Civilian fitness bridges time, motivation gap
Marcie C. Wright,
It was a sore Tuesday after Monday’s workout with the Civilian Fitness Program’s 18th class at Stout Gym here.
It started with a one-mile run around the track – well, the run was mixed with a few spurts of walking for me. The event was really open for interpretation; based on your ability, there was the option to run, walk or do something in between. Some chose to walk all four laps, others kept a steady jogging pace. I was treading behind a tall lady in a blue shirt, until she sped up and left me. Perhaps she was more a match for the wind than I was.
Next we headed to the gym to do circuit training. Incorporated in the circuit were one-hand pushups, squats with weights, stepping with weights, twisted sit-ups with a medicine ball, jumping and so much more. There were about 20 stations in all. Funny thing is that the weights weren’t evenly paired; one station might have two 15-pound dumbbells for one partner, while the other was left with 30-pound kettle bells to do the same exercise.
“The heavier the weight, the more effective,” barked the instructor, in response to some groaning.
Now let’s back up a bit, to March 26, the first day of the program. During that session, we were to complete several stations for a measured fitness test. The test included walking around the track, a three-minute step routine, a sit-and-reach station, bench pressing, pushups and sit-ups.
During the course of the two-hour fit-test, instructors were moderately encouraging, with words of “good job” and “you can do it,” along with other friendly greetings and smiling faces. I felt very warm and welcomed there – at least by the instructors. On the contrary, being the smallest female there I did catch a few glances and questioning looks of “why is she here?”
Let me explain: I am as skinny as Olive Oil from Popeye – chicken legs and spaghetti arms. The class was mixed with a lot of different shapes, sizes and attitudes (expected). To add to it all, I look a lot younger than I am. During the walk, I overheard a small group behind me talking about how capable I was of walking the test. “See, she can do this, because she’s already in shape.”
The reality is I am as out of shape as anyone else who would sign up to a committed workout schedule with trainers. To get into the program, you and your supervisor both have to sign and agree that you – the participant – will attend each class and consider this your duty assignment for the time allotted. I believe my supervisor approved because she watched me waddle around pregnant all last year, which resulted in a C-section delivery little more than seven months ago.
I have always had the desire to work out, and at this point I have the physical ability. What I lacked was time and motivation. So I thought if I can get my supervisor to approve, I can get my workout done at work (no brainer). Judging by my recent experiences with the Civilian Fitness Program, I am going to regain the time and motivation, with hopes of continuing a routine after the six-month class ends.
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