Passing Your PT Test ... for Life! (Sept 2011)

Oklahoma Air National Guard, Tulsa OK -- With the annual PT test coming up, some of us are dusting off our running shoes to go hit the track a couple times a week and to crank out sit ups and pushups so we can pass our PT test. Some of us pant, moan, and groan that we have to actually do PT or run. I'm sure you've heard the wise cracks and jokes about it... "The only time I run is when someone's chasing me." "The only curls I do are 12 ounce ones." I'm sure you've heard these and others. Instead of pushing your timeline too close to be ready for the PT test, why not stay ready?
We talk about mission readiness and preparedness in the military. It will be easier if we stay ready and prepared in our lives even when it comes to physical fitness.
I was always overweight growing up. In 2006, I reached my max of nearly 220lbs with a 42 inch waist. It took a wakeup call for me to change my life... and it all started with baby steps. Five years, fifty-five pounds and ten inches later, I have made this a lifestyle change. I eat small frequent meals. I lift in the gym and get my cardio through sports, soccer and running. Exercise and good nutrition has literally changed the quality of my life. I now enjoy playing co-ed soccer for the Tulsa Air National Guard soccer team. One day a week I have a splurge day and it's a lifestyle I enjoy. I enjoy the lifestyle change so much that I am working on my certification in personal training. I have learned small things to do that have helped me and many others in preparation to excel at physical events.
Here's a life idea- why not start taking baby steps towards physical fitness today? Rather than deciding to hit the gym a couple months or even a couple weeks before your annual PT exam, make it a weekly event. In your schedule, pen in a time to work out several times a week. Make it realistic. It has to be do-able for you to stick with it and do well. Find a timeframe that works and commit to following through. You will find that consistency is critical to success. Over time it will become a habit, like brushing your teeth or putting on your shoes every day. Realize that it is about baby steps, about progress and not perfection. This should not be a 12 week stint to your target weight and stop there. Make this a positive change that will last a lifetime.
We may be good with keeping our time and word at work and with individuals, but do we honor self promises? We will be most effective in our lives and in the lives of others when we take care of ourselves. In chaplaincy this is known as 'self care.'
It is easier to maintain your physical fitness and health rather than to have to find yourself ten or thirty pounds overweight and have to scramble to get yourself in shape for the 'big day.' Don't wait until the doctor diagnose you with diabetes or high blood pressure, or find that you have pain in your chest that scares you into realizing you need to develop a healthy lifestyle.
In an interview with CMSgt of the Air Force James Roy, he explained the new fitness standards will affect more than just the fitness of the Air Force... "Mission readiness- this is the reason we do this... got to make sure our airman are absolutely ready, fit to fight."