22nd AMDS Airman learns 'core' values

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Abigail Klein
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Maintaining physical fitness is a mindset, but for one McConnell Airman, maintaining her fitness was not about dedication, it was about learning the 'core' values.

Tech. Sgt. Mary Nelson, 22nd Aeromedical Squadron Optometry Clinic NCOIC, was accustomed to scoring "Excellent" on her physical fitness tests, but after having a baby in August 2009, she was shocked to discover that she was unable to do a single sit-up.

"I had a baby and it required C-section, so getting back [to my fitness level] abdominally was really difficult," Sergeant Nelson said. "It really made me worry about my next PT test."

Despite this anxiety, Sergeant Nelson was able to score an 89 on her test in February of 2010. This score was made possible only by extremely hard work, said Sergeant Nelson.

Before her daughter's birth, Sergeant Nelson exercised three to four days a week, performing mostly running and weight training. To help recover her past fitness levels, Sergeant Nelson went to McConnell's Health and Wellness Center.

"I basically told her that she needed to work on building her core muscles because after a woman gives birth, the core muscles are weakened," said Lou Stadler, 22nd Aerospace Medical Squadron health promotion flight chief. "To rebuild these muscles she had to do a lot of regular crunches, oblique crunches, side bridges, planks, single leg reverse curls and back extensions."

This hard work allowed Sergeant Nelson to score a 98 on her next test in August 2010.

Not completely satisfied with this score, Sergeant Nelson also participated in the HAWC's Biggest Loser Challenge which began in January and ended in March. Though her group didn't win the challenge, her participation allowed her to get back into a "training mode."

"It takes dedication to come back from anything like that or from any injury or failure, but if you just put in the time, you'll see the results," Sergeant Nelson said. "On my next test I would love to get a 100; that's the goal."

Sergeant Nelson continues to work out four to five times a week. Along with a perfect PT score, she would like to be able to run a half-marathon in the near future.