Let me save you from the embarrassment

Although I hate to admit it, passing a physical fitness test has been a personal roadblock for me. I am happy to say, with the support of my fellow Airmen, base resources, and through my own strength and determination, I have passed my PFT. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Although I hate to admit it, passing a physical fitness test has been a personal roadblock for me. I am happy to say, with the support of my fellow Airmen, base resources, and through my own strength and determination, I have passed my PFT. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Staying fit –mind, body and soul– are my responsibility. It is my personal way of assuring the Air Force that I am mission ready, and that no matter what, I will be fit to fight and fit to test. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

Staying fit –mind, body and soul– are my responsibility. It is my personal way of assuring the Air Force that I am mission ready, and that no matter what, I will be fit to fight and fit to test. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Lotz)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Editor's note: This is the third in a series of related articles on the challenges of passing a physical fitness test through the first-hand account of Senior Airman Briana Jones.

Humiliation and embarrassment were among the many feelings that raced through me in the days following my physical fitness test failure. In my mind it signified that I was not physically fit and incapable of completing the everyday mission.

Although I hate to admit it, passing a PFT has been a personal roadblock for me. I am happy to say, with the support of my fellow Airmen, base resources, and through my own strength and determination, I have passed my PFT.

One can only fail so many PFTs before serious actions are taken and I plan to avoid that at all costs. Changing my way of life will not be easy, it all starts with taking baby steps down the road to success. For lack of a better phrase, I need to be fit to fight, not fit to test.

I need to make it stick; drinking more water and less soda and exercising more than two times a week is just the beginning. I need to change my eating and sleeping habits - and above all else, ensure that I perform exercises that are conducive to my health and body type. This process will not be easy. It will take time, dedication and a lot of patience. In the end, the results and the outcome will be worth all of the hard work.

By no means do I need to be alone during this process, there are base resources available to help. The Health and Wellness Center offers classes, to help Airmen make healthy choices, such as Healthy Weight, Strength and Core, Healthy Heart Strength and Core Class, and Balanced Eating, Work out Effectively, Living Longer also known as BEWELL. For Airmen who struggle with the run portion of the test, the HAWC offers a runner's clinic that teaches proper techniques for specific running styles.

I will continue to take advantage of the classes offered at Aviano's fitness centers. Staying fit is not only a way of life for the Air Force, but it is also a way to ensure my health is at its best. I want to encourage Airmen not to wait for the last minute to start preparing for a PFT. I don't want anyone to suffer the consequences or the embarrassment of relaying a test failure up the chain of command.

I have learned to be responsible and hold myself accountable for my actions. As an Airman, it is my responsibility to pass every PFT and if I fail I have no one to blame but myself. No one else can or will be held accountable for something that is completely in my control. Staying fit -mind, body and soul- are my responsibility. It is my personal way of assuring the Air Force that I am mission ready, and that no matter what, I will be fit to fight and fit to test.