I was in the Army from 1986-1990. I am so proud of that service, but I am also proud of myself for getting through it! I was never an athletic person, in fact, whatever term there is for the opposite of athletic, that was me....always the last one picked when we would divy up teams in school. Oh man! I hated when teams were picked, the humiliation of standing there as each person is called and then finally there is only you and one other person. Heart racing, palms sweating, "Oh please, pick me....anything is better than being the LAST one picked" and then, "Au Revoir Dignity!"...I'm standing there by myself and my NAME isn't even called, I'm just waved over disgustedly by the team captain. It's a wonder I don't have a nervous twitch and break out into hives everytime I see a ball! (Let's not even TALK about dodgeball! Trivia Question: Who invented Dodgeball? Answer: SATAN!)
Okay, back to the Army...my Basic Training was done at Fort McClellan, Alabama in November and December. It was cold, dirty and I got yelled at alot! I remember after one particularly long and exhausting road march, I stuck my head in the sink to wash my hair and the water ran MUD! Literally, mud came out of my hair! I was in remedial PT from the very beginning of basic. Remedial PT was for those who did poorly on their Physical Fitness Test, the goal at Remedial was always the same painful one...Total Muscle Failure! All I can say is, it really really hurts! No music, no cute workout clothes, no rest in between sets. We would do push ups off each others' backs. I think that after drill sergeants do their term as drill sergeants, the natural progression is interrogator...because they can be sadistic in their torture! Well, it seems like it when you are going through it. I do recall our first afternoon pass. We got a couple of hours and we could go to the little shoppette and eat whatever we wanted. In basic, you may not eat anything other than what is provided in the chow hall at meal times. Anyway, the drill sergeants kept saying, "Go, enjoy...this is the time when you can eat what you want, so make the most of it." Of course, I knew something was up, they were being waaaayyyy too nice. So many of the girls really pigged out for those two hours and ate all the junk food that we normally could not have. Next thing you know, right after the 2 hour pass was up, we were called into formation. Those very creative sergeants decided that after we had gorged ourselves for 2 hours, we needed to do PT! So there we go, doing push ups, sit ups and running and........puking! The garbage we ate did not look near as tempting from that angle.
I got to where I was in really good shape by the time I got out of the Army. I was teaching aerobics to our company, in charge of the weight control program, and was one of two women who could run with the fast group during PT. I aced my final PT test, running my 2 miles in just over 14 minutes. That being said, I feel like, now; at 42 years of age, I am in the absolute best shape of my life - even after having 4 kids (enormous at birth, by the way). My muscle tone is better, I no longer diet like I did back then, I am not just cardio fit now, but my body feels stronger. It brings me such happiness to be able to look ahead for my best years, not behind!