How fitness became a way of life in 22nd MXS

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Lucas Shepard
  • 22nd Maintenance Squadron Unit Fitness Program manager
Fitness is for me an essential part of my day, every day.

Maintaining a high level of fitness allows me to function at my best in all aspects. It allows me to be ready to take on each and every challenge, by giving me a high level of physical and mental toughness. I recently helped my squadron increase our passing rate from 84 percent to 92 percent, while leading as an example by scoring 100 on three PT tests in a row.

I am able to maintain my level of fitness and help others because I make time for it each day. I believe maintaining good fitness is not only a job requirement, it is key to living a long and healthy life. No matter how long the work day is, I always find time to squeeze a workout in. It doesn't have to be a long block of time.

Before I workout I set goals for myself, this makes it fun and exciting. Whether it is completing the workout of the day in a certain time, lifting a certain amount of weight or running a certain distance, I always strive to achieve my daily goal.

This allows me to keep fitness fun and to maintain that competitive edge. It is this competitive edge that I try to instill in the members of my squadron. During our squadron PT, I provide them with workouts that are both physically and mentally challenging. Often times I give them workouts that are nearly impossible to complete to purposely help them test their limits. My workouts are all based on incorporating full body, functional movements. All of the exercises that I perform during my workouts are compound movements. This essentially means that they work many different muscles and joints at the same time.

My workouts are based on further developing my core strength because a major factor in having great overall fitness is having a strong core. This core strength is what allows me to continuously perform these compound movements. Using my knowledge of core strength I incorporated it into my squadron's PT.

I constantly vary every workout to prevent my body from getting stuck in a routine, very rarely doing the same workout more than once.

I am always trying to improve on my weaknesses. This means that I have to mentally prepare myself to be humble at times when I am struggling at something. It is important for me to keep from just doing exercises that I am good at. This allows me to have the best overall fitness that I can have.

I tried to teach my squadron that fitness is not about the amount of time spent in the gym, but more about what I do with the time that I'm there. I keep myself motivated  to workout by focusing more on accomplishing the goals I set for myself, instead of worrying about how much time I need to put in.

I not only enjoy achieving personal goals through fitness, but also helping others to achieve their goals. It is not about being the biggest, fastest or strongest person; it's about being the best you can be.

I don't ever compare my fitness level to other people because there is always going to be someone who can outperform me. I just want to get better each time I get to workout. I use this mentality not only to better my overall fitness, but also in hopes that the example I set will inspire the members of my squadron to do the same.

I have witnessed people do some great things with their fitness in my time as the 22nd Maintenance Squadron Unit Fitness Program manager. I really enjoy watching people improve their fitness to levels that they might have thought were previously unattainable. I give a lot of credit to the members of my squadron for following the example that I have set for them, and making fitness important in their lives.