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Command chief encourages excellence in all areas of life

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- "Excellence in All We Do" extends beyond our primary job. It is not specific to your Air Force Specialty Code. You can't choose when and where to apply excellence. Excellence should be the norm. 

Vince Lombardi said, "The quality of a man's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor." Are you committed to excellence when it comes to Physical Fitness? 

The Air Force's fitness program began in January 2004 and it is not going to go away. However, if you fail to pass the fitness test you may be looking for a civilian job. If you haven't made fitness a part of your daily routine now is the time to do so if you want to remain in the Air Force. 

I've heard all the excuses for failing the test. Some of the more common excuses are: I hate running; my body isn't built for running; my squadron doesn't give me time to work out; my legs are too short; I lift weights; I didn't know I could really be kicked out for failing. These are all nice excuses, but they don't account for not being able to do at least half your push-ups or sit-ups and your waist growing four inches since your first failure. If the last sentence describes you...you are not practicing the core value of "Excellence in All We Do." 

Your success with passing your fitness test is directly related to your motivation and self-discipline. Your success isn't determined by the length of your legs or the size of your waist or any other physical quality. The time to get motivated is now, not after you have had four failures and your commander is forced to make a decision of whether to retain or discharge you. 

There is an African proverb that states: "Every morning in Africa, a gazelle awakens knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning, a lion wakes up knowing it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death. It makes no difference whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you'd better be running." Obviously the gazelle and lion don't have a hard time getting motivated to run. I hope your motivation would come from wanting to stay in the Air Force. If Oprah Winfrey can run a marathon in four hours and 30 minutes, you can surely pass your fitness test. 

Yes, I know Oprah had a personal trainer to help her prepare for the marathon. She also had the motivation to complete it. While you may not have the advantage of a personal trainer you do have access to the Health and Wellness Center. 

The staff at the HAWC can help you develop a complete fitness plan to meet your objective. Call the HAWC at 456-6011 if you are having trouble passing your fitness test and they will steer you in the right direction. 

Once you have the plan in hand you need to have the self-discipline to follow it. Once you start the plan don't get discouraged if you have bad days or don't see immediate results. Rome wasn't built in a day and your fitness score will not improve with just a few workouts. David Campbell, a motivational speaker, said, "Discipline is knowing what you want." You should want to apply excellence to your physical fitness just as you apply excellence when you are performing your job. 

Don't wait until your fourth failure to get on the right track. Get motivated and have the discipline to start a fitness program today so I don't have to read your discharge package tomorrow.