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(NECN: Anya Huneke, Pittsfield, VT) - As we look forward to the 2010 and 2012 winter and summer Olympics, many top athletes are busy preparing. This week, a handful of wrestlers on the national team are in Vermont training- in a town some have dubbed the 'endurance capital of the world.' They’re working on a variety of things, but, surprisingly enough, wrestling is not one of them. Monday morning, Leigh Jaynes had her hands full, trying to make a dent in a woodpile that didn't seem to want to budge. Wet and muddy - and performing manual labor in the mountains of Pittsfield, Vermont - Jaynes knew she was a bit out of her element. Wrestling with an axe is not quite what Jaynes is used to... though wrestling certainly is. Jaynes is ranked number two in the U.S. in her weight class. And she has her sights set on number one. Leigh "I'm really close... me and the number 1 girl are 3 and 3 against each other." Which is why she's here... And why four other Olympic hopefuls are with her. Jenna PavlikOlympic Hopeful "Nobody else is doing this- standing out in the rain, cutting wood, running up mountains or anything." For four days, these nationally-ranked wrestlers are training in Vermont under the tutelage of Joe Desena- an adventure racer and the founder of 'peak races.' What does he know about wrestling? Very little... But he does know a lot about hard work. Joe DesenaPeak Adventures "A hard worker will get through anything you throw at them." During the athletes' time in Vermont, Desena - a Wall Street trader who moved to Pittsfield from Brooklyn - has thrown rock climbing .. sheep waste shoveling .. tire hauling .. endurance swimming .. nd wood splitting at them, among other things. None of which they - or he - knew were on the agenda. "I never have a plan- I just make it up as I go along... depending on the weather, how they look, how they feel." Except for a couple hours of sleep a night, the wrestlers have gotten little rest since they arrived in Vermont on Saturday. They flew into Rutland, were driven to Killington .. and then had to run the rest of the way to Pittsfield-- with their luggage... about 8 miles.." JD BergmanOlympic Hopeful "I've only run 8 miles once in my life before yesterday. Then they tell me I have to run it with bags." Three days into it .. J.D. Bergman didn't know what to make of his Vermont-style training... JD "I didn't really have any idea what I was getting myself into." He - along with dozens of other competitive male and female wrestlers - was offered the opportunity to come here... only five accepted... And now, he understands why. Happy or not, Bergman and the others say they recognize the value of challenging their bodies - and their minds - in a way they haven't before. Leigh: Really, you've got to be willing to do what your opponents aren't doing. I'm the only person in my weight class training like this- that gives me a mental and physical advantage." Desena believes that mental advantage is what distinguishes a top athlete from a runner-up, and it can't be honed, he says, simply by lifting weights or perfecting a skill set. Joe "Raking leaves might sound silly... but try doing it for 10 hours. It starts to get on you- not only physically but mentally: 'What am I doing here?' So my feeling is- if you can get past that- if you put your mind to it, you can do anything- and that's going to help you on the mat." Much like Rocky Balboa and his bare bones, stair-climbing, meat-punching workouts .. These athletes are stepping out of the gym in order to perform better in it. And they won't be the only ones reaping the benefits... This household, for example, will now have plenty of split wood to use for heat this winter. Joe: "I like to just ask people around town to support us- what they need around the house, what they could use help with... They tell us, and that becomes one of the challenges or tasks." So as chores are getting done around Pittsfield .. These wrestlers hope they're taking a step closer to the 2012 Olympics. And strange as it may seem this, they think, will help.