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News > Mothers train hard to pass PT test after pregnancy
Mothers train hard to pass PT test after pregnancy

Posted 2/9/2011   Updated 2/9/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Amber R. Kelly-Herard
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


2/9/2011 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- It is no surprise that along with pregnancy comes a plethora of new responsibilities and things to consider. Many expecting parents spend the months leading up to the birthday creating the perfect nursery, learning how to change a diaper and trying to figure out time management with a new bundle of joy.

In addition to all this, expecting military mommies have an added thing to think about: the Fitness Assessment Test that comes just six months after delivery.
 
Staff Sgt. Andrea Roberts, Air Mobility Command Tanker Centralized Scheduling Cell, is just one of the many women in the Air Force and at Scott who have faced the post-baby fitness dilemma and overcame it. When Sergeant Roberts had her first son, Braden, now 4, she struggled with her PT and barely passed her first test after pregnancy with a score of 75 points.

"Luckily I have a fast metabolism so I never had a problem with weight loss which allowed me to get the maximum points on my waist," said Sergeant Roberts. That worked under the old PT standards, but with the new PT standards, there are minimums in each category that must be met. Her waist measurement alone was no longer going to be able to get her by.
 
Last March, Sergeant Roberts had her second son, Colten. "My PT test was due at the end of September, but I went TDY for three months before my test to Travis AFB," said the sergeant. "Then when I was supposed to take my test I was sick, so I opted to reschedule my test for mid-November."

"Before my test I worked an off shift which threw off my regular training schedule," she continued, further explaining that she didn't modify her PT regimen to adjust to her new schedule.
 
Ultimately, "I failed the sit-up portion and opted not to continue my test, which I regret because it made me look bad. If I could do it again, I would have completed my test anyway." Sergeant Roberts received a Letter of Counseling and was at risk of receiving a referral EPR, which was the first time in her eight-and-a-half year career. "It was hard to take, I almost cried in front of the commander while getting my paperwork," said Sergeant Roberts. "At that point I was determined to change my ways and do well on my test." After her first test, Sergeant Roberts was enrolled in the mandatory Be Well class through the Health and Wellness Center. It was through that class, she heard about the running clinic, a program hosted by the HAWC that's available for those who have failed or are in danger of failing the run portion of their fitness assessment.
 
"I knew I couldn't have done it on my own, so another NCO who had just recovered from a broken toe signed up to take the class with me," said Sergeant Roberts. "After that class I shaved two minutes off of my run time."

When Sergeant Roberts retook her test in January, she received an 86.3. "It was terrific to go from feeling so low and not passing and within six weeks I got the highest score I've ever received," she said. "I know that with support, regardless of your level of fitness, anyone can pass their PT test."

To maintain her fitness, Sergeant Roberts continues to train. Her office even does push-ups and sit-ups every hour.

"If you're just doing the mandatory PT, you're not pushing yourself as far as you can," said Sergeant Roberts.

Sergeant Roberts has signed up for the running clinic again.

"We run outside, even in the cold, because once you start running, even if it's 20 degrees outside, it feels nice," she said. "Also you have to train in the cold weather to run better."

Sergeant Roberts also feels that the running clinic has helped her sit-ups. She has gone from doing 29 in a minute to 45. For more information on how to improve your fitness assessment test, contact the HAWC at 256-7139.



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