NCO trains for PT Excellence

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Armando A. Schwier-Morales
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Scoring above 90 points on the Air Force physical training test just wasn't enough for one McConnell Airman.

Starting in 2008 and still continuing, Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Smith, 22nd Logistic Readiness Squadron Quality Assurance NCOIC, began an overhaul of his lifestyle to improve his nutrition and fitness.

"I realized I could be better and needed to make a change for me, which meant that I needed to make a conscious decision about my workouts and food choices," said Sergeant Smith.

Prior to this change, Sergeant Smith's fitness test score fluctuated between 92 and 95 points with a 34 inch waist. He was also running a mile and half under 10 minutes and 22 seconds. At the same time, Sergeant Smith was dealing with medical issues including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and a weight of 170 pounds.

"I was doing okay with the old scores for my age, but I knew I could do better," said Sergeant Smith.

Sergeant Smith first began by changing his physical fitness routine. He went from doing zero minutes of weight training to 30 minutes a day, three times a week. Then he increased his cardio training to five days a week, equating to approximately six miles each time.

"Sergeant Smith improves every day," said Tech. Sergeant Rocky Sasse, Fuels Compliance and Environmental NCOIC. "The main factor to showcase his improvements would have to be his run times that range between 8 minutes and 33 seconds, and 8 minutes and 56 seconds. The [times] speak for themselves."

But the outside of his body was only a small aspect that changed. The bigger lifestyle transformation took place in his nutrition. Prior to his fitness overhaul, Sergeant Smith would stop for a meal at a fast food restaurant or take a stroll by any available snack bar.

"In the past, I would eat just about anything you put in front of me and did not really have any concern as to the nutritional value of the food," said Sergeant Smith.

Sergeant Smith made the choice to replace snake cakes with fruits, candy bars with vegetables and soda with water. The choices he made influenced more than his lifestyle, said his section chief, Master Sgt. Michael Castillo, 22nd Logistic Readiness fuels manager.

"Sergeant Smith noticed the trend the Air Force was moving to and decided it to ensure he was ready for this new lifestyle," said Sergeant Castillo. "In doing so he set a great example for the Airmen working for and around him to follow."

After three years of constant work, Sergeant Smith now holds a steady 32 inch waist and has reduced his weight to less than 152lbs, scoring 100 on his last four PT tests.

His new diet lead to increased energy and reduced medical issues. However, Sergeant Smith said that for him, fitness is a lifestyle.

He was able to get into this kind of shape, because of his dedication to spending his own time off duty. These changes have made him a fit and dedicated NCO who has earned respect from everyone in his flight through the example he sets and lives every day, said Sergeant Castillo.