I thought I had more time, so imagine how glad I was that I had already began preparing. Because the goal of entering the Navy as a chaplain would not be reached until this summer, I had assumed that a physical fitness test would be close to that time. Therefore, I had begun preparing to meet the fitness requirements, but without a sense of urgency, thinking there was three months or so left before a test would need to be passed.
Earlier today I received an email from my Lieutenant scheduling my fitness test for one month from now. Running, push ups and sit ups are all included in this test. Most of my friends believe I would pass such an exam easily because of my "apparent" fitness. However, what they fail to realize is that merely being skinny does not make one fit. Consider the anorexic who lacks the energy to perform rigorous tasks. They would be considered no more healthy and fit than the obese curmudgeon. Some fitness can be estimated at a glance, but real healthiness requires measurable benchmarks.
The progression in my application to become a Navy chaplain requires that I meet measurable fitness benchmarks. The minimum goals are (1) running 1.5 miles in 12 minutes, (2) 60 push ups in two minutes and (3) 60 sit ups in two minutes. For those who find such minimums easy, I'd rather not hear about it. I'm finding them challenging. Certainly they are possible, even in a month's time. Nevertheless, the schedule must now change from running 3 times a week to running each morning. In essence, each morning must entail "PT" (physical training) straight out of bed as though some foul-mouthed E-6 "round brown" is screaming in my ear. In this way, the military lifestyle is already creeping into our routine. I've got a month to get ready, and there's not a moment to lose.