Achievement Unlocked: Passed My First PFT in 20 years

On the left, me in 1998, a year after I left active duty. On the right, me last week (2017).

I was an active duty Marine for 11 years and I got out to get my kids closer to my parents, my sister, and her kids. I went to work at Compaq and quickly gained a lot of weight. So much, so fast in fact, that I had stretch marks. My weight reached a peak of 312 lbs. I then decided to get healthy and I did a Whole30 and adopted the Paleo Diet and eighteen months later, I’m in the National Guard and within height/weight regulations. On top of it all, in my second month in the Guard, we had to take our Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) which measures our ability to run 2 miles, sit ups in 2 minutes, and push ups in 2 minutes. For my age, the minimum requirements are 25 push ups, 30 sit ups, and the two-mile run in less than 19:30. My scores were:

  • Push ups: 80
  • Sit ups: 51
  • Two-mile run: 15:43

That gave me a total of 273 points out of 300 possible! While I’m very happy with the results as an old guy who didn’t exercise for 20 years, it also leaves me room to improve on my sit ups and my run time. I will make a 300 on my PFT next time. That’s my goal.

In the car right after my APFT. I’m a little happy.

Even a year ago, I never would have expected to be where I am today. It all started with push ups. I began with 10 and did them every other day, increasing as I could. When I got to 40, I felt like I needed an additional physical challenge, and I started walking which quickly turned into jogging and shortly afterward into running. I haven’t looked back since.

With my first APFT behind me, I will run again this afternoon. I will likely make it an easy run since I went full-effort on Saturday and I don’t want to hurt anything. I’ll go for three miles at a minimum, and I’ll do my push ups as well even though my arms are slightly sore. I will keep building and working toward that 300 APFT next April. In the meantime, I will continue to eat right and exercise to lose the last 3 lbs and to get sub-7:15/miles.