Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Force Shaping Tool; It's Come to This

Genetics are tough.

I am blessed with good genetics. I'm what is generally called an "athletic build." I haven't really been an athlete in a quarter century, but it doesn't matter. Not only do I have the look of someone who works out, or at least runs, on an regular basis, I have the blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels of one too.

Truth be known, I'm actually a PT slug when not deployed - even more in year four of retirement (NB: though thanks to my outdoor activity on the weekends, I actually am in better shape).

Never sweated the BCA/PFA; like I said, I have good genetics. The PRT though, that is another matter. Let's just say, if minimums were not good enough, there wouldn't be minimums.

I never did more than minimum number of push-ups and ditto sit-ups - mostly because I hate both with a passion and just plain refuse to invest time in them. Running? Heck, I can hike at a good pace all day long with a full pack, but running? I don't know if it is the numbness in my feet or my brain - but I ain't moving fast. I get by. 

Always been that way. As a defensive end, I still ran the distance with the offensive and defensive line. Shuffle, waddle, bitch, complain. That is how I cover long distances at a run unless I am going cross country and find the woods interesting. Pool option? I'm in there like a fish while Mr. Running man swims like a stoned sloth. It is all such random, meaningless BS - and I have never faulted someone for coasting by on the PRT.

The body wars are not my fight per se - it never impacted me except for one CO who thought I should score better on the PRT with "the way I looked." He thought I didn't care enough, and he was right. I invested my energy in other things.

The body wars are really everyone's business, as they continue to be an injustice to our Sailors and they are something we 100% control.

Every PRT since I was an Ensign, there were those who were "too fat" who zoomed right by me and maxed out the PRT - but again, were "too fat" for our Navy. 

There were also some who maxed out the PRT who weighed less than 150# but were about useless in everything else. The pass the PRT "too fat" guys, I never questioned that if something happened - they could pull me up a ladder or two and/or throw me over a shoulder and take me somewhere else. I also had no question, in that they reminded me of my offensive line running buddies, that they could pull more than their load in damage control or a bar fight in Souda Bay.

The skinny guy finishing the run in a flash? Ummm ... no.

I have watched many a good to great Sailor get shown the door simply because of their body shape. Some poor guy whose DNA comes from West Africa or the Baltic vs some guy from East Africa or Japan? All based on looks.

No one wants a blob who sits in a chair like four pints of gravy in a sack, or someone whose backside looks like two bulldogs fighting over a muffin - but all the same - do we also want some kind standard that says, "We really wish you looked more like poster boy here. I don't care if you have three times the qualifications he has - he looks better in formation. Time for you to go."

I'm not saying someone Walmart-morbidly obese is OK - but someone a little big-boned should not have a career ending experience at age 35.

Well, some people love their Navy more than their DNA. It isn't just the Navy either - the marathoners have taken hold of the Army hard. As a result;
Soldiers often call plastic surgeon Adam Tattelbaum in a panic. They need liposuction—fast.

Some military personnel are turning to the surgical procedure to remove excess fat from their waists in a desperate attempt to pass the Pentagon's body fat test, which relies on measurements of the neck and waist and can determine their future prospects in the military.

"They come in panicked about being kicked out or getting a demerit that will hurt their chances at a promotion," the Rockville, Md., surgeon said.

Service members complain that the Defense Department's method of estimating body fat weeds out not just flabby physiques but bulkier, muscular builds.

Doctors say a number of military personnel are turning to liposuction to remove excess fat from around the waist so they can pass the Pentagon's body fat test. Some service members say they have no other choice because the Defense Department's method of estimating body fat is weeding out not just flabby physiques but bulkier, muscular builds. A number of fitness experts and doctors agree, and they're calling for the military's fitness standards to be revamped.
What will it take - someone dying during lipo?

Is there a better way? Yes - accept a diversity of body shapes. Set a minimum PRT standard and let that be OK.

For those who insist that we simply can not have Sta-Puft trotting about in uniform, well ... maybe. I think big guys can represent just fine.

1 comment:

Jeopardy said...

I'm a reservist, and I've started noticing that a lot of the ADT/ADSW/MOB opportunities I get in my mailbox start with "Submit your resume/bio and 4 previous PFA scores..."