Thursday, March 5, 2009

Three Weeks of Remedial PT



Tonight marks the third week I have been leading Remedial PT. Each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening at 7pm, I lead the fitness training for those who failed one or more of the three events of their last PT test. The test is pushups, sit ups and a two-mile run. Of the 20+ soldiers in my group, most failed the run or the run plus one or two other events. Only two soldiers failed just situps, and no one in my group just failed the pushups.

The good news for those who get back up to speed on the run is that fixing the run almost always leads to better performance on the other two. And I already have two graduates. Two soldiers who were too slow on the run on their last PT test, ran two miles under their required time and now they don't have to show up for my formation.

But for the others, three weeks is a big deal. Most of the soldiers in remedial do not have a habit of fitness training. Most organizing or exercising gurus say if you can keep a habit for three weeks, you can potentially keep it for a lifetime. On the negative side, that's probably the same threshold for smoking or other bad habits.

So the remedial PT soldiers are getting better and they are on the way to changing their habits. I was talking to one of the soldiers today and had a Dostoevsky moment. I told him I was here partly because of wanting to do good and never getting around to actually doing it. We agreed that pretty much everybody on this deployment wants to do good in some way and also wants to clean up some part of their lives: money, fitness, weight, whatever. Dostoevsky says there is a spark of God in all of us, but we need to fan it into a flame.

Family Black Sheep Flies a MEDEVAC Blackhawk

Brooklyn-born Amira Talifi, (not her real name) is a helicopter pilot I served with in the Army National Guard. She is one of seven ch...