April | 2011 | True Fitness Blog

It’s hard to believe that I’ve reached the halfway point in my course! Thus far I have really enjoyed the class and feel like I am learning information that will help me be a better officer when I return to my unit this summer.

I finally had my chance to lead my class in our morning workout sessions but sadly it was just days before our record PT test so I had to take it easy (lucky for them)! The workout consisted of our dynamic warm up, a thirty minute run and then two sets of push-ups. I felt that it was really important for everyone to get in one last run before the PT test and then for the push-ups I had everyone do 50% of what they would normally do on my test. For example I normally do somewhere around 40 push-ups so I did sets of 20.

Thursday morning we had our record PT test for the course. The conditions could not have been more perfect; we got out there about 0415 and it was already almost 60 degrees! I had my best performance ever on the test doing 43 push-ups, 88 sit-ups, and ran 16:15 for the two mile. That came out to a score of 289, additionally I scored over 90 points in each category I have now earned the Army Physical Fitness Badge.  As a class we had 12 people earn their PT badge and our class average for the test was a 265. In a class of 45 people this is a great result and from the first test to this one our average jumped over 70 points!

This week we started combatives. I’m really excited for this because for all the sports I have participated in I have never done any type of martial arts. Today was just a basic introduction; we learned the warm up moves we will be doing each session and got choked out by the instructors! They wanted to make sure we knew and were comfortable with tapping out before getting too far into the class. Over the next couple weeks I will keep everyone updated on the progress of the class!

If you have been following my blog you might know that I have a meniscus tear in my right knee.  My plan has always been to have it repaired but after finishing a few things.  One was a trip to see my family in France this past November 2010 (which went very well).  Second was completing a martial arts test.  After nine months I finally passed my test, so now what…

I had had actually already schedule an appointment to have the knee looked at again for April 18, 2011, before the mid-May martial arts test.   Again if you have been following my blog I had the surgery schedule in October of 2011 and backed out at the last second after having success with acupuncture.  The acupuncture just ended up being a Band-Aid, don’t get me wrong I am big fan of acupuncture but a tear is a tear.  That being said I had decided to go through with the surgery whether or not I passed my test and low and behold I passed my test with a surprise approval for testing by one of my instructors last Wednesday.

Tomorrow I will see the doctor and decide when I will get my surgery, and start to plan my post-op training.  I will still continue my martial arts training even if I have to walk in with crutches and hobble through the forms…yes that may sound a little crazy but I just saw one of my senior instructors go through the same process after a much tougher knee surgery, so I think I’ll be OK.  I should be walking in three days, riding a bike in ten and running within a month, with major twisting and turning come little later.

I had the same surgery on my left knee and the recovery went very well and the knee is very strong.

So I guess wish me luck tomorrow and I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted.

High quality shoes are important for anyone who works out consistently or spends a lot of time on their feet and this is especially true for soldiers. I gained an appreciation for high quality running shoes early on in high school. I started running cross country and quickly developed shin splints when I was wearing shoes that I just liked the look of and thought were comfortable. Since then RnJ in downtown Bethesda has become my go to for running shoes. Personally in the past 6 years I’ve only worn two different models of shoes; the Asics Kayano and more recently the Asics 2100 series,  and I  have seen a drastic reduction in minor aches and pains resulting from running and working out.

I find it incredible how many of my fellow Army peers do not understand the importance of a high quality, well-fitting running shoe. In the morning I look around and think it’s a miracle that more people are not hurt based on the shoes they are wearing.  I recently learned that the individuals who go through infantry basic training are issued one standard set of running shoes; this came as a huge shock to me and is highly concerning.  Basic trainees are constantly on the go and I would have to think that the injury rate must be high.

As we all know Vibram 5 finger shoes have been all the rage recently within the running and exercise community and recently there has been a trickle down into the military and I’m no exception. I have been wearing my Bikilas for a couple months now and I love working out in them. Though the regulation is not entirely clear at this point it appears that the Vibrams are not authorized for PT. And though there are certain workouts that I would really like to wear my Bikilas I overall think it makes sense to not allow them. Too many people buy them without understanding how to wear them, when to wear them, or how to break them in. Lack of knowledge about Vibrams can quickly lead to injuries.

Boots are another constant source of problems for soldiers and injuries issues. A common name for a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal is a “marching fracture” and that name comes from soldiers developing stress fractures from so much marching. Boots are always issued to soldiers and generally are very uncomfortable and take a long period of time to break in. Once soldiers are out of training they can purchase their own boots and now more and more companies are making boots that are authorized for wear in uniform and are extremely comfortable.

I recently discovered that Nike makes a pair of boots and I will never wear another pair. They are based on the design of the Nike Free running shoe and when I’m wearing them I almost forget that I have boots on; they are that comfortable!