Marshal Ashlin Becomes Roronoa Zoro

Discuss this post in RPG FitGroup!

We last spoke with real life game character Marshal Ashlin a year and a half ago, about his dramatic transformation from overweight to fighting fit!  Since then, he’s embarked on a personal quest to become the living embodiment of Roronoa Zoro from One Piece.  We had a little chat this past weekend about his progress and success in that endeavor, along with some awesome photos from his first Zoro cosplay photoshoot!

Zoro Selfie

D: Well it’s been a little while since we last checked in with you in August of 2016. How did 2017 treat you?

M: Interestingly. A lot of ups and downs, a bit of a yo-yo effect dealing with school, work, and training. Had my first full time semester back in college, nailed a research position, work 40 hours a week still, and kept above a 3.0 GPA while training 😅
So was very very busy, and made a consistent routine difficult, so there were times where i fell off and back on a few times
But overall, sticking to all of it was difficult yet rewarding!

D: Damn, dude. I understand the up-and-down bits, personally. That’s super impressive, maintaining all that at once. A lot of people really struggle with balance when it comes to staying in shape and also staying on top of school/work/family stuff. Do you have any specific techniques or tricks you found worked for staying on top of everything?

M: My favorite trick was just alarms, and a very regimented schedule I wrote up at the beginning of the semester!
So I’d write up my class and work schedule, plan out my regimen, and set up multiple alarms to remind me to go work out or do meal prep

D: Nice! Schedules are definitely key for me as well. My personal strategy is daily checklists, and liberal amounts of coffee. You mentioned you got a research position, congrats on that. What are you researching, if you can share?

Zoro Push Up

M: Doing undergraduate research for my Chemistry professor, studying various chemical reactions and trying to make them occur only with mechanical processes!
A very technical way of saying studying how to do stuff with less waste.

D: lol! Thanks for the layman’s terms version (though the fancy schmancy version is probably better at parties.) While we’re on the subject of mechanical processes (har har,) obviously your continued physique transformation is damn impressive, too. We’re going to go into your full workout program on Thursday, but just for today, how many days a week do you usually work out?

M: With this particular routine, I have been doing 5 days a week

After I added some intensity, I felt it best to take another rest day during the week

D: Smart. A lot of people really undervalue rest, especially when they first start working out. How long does your workout usually last, and are you a morning, afternoon, or evening workout person?

Zoro Hammer

M: Definitely a morning workout person. If I fail to start my day right, it’s immensely harder to stay focused
But considering my intense schedule, I have a split workout routine.
So I’ll do cardio and meditation in the morning, followed by strength training in the afternoons between school and work
Each session lasts maybe an hour and a half or so?

D: Yeah, personally I hate morning strength workouts. I’m usually stretching/mobility work in the AM, cardio if it’s a cardio day, and then strength in the afternoon. Now, last time you actually mentioned you wanted to try to get some more swimming in. Did you end up getting a chance to do that?

M: Unfortunately not at all. Our local community pool has odd hours that conflicted with schooling

Zoro Swords

D: Bummer, dude! Oh well. So, let’s talk your cosplay itself. Roronoa Zoro. Why him, in particular?

M: Zoro is an absolute beast. He is a training addict obsessed with his goals, and became a chief self-improvement inspiration for my training, and life goals in general.
Noone strives for strength in the One Piece world like Zoro does, and with every fight, every trial, and every training sesh i saw of it, just pushed me a bit more to be more zealous with my ambitions!

D: Yeah, he’s definitely right up there with the other training-addict badasses, for sure! It’s why I like Vegeta and Rock Lee so much, too. Of course, I’d say you’re definitely getting up there in the “badass crew” with your training regimen, too. 😛 Of course, everyone has to cut loose sometimes. Last time we discussed the importance of nutrition, and you shared a great little recipe for power pancakes. But today, why don’t you tell us what your FAVORITE cheat meal is?

M: Oh heck yeah! Rock Lee is definitely on my list 👌👌

Okay so cheat meal, my absolute favorite would be red curry from my local Thai place, seriously the best
Just like Rock Lee, gotta have a little Curry of Life for myself sometimes 💪
Extra spicy 👌

D: Yo. Curry is so damn good. 😳 Seriously. I’m on board with that. If you’re ever by some strange twist of fate in northern NJ, I’ll take you to the local thai place. I don’t go often because I’m the only one in my house that likes spicy stuff. So, do you have any post-Zoro cosplay plans on the horizon? Maybe Rock Lee?

M: Hahaha funnily enough I’ll be there in August for my brothers wedding 😅

Post Zoro plans for this year include a genderbent Nico Robin from One Piece, Fierce Deity Link from Majora’s Mask, Iron Fist from Marvel comics…..and Rock Lee might be in there somewhere 😏

D: Ha, small world! Maybe thai COULD happen. Nice “up and coming” list, as well. Fierce Deity is my particular favorite. I’ve always had a soft spot for Majora’s Mask… Well, I’m going to be doing a standalone post for your badass workout program on Thursday, but for now, I think we’re about done. As before, do you have any parting words of wisdom for our readers at home?

Zoro Handstand

M: Parting words of wisdom?
Well, if I had any advice to give to my old self, they would be to never be ashamed of falling off the wagon, and be proud of every time you pick yourself back up.

With life, nothing is truly predictable and stuff will always come out of left field to throw us off. So I find it’s important that I dont let it get me stressed out and I continue seeing each day as a fresh start

D: That is SO. IMPORTANT. Seriously, fantastic final thoughts. Well, thanks so much for checking in with us again, Marshal. Plenty of people found you to be an inspiration the first time around, and I’m sure even more will, this time. You really are getting up there with Zoro himself! Until next time, live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

M: Thanks a lot man!! I appreciate the high praise!
Until next time 💪


Marshal’s story is incredibly inspiring.  Between his 85 pound weight loss in his goal to be like Link, and now his ridiculous training regiment to become like Zoro, he’s COMPLETELY transformed himself as a person.  Speaking of that ridiculous training regimen, we’ll be posting it up on the blog this Thursday as the Roronoa Zoro Workout!  Check back for it then!

Also, if you’d like to stay updated on Marshal’s cosplay endeavors, check out his cosplay instagram at @dragonfly_cosplay  If you want to stay updated on his TRAINING progress, follow his personal instagram at @mdashlin

Until next time, as always, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

The Best Dan Wallace

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