Rivs and Ick: A six-legged workout duo formed in Guatemala

READ TIME:3 min.

After waking early and taking a boat ride across Lake Atitlan, the film crew and iFIT Trainer Tommy Rivs stepped onto the dock at San Juan, Guatemala, ready to shoot workouts 6 and 7 for his Road to Recovery Part 5 Series. With all of our gear in tow, we began our long trek to the beginning of workout 6. Within five minutes, we were met by a stray dog. She was friendly, and the locals told us they named her “Ick.” Ick means “moon” in Kakchiquel, a dialect used by people around Lake Atitlán. This lake was formed 84,000 years ago caused by a massive eruption by a nearby volcano. The towns surrounding the lake are steeped in Mayan culture. It’s a beautiful place filled with kind and welcoming people.

Ick stood out from the other stray dogs because she not only came to us for food, but she wanted to play with us. After giving her a snack and kicking an old plastic soda bottle back and forth, we said goodbye and continued our trek. And Ick decided to join us.

We kept playing with her on our walk, each of us anticipating her to eventually go back to the dock where she could get food in a high-foot-traffic area. But she stayed with us. Once we got to the trail and started our hike up the mountain, our group started to split up, with some resting and some pushing ahead. Ick’s instincts kicked in, and she began herding us up the mountain, going back and forth between the two groups to make sure everyone stayed together.

Eventually, we made it to the top, where we would start workout 6. As a stray, Ick suffered from malnourishment and was exhausted after going up and down the trail multiple times to keep us all together. She drank water, ate some crew-given snacks, and finally fell asleep.

Once we were ready to shoot the workout, we assumed Ick would keep sleeping. But as soon as Tommy began descending the trail, Ick immediately got up and ran to his side. And in workout 6, the most powerful iFIT Trainer duo was formed. Ick stayed with Tommy most of the workout, occasionally going out of frame to keep everyone together. Ick stayed with us the entire day. 

While filming, Guatemala’s President at that time, Alejandro Giammattei, let us use the services of his security team. They helped us the entire time we were there. Juan, one of the security guards, decided to adopt Ick. He lives on a farm near Lake Atitlán, and he wanted to give Ick to his wife as a birthday present.

Hearing this news, Alejandro, President Giammattei’s son who was with us for most of the trip, scheduled an appointment with a vet and paid to have Ick receive a check-up, get all of her shots, and enjoy a day at the spa getting cleaned and groomed. But first, we had to get Ick on the boat back, and she wanted nothing to do with it.

Terrified, Ick refused to get on the boat but wanted to stay with us. Juan picked her up and carried her onto the boat. Laying at the front of the boat, Ick continued shaking once the boat started. Tommy then got up from his seat and sat down on the floor next to Ick. He pulled her on top of him and held her for the duration of the 30-minute bumpy boat ride across the lake.

Today, Ick is a healthy one-year-old mixed breed pup and is loving life in her new home. Juan texted one of our crew members and said, “She is well cared for by my daughters. They love her very much.”

Ick, just like the rest of us, is on her own Road to Recovery journey to overcome challenges and lean on others to get through the tough moments. It’s something we all need to do, and it’s something Rivs’ series teaches us. Staying healthy and fit isn’t easy. It’s a road with steep climbs, unexpected turns, and fast downhills. But with community, we can stay the course and reach our ultimate goal of living a healthier, happier life.

Make sure to join Rivs for the complete Road to Recovery Part 5 Series. Ick’s biggest cameo comes in workout six. If you want to see more of Ick, or catch some of the action behind the scenes of filming this new series, check out our Instagram. We can’t wait for you to get to know Ick. She’s the best dog and was the best workout partner Rivs could have asked for.

Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.

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