Fitness Gives You Life

  • Published
  • By Maj. Stephen Esposito
  • 97th Communications Squadron
It's a beautiful morning and the sun is just breaking the horizon. There is light dew on the grass. The auburn hue in the sky is amazing as it lights up the few wispy clouds. I'm quickly brought back to reality as my GPS watch beeps to let me know I've completed my third mile. I'm "in the zone" and feel I could run at least another three miles before turning around even though the sweat is pouring down my face and back. Instead, I turn around and begin my journey home. The quiet morning run allows me to get my thoughts organized. By the last mile, I'm ready to compare my mental list with my written list. Now I step up my jog to a run so I finish the last mile strong. As I arrive in front of my home, I slow to a stop, completely out of breath, and ready to begin my day. What a great morning so far.

Fitness is an important part of our lives in the military, but it plays an equally important role in our health. By staying fit, I rarely find myself sick. It reminds me of an article by Major Gen. A.J. Stewart, Never Saw This Coming. The article is about how Stewart overcame a golf ball sized brain tumor because of his fitness level and his determination to beat it. I remember meeting the General at a conference and I asked him how quickly he returned to his workout schedule. His reply completely shocked me. He said, "Immediately. I biked 20 miles after my first chemo and radiation treatments, and the negative side effects never showed up." You should not expect to bike 20 miles after being sick, but the point here is that maintaining a strong fitness level coupled with determination will have positive results.

I challenge you to begin a fitness program that makes you work hard. From the beginner to the advanced sub-three hour marathoner, a workout should be difficult no matter what your fitness level. You should sweat a lot during your workout. If you're not sure how to make this happen then go see some of the more experienced people at the gym or the Health and Wellness Center. The 97th Force Support Squadron has many programs at the base gym to challenge your current fitness program like the Core Class or the newly arriving kiosk with a virtual personal trainer. The HAWC also has several programs to supplement your fitness program like nutrition classes and healthier cooking ideas.

Remember, the reason it's called a workout is because it won't be easy and it takes hard work to complete.