Thursday, March 13, 2014

PRT - Am I Ready? Are YOU?

I'm from a military ancestry. I grew up patriotic, disciplined and yes, obedient. That's not a bad thing, people!

I harbor a natural fascination for all things military. Some time back, I coached a young woman in the Navy Reserves who was worried about passing her annual PRT - Physical Readiness Test. We set up a plan for her to incrementally work toward her goals and face her test with confidence.

I have been thinking about the test ever since. It is "stuck in my craw" as my Grandma would say. It's not because I think the Physical Readiness Test is wrong, not at all. If someone is defending my country, it's nice to know they're physically ready to do so!  No, what bothers me about the test is that I know I couldn't pass it and not just because of my girth. I am not fit, no matter how much the label "fat but fit" is pasted on me.

I am not joining the Armed Forces, fear not. Even they are not ready for the likes of me! But it occurs to me that I have 3 very active [read "normal"] young children at a stage in my life where my friends have grown grandchildren. I want to be "physically ready" to defend them, or at least knock them out of harm's way. So . . . I have decided to prepare for the test.

Yes, this is a little nutty, but it is also a quite revealing.  Today I discovered that while I certainly can run 1.5 miles, I need to run them almost twice as fast as I did today. Twice as fast. That has quite a ring, doesn't it? The Navy expects a woman my age to run 1.5 miles in 16 minutes or faster. Today I ran a mile in 16. Oops.

There are push-ups and curl-ups too. Oh, yes. Guess what? I actually can't do either of these. Yikes. I can do a curl up, but I have to use my arms to get the momentum to leave the floor and I was able to do 26 of these modified curl-ups in 2 minutes, but the Navy says 26-81 regular ones would qualify me. Push-ups? 2 to 30.  I can't do even one, but I did manage a 30 second plank 3 times, so that's where I'm starting. I think if I can build enough strength to plank for 2 minutes, then I will be able to do at least one push up.

There is also a swimming component but I am a fair-weather-friend to swimming, so I am putting that off until June. In case you care, though, I'll need to be able to swim 500 yds in 15:50 or less.  I built up some good swimming skills a couple of years ago so I think this will be my easiest component, followed by running, then sit-ups, and finally push-ups.

I know this sounds a little kooky but it seems like a practical, coach-myself, fitness goal to work toward, don't you think? What do you think, actually? I have quite a few readers on Feedspot and a handful on Facebook and elsewhere but it's so quiet here.

Therefore, I'm issuing a challenge. Below are the links to the tables for the main US Armed Forces Branches. Pick one and join me. Let's set a date, say July 31. Who will be ready to join me in  a PRT on 7/31?  I can't HEAR YOU!  Step up, recruit, and be counted! (In the comments, if you please!)

United States Navy Physical Readiness Test for females and for males


Colleen Waller said...

Okay Navy here we come. I've been needing some structured exercise beyond walking that I can do on the road, and this fits the bill perfectly. Let's do it by 7-31 but plan on doing a celebratory 1.5 mile run together upon my return in early August. You are such a good friend and inspiration!

Dreena M. Tischler said...

Here is a handy link to learn to do pushups if you can't already do them. I was never required to do a real push up so here I go!

Gina Baehl said...

I'm in!! But, my 7/31 will be in Nashville so 8/2 back in RR.