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Gordon has participated in various sports since the age of 12. She attributes her involvement in sports to setting her up for the Marine Corps. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo

What I've Learned: Ra’Anna L. Gordon

1 Apr 2015 | Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

I was born and raised in Texas, so people tell me that I’m very southern. I have four sisters on my dad’s side who I’m very close with. My family is very small with just my mom, grandmother my baby brother and my step dad.

I’m the oldest one of all. My sister, Keyonna, she is 17, Dajae who is 15, Jasmine is 13 and Katilyn is 12.

They always ask me why I joined the Marine Corps. They think it’s pretty cool and Jasmine told me she is thinking about joining herself.

I powerlifted all throughout high school. I tried it a little bit my freshman year but I only went to practices because I was dedicated to track. My sophomore year came around and that’s when I started learning about weight classes and making sure I met weight every meet.

I’ve always liked to be different and no one else was doing powerlifting, so of course I wanted to try it and I have loved it ever since.

When you’re powerlifting you accomplish a lot. It requires you pushing yourself to the limit. You’re not running and you’re not doing conditioning but you’re going to feel as if you ran 10 miles if you actually put forth the effort.

I like the feeling that comes over you when you go past that breaking point, or when you reach a new max.

I also enjoy track, which I’ve been doing since middle school. We always did weight training and athletics in track. It was harder for me to revert back to it once I was through with powerlifting, because I gained more muscle and it slowed me down.

At the powerlifting meets we did squats, bench press and deadlift. When I went to state my senior year, I was in the 128 lbs. weight class. I squatted 285 lbs., the most I bench pressed was 135 lbs. and the most I got on deadlift was 345 lbs. All of those, except for my bench, were personal records.

The way I was raised, when you start something you finish it. I remember trying out for soccer when I was younger and thinking it was too cold to play. I wanted to quit and my mom told me no. Having track and powerlifting under my belt did help me transition to the Marine Corps. I was in good shape and I think it helped me mentally more than it did physically.

When I say getting in shape, I think more mental than physical, because your body can do more than it thinks it can. When you get tired, are you going to tell yourself you’re tired and quit or are you going to think past the pain and keep going.

I joined the Marine Corps because, I’ll never forget when I was sitting in government class and the recruiter came in. He was on-point and I liked what he was saying. I thought ‘I have to do something for myself’ and I went to the recruiting office and I enlisted.

Ultimately the reason I wanted to enlist was because of everything the Marine Corps stands for, I wanted for myself.

I am the [non-commissioned officer] of promotions at IPAC.

I’m leaving the [Combat Center] April 30, you never get complacent here. I think I’m going to miss it a lot along with the relationships I’ve formed and the friends that I’ve made.

I think getting the [Combat Center] as my first duty station will help me in my Marine Corps career, because you can learn a lot from being stationed here. We learn to make the best of everything, and I think my experience here will help me continue to stay positive in all situations.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms