My Theme / Timeline
Ooo, the dreaded PRT. Just a disclaimer that all this is my own damn fault. This is basically my downfall which "encouraged" me to rejoin civilian life. They say hindsight is 20/20 - and it is.
The physical readiness test happens twice a year. I don't know what the requirements are now, but when I was in we had to run 1.5 miles in a certain time and do X number of situps and pushups - all based on your gender and age. Funny that the situps and pushups never gave me any trouble, but I hated to run!! Oh, and you had to be within a certain weight range or you were faced with "the Tape". They would measure you to check your BMI.
Running in formation was OK. I did well at the final test in bootcamp when I did it in 12 minutes (at age 18). I enjoyed it in school since we did a lot of goofing off and occasionally got to play on the Marine's obstacle course. But once I got to my first ship, the stress levels were thru the roof for every other test! I guess because I wasn't forced to do anything cardio and I had discovered the joys of alcohol. Pretty sure that started my weight problem that I'm still fighting to this day!
Then I got pregnant. I had a 6 month reprieve after giving birth where I could skip the PRT. And do you think I actually tried to get back in shape or lose weight? Nope. Never even thunk it. In fact, running was even worse, since I couldn't breathe! The problem was....if you failed any section of the PRT, you were sent to counseling and then to mandatory PT for however often they chose to have the classes. If you failed the PRT 3 times, you could potentially be kicked out of the Navy. Ya see where this is going?
So my shore time was ending soon and I had several conversations with my detailer, the guy who arranges your next set of orders. I could chose a ship or go overseas. Since I was married and had a child, I considered Sigonella, Italy. Until I failed that 3rd PRT. Apparently if you can't outrun the natives you're not considered a good US ambassador, so my choices were narrowed to which destroyer I wanted to be the only postal clerk on, out of Pearl Harbor? And this would only be if I extended my enlistment. I lost out on re-enlisting or even taking another advancement exam. Toss a divorce into the mix, I decided to just take my honorable discharge, pack up and move back to Michigan.
Question to ponder.....why did I never swim the PRT instead of run??? Totally an option but I never did it. Guess we'll never know!