At Fremont health club, we have a diverse and talented group of friends and members. Our focus this month is on one of those members, Tyler Gateman. Tyler is a regular at the gym and keeps himself in shape with Fremont Health Club. Tyler also works as a crab fisherman. His career is one of the most stressful and physically demanding on the planet. We wanted to not only showcase Tyler, but get an understanding about what it takes mentally and physically to deal with shifts that are 18+ hours. Let’s get to know Tyler now.
How does keeping in shape help with the rigors of working on a Crab/fishing boat?
Keeping in shape is a major help when working on a crab boat. The job requires every part of the body, from pushing 800-1000 lb. pots down the deck, to hand coiling 400 ft. of line, to running our 50lb. bait setups back and forth. Our schedule is 18 hours on and 6 off, so fatigue is inevitable but reduced tremendously when you’re physically fit.
How do you find enough calories to stay strong and keep going on your long shifts?
Finding enough calories is always a struggle on the boat. In our 18 hour shift we may get one cooked meal, which is prepared by me. Otherwise, it’s a power bar or hand full of nuts while you change out of your wet rain-gear.
Can you give readers some insight into the mental part of an 18-hour shift? I assume you can’t just put in earbuds because of the dangers and needing to hear crew members. You have to deal with staying up that long, sometimes demanding crew members and horrible weather and hunger-tell us what you do to block all of that out or deal with it.
The job itself is mostly mental, which is the reason why we’ve been through so many deck hands. I can count 10 in my 4-year span with the Wizard. The way I deal with the mental aspect of an 18- hour shift, hungry, cold and rough weather is I use my experience of training for nationals wrestling. The months of training, the long nights spent not eating and cutting weight, the rigorous three a day practices, the time spent away from home. The other thing that helps is you’re not alone. You have your crew right there with you who is just as tired, hungry and cold as you are.
While on deck we don’t wear headphones because of the dangers of not hearing what’s going on around you. For example- a pot in the crane over head or the captain on the loud hailer warning you of a giant wave about to crash over the rail.
Does the day to day work keep you in good enough shape?
The day to day grind on the boat keeps me in shape, but a lot more lean. I think that comes mostly from lack of caloric intake. When I’m home my weight is about 185. While I’m fishing I’m about 170-75.
Give us your favorite cheat meal when you’re training.
My favorite cheat meal is probably nachos. They are quick, easy and can be made somewhat healthy.
What do you do with your free-time?
With my free-time I enjoy riding my mountain bike, throwing the Frisbee and watching football.
It’s safe to assume you’re a Seahawks fan?
Yes you assumed right I’m an huge Seahawks fan! Great win Monday night!!
Thanks so much for speaking with us Tyler.
Thanks again Richard for this opportunity