Airman shoots hoops, loses weight

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tres Taylor
  • 22nd Communications Squadron communications focal point technician
I never felt that I was an athletic person. As a result, physical fitness tests have always made me uneasy.

Knowing I was too out of shape to keep up with the rest of the squadron created a sense of dread within me at each PT session.

I was scheduled to deploy and had to take a PT test prior to my departure. I was extremely nervous, and with good reason because I was completely unprepared and out of shape.

There was no denying the fact that I had neglected my responsibilities as an Airman to maintain a proper level of physical fitness and stay within standards set by the Air Force.

The dread was palpable on the day of my PT test. I knew I was going to fail, but I needed a current PT score in order to deploy to Kuwait.

After getting the waist measurement, I knew a score of 75 was impossible. From there it only got worse as I was only able to do 13 push ups. My final score for the day was a miserable 21.

At this point, I decided that I had to make my deployment count and turn around not only my fitness score, but my overall health as well.

When I got to the desert, I made it my goal to work hard to lose some of my 250 pounds. My coworkers in Kuwait were avid basketball players and they invited me to join them. Looking to get the ball rolling on my fitness improvement, I readily jumped at the opportunity.

We would play seven days a week anywhere between one to two hours at a time. Along with playing basketball, I also decided to eat better and drink only water. I ate three meals a day, and made sure I watched my portions while staying away from fried or unhealthy foods.

While there, I transitioned from only playing basketball to running and lifting weights. After one month of working out six to seven times a week, I lost 25 pounds. By the time I left Kuwait four months later, I had dropped my weight from 250 to 196 pounds. Telling myself that this wasn't strictly a deployment weight loss, I made the choice to continue eating healthier when I finally arrived home.

Although I was still quite nervous when I took my test at McConnell, I felt much lighter and more prepared. I had decreased my run time from 18 minutes 58 seconds, to 12 minutes 54 seconds, and my waist had dropped from 43 inches to 36 inches. My pushup and sit-up numbers also increased. This gave me a passing test score of 76.

Although I was happy to have increased my PT fitness score and to pass the test, I still didn't feel good enough about the results. I was still very close to failing.

With that in mind, I continued to keep working at my fitness, and striving for a higher score. I started running around my neighborhood at night, and was gratefully pushed to run longer and harder by my friend and coworker, Staff Sgt. Jonathan Cissna.

With the continued efforts to improve and the new PT scoring system, I was able to score an 89.78 on my next PT test, I was also able to complete the run with my fastest time yet, 11 minutes 26 seconds.

I am encouraged by the results that I have seen, and feel that I am on my way to scoring an excellent on my next PT test. Thanks to my family and friends, I now feel confident about PT sessions and know that I will never again be unprepared for my next PT test.