Monday, May 14, 2007

A Culture of Fitness: Chronic

Here's how the notional command PT schedule is upposed to work:
  • Monday is Departmental PT, which I assume means the department is supposed to PT together.
  • Wednesday, the whole command does a formation run down the pier, shouting, "Look at me!" to the other ships.
  • Friday, each division PTs together. Most of them go to the gym or on a fun run together.
To kick off each session, everybody forms up and does calisthentics, which usually consists of way too many pushups and dodging pier traffic. It's been exacerbating some chronic injuries and it's only going to get worse. We only do this because about five people really really wanted to do command PT, meaning they like to inflict thier personal whims on everybody to make themselves look good for advancement and maybe help them become Chief Petty Officers.

I know, I'm complaining. It's the military after all, isn't this what we do? Look, I'm stationed on a warship, and when we're underway, we don't do any of this. People have to manage their time and fitness on their own, and most of us do pretty well at that. So why do I need to go out there and PT together with 150 of my closest friends when we're in homeport? I like to run, sometimes even when there isn't beer waiting for me. But I'm also in some pain and have to spend plenty of time around my shipmates as it is.

Anyhow, during the Monday and Friday sessions, I've been able to break off from the group and run on my own, which has been nice. I usually run around the basin to the main gate and straight out to the beach, down the sea shore while the sun rises and around the golf course, then back to the ship. I have no idea how far it is. For the Monday session, I gathered the department up and told them that I was planning to run down the beach - everybody groaned before I could finish. I told them anyone who wanted to run down the beach with me was welcome, but we would run past the gym for anyone who wanted to stop off there.

So I ran down the beach by myself. I saw the CO heading that direction as well, but I ran into him once and while we paced each other he asked if I had come from the beach and said, "You're a better man than I!" He's a runner, but he's used to the level terrain, I think, whereas I'm used to running off road. I get bored on the streets and sidewalks.

The tide was all the way in, I mean it was right up to the dunes. The sunrise was gorgeous, too. There wouldn't have been a lot of room for the department to run with me if they wanted to (and they probably would've stayed in formation too - creatures of habit, I suppose; I just wanted a "fun run"). Down the beach a way, I found a seagull tangled up in the roots. It's wing was contorted and looked like it might've been broken. I pulled the roots up a bit and got it untangled, but it didn't want much to do with me, so I left it alone.

I ran in the water some and then up off the beach and through the golf course. That was a nice run. Not like tomorrow when we'll be trotting up the pier with only half of the formation singing cadence (if that), and only going a half mile or so. Ugh. I'd run more after that, but I want to get back to work and double time wreaks havoc on the shin splints.

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Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin bloody well said...

Only you know your body best. And depending upon your age, you realize that a lot of one particular aspect of PT isn't as "good" for you as it once was. There are many things that, pushing the 60 envelope, I don't do any more, though I do walk and jog. Running hard just to run hard (i.e., with the chance of making your shin splints worse) doesn't seem like a beneficial usage of time.


15 May, 2007 11:14  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

I know I've signed on the dotted line and am obligated to do what the chain of command tells me to do. I disagree with certain things and suck it up because them's the orders.

I dislike things that make my job harder than it has to be and being in constant chronic pain is one of those things. I'm a grown up and am more than capable of managing my own physical fitness - I don't need Petty Officer Hooah up there telling me how many pushups to do while my shoulders are screaming at me.

I suppose I get tired of the propensity of the military toward nannying its personnel. It would be nice to be treated like an adult.

15 May, 2007 11:35  
Blogger shoprat bloody well said...

Things have changed a little. When I was in the Navy we used to joke that Boot Camp got us into shape and the rest of our hitch got us back out of shape. I never did an official cal after basic.

15 May, 2007 17:33  

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