The Rewards of Training

Me and a fellow Combat Advisor firing the M2 .50 cal (12.7mm) machine gun.

A lot of the training I do in the National Guard benefits me as a civilian; as a person. Although I was doing training on thermal optics on crew served weapons (large machine gun’s that require more than one person to operate), we also did physical training. On top of the PT, we also had to carry and handle these heavy weapons. The M2 I’m firing in the photo above weighs 84 lbs, and the tripod it’s on weighs 45 lbs. The boxes carrying the M2’s held two M2’s per box.

We lifted, carried, and otherwise dragged those boxes around for three days, and while I was a little sore afterward, I was not nearly as wiped out as I would have otherwise been had I not been weightlifting for the past three weeks. Aside from that, moving the weight around felt good, and being strong enough to do so without straining or extra effort was a wonderful feeling.

For the PT, I couldn’t participate in the 4-mile run on the first day due to my Achille’s heel injury, but on the second day, we did a circuit training that included kettlebell swings, farmer’s carry, release push-ups, burpees, and squats with a medicine ball. I was able to do all those, and I did them not only well, but at least as good as, if not better than a lot of the other soldiers. I don’t know if it was my conditioning or my willpower, but either way, I was not the weakest by a long shot.

Motivation for weight loss and motivation for fitness may be different for you as it is for me. My motivation to lose weight was to improve my health, while my motivation for fitness is to be able to perform better as a Combat Advisor in the National Guard. It’s rewarding to experience the benefits of all that work during a training evolution, and it further motivates me to keep going, keep pushing, keep getting stronger.

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