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As fit as a soldier
Military spouse
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The Army Physical Fitness Test, more commonly referred to as the PT test, is a tool for measuring a soldier’s physical aptitude. The three-part test, made up of push-ups, sit-ups and a run, measures the performance of the soldier against standards set according to age and gender.
Reaching those standards is impossible — or maybe just impossible for me. Men and women in the Army meet these standards regularly, and we often find ourselves looking down at those who occasionally fall short. I’ve always been fascinated by the standards set by the Army, even from a young age. I remember using dad’s APFT booklet to do PT tests with my siblings in the basement. Couldn’t pass it then, can’t pass it now.
Just to pass, for my age and gender, I would be expected to do 19 push-ups, 53 sit-ups, and run two miles in 18 minutes and 54 seconds — and that’s the minimum! To “max it out,” as so many soldiers aim, I’d be looking at 42 push-ups, 78 sit-ups, and a 15:36 two-mile run. Even if I could make the minimum for sit-ups and the run, I can barely do two push-ups, let alone 42.
But despite my knowledge of how incredibly difficult it is to meet these standards, I sometimes take it for granted that my husband can. Rather than being impressed by his ability, I just expect it as part of his job. And while it is part of his job, it’s still very impressive.
The high standards that our soldiers are held to by the Army are important and necessary, a way to tell if they’re capable of completing the tasks that may be required of them at any given time. The fact that we have men and women capable of meeting or even exceeding those standards is something we should truly appreciate.

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