Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today we had a surprise PT (Physical Testing). I loved PT when I took karate years ago; it's rewarding to see quantifiable improvement.

Today's PT consisted of push-ups (as many as you can in 2 minutes), crunches (as many as you can in 2 minutes), and a one mile run. I was looking forward to it.

Then Sgt. Ken explained the push-up rules. Military style. From your toes. Drop to your knees, and you are DQ'd.

And with those words, all of the confidence and pride I've been building up over the last three weeks was gone. That frightened, weak little fat girl immediately took over my head, and I was terrified. I couldn't do a single push-up from my toes; I just knew it. I had tried before, and I've never been able to lift myself at all.

So as I sat there, on my knees, waiting for Sgt. Ken to give the ready command, I choked back tears (y'all are really getting tired of what a crybaby I am, aren't you?), and told myself that I just had to do what I could; my best was all I had to offer. My teammates obviously saw my terror (I'm imagining that my face was pasty white with red-rimmed, bloodshot eyes ready to go at any second), and they encouraged and reassured me that I was going to do fine. I felt like I was kneeling there waiting for a baseball bat to the back of the head. Sgt. Ken must have seen how afraid I was as well, because he came over and reassured me that I didn't have to do very many to pass. Still, I was sure it was more than none.

Time to go. I got into position, lowered my arms to 90°, and to my astonishment, pushed myself up. I did one.

Then I did another. And another...and another. Twenty-three in all. That might have been the lowest number in the class (I don't know), but it was enough for me to pass that portion of the test. And it was 23 more than I thought I could do.

Next were crunches. There's no real story there; I passed with them, but I didn't do as many as I'd like (109). I'm going to really try to focus on my ab work and improve that number next time.

Then we did a one mile run. My normal running pace is a 10:00 to 11:00 mile. I've never really tried to push myself any faster than that. Well, today we were expected to push ourselves, so I did. I told myself it's just a mile; I can walk it in at the end if I have to. So I ran beyond my comfort zone. I had to walk twice, but then I got right back into my pace. It was a tough mile. I finished in 8:32. That's the fastest mile I have ever done.

The entire class nailed it. Everyone in the class is amazing, from the most elite of the athletes to the greenest beginner. We all have heart, determination, and drive. It is an INCREDIBLE team and I am proud to be a part of it.

No comments: