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Physical fitness the key improving body, mind

  • Published
  • By Maj. Aimee N. Gregg
  • 386th AEW Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
In the deployed environment, motivation and the sustainment of one's morale through a tour of whatever length comes in part from accomplishing personal goals - some that may have been elusive in the past.

Usually these goals are centered around education, job knowledge, physical appearance, physical fitness or all or some of the above. The chain of command consistently praises such accomplishments as getting your degree, passing your CDCs, losing 20 pounds, or decreasing your 1.5 mile run time because they are indicative of increasing your leadership potential as well. This is due to the fact that dedication to physical fitness and continuous improvement are critical attribute of good leaders.

John F. Kennedy said that physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.

Even though increasing one's physical fitness certainly qualifies as a form of continuous improvement - it holds a special place in the armed services. A high standard of physical fitness is a hallmark of our heritage; yet, the benefits of committing to a workout regime go further than looking sharp in your uniform.

As a Squadron Officer School instructor, my role was to observe the leadership behaviors of a class of 13 captains, never once did those who were in shape fail to remain calmer during tense situations, keep a more positive attitude through the long days, and develop more effective and efficient ideas.

Additionally, it is well known that exercise helps you by combating stress, increasing your energy level, and promoting better sleep. All of which will let you prevail over whatever the Air Force gives you each day and makes you better able to take care of those around you.

Thomas Edison said genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.

The idea of continuously improving yourself is not intended to reinvent yourself, but rather to find an area that you are passionate about being a bit better in and then setting out to do just that. This is daily commitment. Such a commitment is displayed in our country's most recognizable and greatest leaders' affection for education and reading.

Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt all shared a thirst for knowledge. Theodore Roosevelt went so far as to often read a book before breakfast and sometimes read three books per day.

Whether it be from a formal degree program or a personal reading agenda, the information we glean when we expose ourselves to different theories and ways of thinking teaches us new ways to solve problems. This mental agility allows leaders to bring levity to the work place and still direct the mission and to prepare a unit and its members for future opportunities and problems; both in turn increase a unit's morale and stability.

In light of our most recent success in the war on terror, the death of Osama bin Laden resulted from more than four years of reevaluating how to infiltrate his network. When a lucrative angle was found and the President gave the order, it was a special operations Navy SEAL team whose renowned dedication to physical fitness and continuous improvement ensured they were able to flawlessly execute this most important mission.