Airman falls to rise as fitness success

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Armando A. Schwier-Morales
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The strict environment of basic military training produces Airmen at a peak of their fitness, but maintaining it for one McConnell Airmen was a challenge and a way to success.

In 2007 Staff Sgt. Kathryn Trinidad, 22nd Operation Group analyst, arrived at McConnell in "the best shape of her life." However, a steady stream of restaurant chains and a lack of a fitness routine caused weight gain and decreased morale.

"Inside I knew I wasn't in shape," said Sergeant Trinidad. "However, it wasn't until a friend kindly pointed out I wasn't where I wanted to be [physically], that I took action."

After this nudge, Sergeant Trinidad made a choice to get back to her peak using all the resources she had.

"On my physical test, I shoot for 100s and nothing less," said Sergeant Trinidad. "We all made a commitment to be at our best and represent a good image for the Air Force, and that means being physically fit."

She began her climb by educating herself on nutrition. Then she avoided restaurants that she liked, skipped carbonated drinks and avoided fried foods. While maintaining her new lifestyle, she still rewarded her sweet tooth once a week.

"Sweets and desserts, both a huge favorite of mine, became a once a week treat so I didn't lose my sanity," said Sergeant Trinidad. "Cutting out sweets not only kept me sane, it gave me something to work for."

Along with eating better, she also incorporated workouts from fitness magazines into her new lifestyle. This proved to be difficult as Sergeant Trinidad was not in as good shape as she believed.

"When I started running again, I realized that something I had once loved doing was now something I detested," said Sergeant Trinidad. "It was difficult and discouraging because of how out of shape I had really become."

Despite the speed bumps, she pushed forward and added weight training, pushups and situps into her workout. As she made the effort to get back to her peak, she reached for her wingmen's help. One wingman that came to her side was Senior Airman Joshua Turner, Air Force Central Command analyst.

"I helped her by incorporating more weight training into her routine," said Airman Turner. "She was always very self motivated and very upbeat, almost impossible to be angry around her; there was never a dull moment."

The constant effort of Sergeant Trinidad, and the help of her friends, lead to her increasing her pushups by 21 repetitions, situps by 12, and decreasing her body fat by 13 percent. She also decreased her run time to less than 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

With her new numbers, she had not only meet her old fitness peak, she had increased it. However, Sergeant Trinidad doesn't want her progress to end here.

"My body and the bodies of my fellow Airmen are not getting any younger, so we need to treat them with respect and take care of them both by running the engines and fueling them correctly," said Sergeant Trinidad. "I know it isn't always easy but in the end, I've found that staying active has increased not only my physical health, but my emotional wellbeing and even my confidence."