Physical and mental resiliency through fitness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rebecca Imwalle
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Two Airmen from the 28th Mission Support Group have taken personal physical training to another level, participating in circuit-training classes to become fit to fight through a fun yet challenging physical workout.

Many Airmen participate in squadron physical training sessions on a regular basis, which can include distance runs, sprints, or practice fitness tests.

Second Lt. Aaron Jones, 28th MSG executive officer, and Senior Airman Samantha Rule, 28th MSG administrator, are learning a new approach that may just help them meet their fitness goals and reinvigorate their overall commitment to fitness.

Jones has been participating in circuit training in downtown Rapid City three to four times a week for more than four months.

"My wife convinced me to go to a class with her one time," said Jones. "I was never interested, but she asked me if I would go with her for her birthday, which I did, and I ended up loving it."

Rule has participated in these workouts alongside her supervisor, Jones, since July and can already see a difference the program is making.

"It's a competition within yourself," Rule explained. "The mindset of the workouts keeps you resilient in life. When you're faced with a challenge, you immediately want to keep pushing and get through it."

When they're unable to make it to class, they utilize the cage in the Pride Hangar on base, where they create their own workout.

"A good supervisor should have some kind of role in your outside life," Jones said. "Whether you're into education or fitness, it is important to find something you both can learn and build on. You always learn from your supervisors, and I hope I can teach her some of the good things I've been taught."

Jones explained the benefits he has seen as a result of these workouts. He noted that only a month after beginning circuit training; he earned his best physical fitness test score in nine years.

He has yet to be deployed but Jones believes circuit training will help build his overall strength - ultimately making him more fit to fight when the time comes. He emphasized how strength training could be advantageous if put in a situation where you have to carry others to safety. 

Rule also notes the changes she has seen since starting the program.

"I have come a long way since I began this program," Rule said. "When I first began, I kept a log of my workouts. When I started, I could only deadlift the bar, which is 35 pounds. Now, a few months later, I can deadlift 205 pounds." 

"Our exercises change daily," Jones explained. "They can include things like deadlifts, burpees, squats and pull-ups. The primary goal is to finish the workout as quick[ly] as possible."

Jones pointed out that there are great workout facilities on base, but many people do not know how to use them properly. He encourages people to attend classes to learn about proper form and technique to be able to safely utilize the equipment available to them. 

"I enjoy it because you never know what to expect," Rule explained. "It's never the same, which keeps things interesting and keeps me from feeling like I have hit a plateau in the progress I'm making."

On top of organized physical training, Airmen are continuously encouraged to find ways in which they can improve their physical fitness.  It has become a lifestyle for some, especially for those like Rule and Jones, who firmly believe keeping an active and healthy lifestyle is key to resiliency.