Just do it

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Malherek
  • 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron
Do you remember when your parents had to drag you inside from playing outdoors? I'm still trying to figure which point in our lives some of us lost the desire to run like the wind to dreading each lap around the track.

I think people just dislike PT because it's hard, physical work that requires a long-term commitment. In my 29-year Air Force career emphasis on physical fitness has improved dramatically, but I feel we still fall short of being battle ready.

Airmen who know they have to take the PT test once or twice a year sometimes forget they can be deployed at a moment's notice. They may need the strength and stamina that comes with having a healthy, active lifestyle at all times.
The reluctance to remain in peak physical condition at all times keeps our physical therapy clinics gainfully employed with Airmen who attempted to do a year's worth of exercise in just two hours.

Getting duty time to PT, the latest and greatest fitness equipment and facilities and the simple pass or fail check blocks on the performance reports have all been great catalysts for a fit force.

Monitoring fitness year round is not new concept. Many units are already conducting "mock" PT tests. If I could predict the future I'd tell you that random PT tests much like we do urinalysis testing will be the wave of the future. We are all supposed to be expeditionary at all times. What else is there to debate?

I am the first to admit that as I age, it's harder to get the miles in, but being paid to be fit is a pretty good gig. Everyone should be taking advantage of time, equipment, facilities and other resources to fully embrace the physical pillar of Comprehensive Airman Fitness.

For those of you never likely to be tasked to operate out of the mountains in Afghanistan or convoy for hours on end through a third-world country you need to be fit a home station. Here you wear the uniform, project a professional military image and take pride in your part of the mission - whatever those tasks may be.

As a supervisor, I try to impart the importance of PT to my subordinates. I couch benefits of reduced, stress, better cardiovascular health and longevity. On cold, rainy days when we PT outside I remind my team that it was 17 degrees in Afghanistan yesterday. And, on other days, "just do it" will suffice.

Dig deep. Overcome whatever obstacles you may have be it injury, age or lack of motivation. Never fail to set the example for your subordinates and know that the bar will always be raised for the new standards - never lowered.

Find your inner child. Play, run and enjoy PT.