The Exceptionally Long Road To Fitness

I’m in the military. Being fit is only optional if you don’t care if they throw you out. Seeing as that isn’t the way I want to go out (I pictured something more like ‘A1C dies surfing a tsunami on a 2X4), I have to conform. That’s not a strong point of mine.

Throughout life I have made a habit of doing the opposite of what the crowd did. I joined ROTC when everyone was joining team sports and FAA or Key Club, I created a semi-racist club just because I got bored at a predominantly black school, etc.etc.  And that made people blindly follow me. This is how I came to the conclusion that joining the military was a good idea for me. It made no nevermind that I had never in my life done a sport of any kind, and therefore was incredibly out of shape. This would haunt me for the rest of my career.

Basic only marginally helped me get a little better. I am an incredible klutz,  on week 6 of basic I tore a ligament in my right ankle. Needless to say this didn’t help my already suffering physique.  Tech school PT was a joke. I wasn’t the slowest person out there, therefore, I assumed I was doing fine. Then the real air force happened. No scheduled PT time meant I wasn’t going. Not going led to eating bad because, hey, I just got out of basic, I can afford it. Well… you can’t afford it for 2 years.

Recently I started to feel everything around me spinning out of control. My job was stressing me out, my health was deteriorating and my lack of exercise had nothing to do with it. On top of that I had recently failed a PT test and leadership was coming down hard on me. I felt helpless.

That’s when I started dating Levi. He made me feel better about everything going on, not placating to my bad moods but making me do things to relieve stress. Namely: Running.Having someone to look good for will make you do things that normally you wouldn’t do. As I’m sure everyone can relate to. I mean, who ENJOYS diet and exercise? No one. I want chocolate cake everyday but I know that doesn’t fit with the image I have in my head. So to the track I went with an iPod and bad attitude.

At first it sucked horribly. I hate running. I am terrible at it. But damn if don’t feel great afterwards. He gave me something to control in my crazy life. My new PT schedule was getting noticed and leadership started to lay off me. I had a blood transfusion and I started getting faster. It was actually nice to think you can do better, know you can do better, and then do your best. It was painful but at the end of the day you know you did something.

Then something amazing happened. I started noticing muscle tone. My goals shifted from just running because I could control it, to running because it was good for me and made my outside look as good as I felt inside. No dietary supplements or quick fixes, just natural exercises.

Motivation is a key element, and knowing you are your own worst enemy in that field is also important. It isn’t easy, but since when is anything that is good for you easy? That isn’t how life works.

If I can do that anyone can. Unless you’re like my sister who has been smoking for 10 years and apparently has earned the right to 1) Never run and 2) Smoke inside. I will concede that point.


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