MAKING MONSTERS IN THE PT ROOM |
May 06, 2011
Name: America's 1st Sgt.
Stationed in: Bahrain
Milblog: Castra Praetoria
In the Marine Corps we are immersed in a culture of physical fitness (among other things). I always say when Americans "send in the Marines!" they expect a certain product. This product not only includes a physical prowess defying a number of inviolate laws of physics and medicine but also a neat and professional appearance. It's a look easier to pull off when your shoulders are wider than your waist. Many regard physical training as a mandatory chore designed to lessen their quality of life just that much more. Some figure it doesn't pay to attack a hill if half way up you are noisily blowing chow all over your boots and can't employ the machine gun. Others have it in mind they will be more able to overcome the enemy if they make themselves bigger, faster, and stronger.
Here's the real reason we conduct physical training. Ready?
We are, in fact, making ourselves harder to kill. A healthy, well fed, fit human body is more capable of surviving and functioning while immersed in the various diseases, illnesses, infections, etc, one encounters in theater. Not to mention being able to survive combat wounds or just running down the block draped in 100 lbs of gear during the balmy desert summer. Bracing!
I was told a story once about an interview of Japanese POWs during WWII. The Japanese Imperial Army had thought they were fairly invincible and their defenses impregnable. They were asked at what point during the campaign they felt they might be in trouble. Turns out while machine gunning Marines down as they landed the Japanese noticed the wounded and dying still trying to advance and crawling forward despite their wounds. The Marines were coming. They were hard men to kill.
I'm not suggesting a superior PT program won the war in the Pacific, but being hard to kill certainly is a force multiplier. In an effort to remain so I often encourage Marines to come workout with their 1stSgt in the afternoon. Workouts with America's 1stSgt have a reputation not only for being cruel and unusual but quite competitive as is our nature. For their part, Sailors in our vicinity want no part of what we are up to when it involves perspiration and demonic levels of physical pain.
|We get paid for this!|
In these photos we are gleefully destroying each other in a joy filled PT session. The name of this particular workout changes as it is named after whomever achieves the lowest score and is known as the " " Challenge. This is a shame best avoided as it marks the namesake as the weakest member of the tribe. Each of us has 15 minutes to complete as many rounds as we can of:
|Nose to nose clapping push ups with a little encouragement from yours truly.|
As the workout progresses it becomes increasingly difficult to keep proper form. Chests miss the bar here and there and chest slapping push ups degenerate into clapping face plants. Awesome!
Ugly but acceptable technique.
|Flogging for one? This way sir.|
The end of this particular Challenge was inconclusive as it resulted in a tie, with 15 rounds completed each. While others spent the day on the couch mashing bags of potato chips into their pie hole, FAST Company forged some ruggedness, tested a little character, and enjoyed the camaraderie. Sounds like a day seized to me.