• Mosibodi Whitehead

'Put your body under subjection and tell it you're not tired, it's not cold' - Warrior Ric

Few can do a better job of motivating even the most reluctant couch potato across the finish line than Ricardo Gressel. If that name doesn't ring a bell then Warrior Ric certainly will. The American who first came to South Africa in 1994 as a model, has since made a name for himself as the voice of motivation at the gruelling Jeep Warrior Races. And when he's not encouraging muddy participants up rope ladders and down 20 meter jumps, he works as a change agent helping people and companies achieve ultimate success through living their brand. But the humble man that he is - he simply prefers to be called a coach.


Warrior Ric motivates some youngsters during one of his infamous bootcamps. Photo Credit: Ricardo Gressel.

"Exercise for me is getting out of bed," he tells #TheTopRunner as he gets ready to tackle the SPAR Women's Virtual Challenge. "I've got to put this body under subjection and say: you are not cold, you are not tired, it is not dark outside. So exercise for me is movement. It's a movement of mind, body and spirit together to say that we're doing this for the good. We're not doing it because it's comfortable, we're doing it because it's for our good," is his advice.


You see Warrior Ric has teamed up with South Africa's most loved 10km series to inspire more of us to stay active during a time when lockdown weight gain has become more commonplace than the Saturday afternoon family braai. In the absence of the once pervasive weekend 10km and 21km races, many have lost their motivation to train. But Ric believes that this is precisely the time when we should be exercising more for our physical, spiritual and mental well-being.


Warrior Ric speaks to school children to educate them on Gender Based Violence. Photo Credit: Ricardo Gressel.

"As women come together, SPAR wants them to feel comfortable to get out and run, to walk, to exercise for mental and spiritual wellness," he says. He believes the SPAR Women's Virtual Challenge on the 4th of September is just the goal to keep you focused and getting out of bed to keep up with your training programme.


Gressel is also an activist against Gender Based Violence, who feels that the SPAR Women's Virtual challenge provides a safe space for men to embrace their femininity and listen to the issues affecting women. "I hope I won't always be living in a patriarchal society, but it remains a man's world. I call it the prejudicial eye. We all have prejudices. So as a man I've had to shut up and listen. I've had to unlearn."



Tune into SuperSport Variety this week as well as Showmax and DStv Now for more motivation from Warrior Ric. Enter the SPAR Women's Virtual Challenge online at www.sparvirtualchallenge.co.za

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