I see celebrities backing up causes, while not really doing the dirty work or getting hands on, a lot. Mark Wahlberg isn’t one of those people and it was so damn refreshing to not only see it but to talk to him about it.
This week, I experienced a fusion of two initiatives Mark supports: F45 Training and the Wounded Warrior Project. For those of you who aren’t familiar, F45 is a high-intensity, circuit training studio with 45-minute classes. (It’s bomb, although I’m shocked I can still feel my legs.) I love how the classes keep it moving and are easy to follow but still challenging — plus the music is ON POINT. Wounded Warrior Project was created out of 9/11 and offers programs and services for veterans to get their lives on track and to help reach their goals after serving. At the first workout I went to with Mark, there were vets in class including one with two prosthetic legs (and could still kick our asses) in light of F45 donating to WWP. Before the class, I got to talking to Mark about why he’s so invested in both.
In terms of WWP, he talked about what he saw when he actually went to Afghanistan in 2010 to visit troops and some of the experiences that’ll always stick with him. Given that I’m pretty used to seeing celebs write big checks to causes (and/or attend a fancy gala for one) and call it a day, I was impressed to hear about Mark getting out in the field and doing the work. But it also seems like it’s really meant so much to him to see what vets endure and sacrifice — and that’s when we got to talking about the good, old Hollywood bubble.
(video proof above)
People in Hollywood often preach to one another about beliefs and experiences they all already have. We agreed that LA, red carpets, the glamour, all of it, so easily makes people “lose touch with reality” and not recognize others suffering in, say, middle America or the rest of the country. (It’s funny, because the masses tend to look at celebrities as the all-knowing ones for answers.)
Although brief, I loved our talk. And I’ll be honest, I was even surprised by Mark’s workout mentality. The guy’s a beast, we all know this. But when I made a joke telling him I was prepared for him to totally kick our asses at F45, he responded in all seriousness saying that’s not really what it’s about. To him, it’s more about having each other’s backs and motivating the room to push themselves and get the work done.
After two days of F45 workouts with Mark, there are two things I know for sure: One, my burning inner thighs will thank me later. Two, you bet your ass I’ll be going again.