Wins and Losses

Aiming High is not about achieving at your fullest potential all the time, every time.  It’s also about being humbled by your losses and growing from them, rather than giving up.  Today, I experienced a new loss in my Air Force career.  Today, I failed my first PT test.

Source: Air Force Times

If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been very anxious about this test, as it was the first one I’ve taken since having my daughter.  I don’t work out with the regularity that I used to, pre-pregnancy, and my caloric intake is greater these days to keep up with my breastfeeding.  I was ready to get it over with, to say the least.

My weakest area is my pushups – always has been.  I’ve got your usual T-Rex body type, so I was worried that I wasn’t going to hit the minimum amount for my age range, fourteen.  I had done some sit-ups after bedtime and I was able to get in the mid to high 30s, so I figured I was good in this area.  I also knew that my run time was passable.

I was in the first testing group of the day, with only one other female.  I figured I’d be partnering with her.  We were practically outnumbered by Fitness Assessment Cell (FAC) Airmen, and one of these individuals did all of the countings for me.  I guess they’re cracking down on the “Wingmanship Concept.”  😉

Always brutally honest with you, even at my own expense, here are my stats:

Weight: 183 lbs
Height: 72 inches
Waist: 33.5 inches
Pushups: 21
Sit-Ups: 20
Run: 14:52, adjusted due to altitude to 14:34

When they first weighed me, the Airman put me down for 132 lbs!  I just couldn’t let that slide by, and got up and corrected him.  Integrity first, right?  I haven’t seen the 130s in a decade or more, easily.  I’m still a good 16 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, but I was in amazing shape then for my first PT test.  The waist measurement was smaller than I thought it’d be, especially since she was hitting me around the “muffin top” area.  I guess I wasn’t pulling tight enough when I was measuring at home.  Game on, I wasn’t complaining.

I was the first up, and the first part was pushups.  Oh well, here went nothing!  I managed to eke out 21 for her, or at least that was how much she counted before I hit the ground.  More than enough to meet my minimum.  After that part, I was feeling good – probably a little too confident at this point.  I figured I could pull it off and have it in the bag.  When I got back down on the mat for the sit-ups, I just couldn’t pull it off.  The timer was calling out 30 seconds left and I knew I wasn’t close enough to my minimum.  I hit 20 and was done with the buzzer.  Quite the contrast from the last PT test where I maxed my sit-ups.  I didn’t remember them hurting this much when I’d practiced at home. 

At that point, I knew I was done, but they don’t give you an option to just walk away at that point.  The purposelessness of the run crossed my mind, trust me, especially when you know you can’t pass no matter how fast you go.  I sucked it up and decided to take the run at a leisurely pace.  At least if my score came close to passing, I could show my commander that I did try and almost passed, despite missing my minimum sit-ups by 9 repetitions.  I had aimed to finish my run in less than fifteen minutes, and mission accomplished.

Nothing happened at the FAC as a result of my failure.  I signed my score sheet, they made me a copy, and I was on my way.  They don’t actually tell you your score when you’re there.  They leave the calculations up to the fitness management website, which is updated pretty rapidly.  My new score was in the system later that day, as sad as it was to see my little line graph take a pathetic drop.  My final score was 74.9.  Yes, that’s 0.1 points away from a passing score of 75.  If I would’ve hit the minimum number of sit-ups, I would’ve passed.

So, what happens next?  I have 90 days to retest.  As a result of my failure, I have to complete a “Be Well” course through the Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) on base, or via an online course (most likely the route I’ll take).  I wasn’t overly disappointed in myself for my loss today.  I had so much anxiety and nervousness going into this test that I’m hoping I do fine on the next one because the pressure is off.  As long as I make a concerted effort to improving my core strength, I can pass.  

On a related note, I can’t submit my OTS package for final approval until I have a fitness letter with my current, passing PT score.  So, that’s on hold for the time being.

On a positive note, I have a ton of support from fellow Airmen, friends, and family.  Time for me to get serious about limiting my caloric intake to healthy calories and make more time for strength training.