 100% as with all aspects of his career.
"The level of sacrifice, discipline, determination, patience, and confidence that I needed to prepare for this was unimaginable," he says. "I have a lot of respect for all competitors because I know that we all have similar qualities for doing what we do."