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thedrifter
03-04-04, 05:48 PM
Kick those Morning Blues
by Cpl. Andrew W. Miller
Marine Corps News
February 26, 2004


NEW RIVER, N.C. -- "PT, physical training, is a very important part of our culture as Marines and without it everything suffers. It is tied to everything we do and demonstrates our self confidence and how we carry ourselves," explained Maj. Bryan K. Wood, Station Provost Marshall and native of Houston.

However, physical training can have a tendency to get monotonous, especially when doing the same three-mile runs, a set of pull-ups and crunches three times a week. Spicing up those early morning hours with some fun and motivating PT only takes a little initiative and maybe a phone call or two.

"We are surrounded by training areas (School of Infantry, Marine Combat Training, Camp Lejeune, etc.) that can be used for PT, and you don't have to be in a school environment to take advantage of them," Wood said. "The only requirement is that you take the initiative to have approval of the S-3 and have a corpsman or 'comm' (communications)."

These areas include confidence courses, obstacle courses, endurance courses and give Marines a break from the pavement pounding here.

"The key is to make a game out of the training and running and let the Marines see different parts of the base that they don't normally see. Sometimes, I even bring out my 12 year-old son as an eye-opener because he beats a lot of them," said Wood. "One of my favorites is the 'hash-run', where a couple of guys lay a trail while the other Marines try to find them. It turns into a big game."

Other things that will help with motivation is to let the upcoming Marines lead PT from time to time.

"When I PT with my guys, I get them started off to see the leadership of a field grade officer," he explained. "Then I back off and let the upcoming Marines takeover leading with the cadences. They either sink or swim, but it is a tremendous confidence builder."

By trying to mix up the PT schedules, sometimes Marines go the wrong route.

Allowing Marines to go to the gym for PT on their own program isn't accomplishing a thing, especially when there are five guys wanting to work out together standing around for an hour waiting for machines or treadmills. This is where Verna Richardson, group exercise supervisor with New River Marine Corps Community Services, comes into play.

Richardson and her staff can be reached at 449-6003 to schedule unit PT sessions in cross training, aerobics, spinning, belly-burners, stepping and aero-boxing.

"We offer a variety of classes to help break the monotony and keep the Marines motivated to work out," said Richardson, native of Detroit. "Most importantly, our classes attack other muscle groups and have less impact on the knees."

Ideas to change the morning PT schedule aren't hard to come by. Mixing it up a little will hopefully not only boost the morale and confidence of sections, but also target other muscles and improve gains.

The Drifter
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