445th FSS takes on fit challenge for holidays

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Patrick O'Reilly
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Fitness is a key component of readiness in the Air Force. When deployed, it is important for each Airman to be able to fulfill their responsibilities physically and emotionally.

The 445th Force Support Squadron members maintain their level of fitness by participating in a nine-week-long fitness challenge that began October 3, 2015.

"FSS developed a fitness challenge to keep people engaged over the holidays," said Tech. Sgt. Bryan N. Ulloa, 445th Force Support Squadron services manager. "When winter rolls around, it gets pretty cold and people don't want to work out. Some people start hibernating, so it keeps them motivated to go workout."

The fitness challenge, which is done on personal time, is made up of two parts: the biggest loser and a run challenge. The biggest loser challenge, like the popular television show, is about losing weight within the nine-week period.  All activity status such as weight loss and miles ran are documented and reported weekly.

"For the runner's challenge we are having a competition to see who can run the most miles in nine weeks," said Senior Airman Rianna Jones, 445th FSS client systems technician. "This is the first time for me to do something like this so it is going to push me to run more than I usually do."

The challenge is not necessary to improve so much as it is to maintain.

"That's the goal," said Ulloa. "It's to keep me actively engaged between the unit training assemblies and around the holidays."

Senior Airman Jessica L. McMillian, 445th FSS career development technician, agrees.

"This challenges me to keep up with working out and running during the winter months," said McMillian. "I would definitely recommend this challenge to others because its great motivation that will push people to want to stay in shape and stay fit during hibernation season."

Some have their personal preference on the type of workout for maintaining fitness.

"I like to run," said Jones. "But I've never ran this much. I really want to strive for winning."

Dewitt thinks otherwise.

"I don't run very much." said Dewitt. "I typically do weightlifting to keep fit. Running is the thing I dread but still do it to keep myself fit to fight."

McMillian will also be making a change in her routine.

"This challenge will definitely be different than my normal workout routine," said McMillian. "I will be factoring in a lot more cardio into my routine versus weights."

Jones and Dewitt both said their reason for participating in the event was to make a good name for the Communications Element of FSS.

"I try to stay fit by running 1 ½ miles along with push-ups and sit-ups," said Jones. "I never really strived to do too much more than that. I've already ran four miles in a week and I am going to try and do more than that each consecutive week."

Weather changes-- the cold season, may impact the way some approach their physical training.

"I will be wearing cold weather gear outside so I won't have any excuse to not run," said McMillian.

"I still like being outdoors," said Jones. "I just have to stay warm. At first you're cold, but as you work out you warm up."

Jones said she enjoys running on the bike trail, Rip Rap, by Mad River.

Ulloa believes this challenge may be the first of its kind at the unit.

"I think it will work out fairly well," said Ulloa. "I'm already getting some feedback about things we can do different next time, in retrospect. We will see how it goes. Once we work out all the bugs and see what needs to be fixed or done better we will sit down, regroup, reassess, and then implement it wing-wide so everybody can partake in the challenge."