Readiness: Fit to Fight

Readiness: Fit to Fight

Let’s drill down into and discuss the importance of physical fitness. Ask yourself, are you ready? My intent is not to describe a training program; it’s to discuss the importance of keeping our bodies physically prepared to win the fight. We will take a deeper look at why it’s paramount to maintain a high level of physical readiness in order to be successful. 

Here’s why it is important to maintain a high level of physical readiness. We are going to break this down into two categories: Job performance and cultural aspects. If you carry a gun for a living, you have many additional duties you need to perform other than shooting. Many of these require physical exertion. Running, climbing, combatives, etc. If you fail to maintain a state of physical readiness you are setting yourself, your family/teammates, and those you’ve sworn to protect up for failure. Being physically fit is, without question, critical for optimal performance.  

Trust when I say, it’s difficult to make good decisions or shoot well when your heart rate is through the roof. It’s impossible to make entry if you do not possess the ability to climb over the wall that separates you from the objective/target. All of your other skills go right out the window if you cannot physically make it to where you need to be on the objective/target. You are now combat ineffective. This deficiency comes on rapidly in those who do not train properly. Your body must be acclimated to physical stress in order to conduct the tasks you are required to perform to accomplish your mission and live a full life.

Now from a cultural standpoint, physical readiness is a gateway into every combat arms MOS, SOF operator or SMU – special mission unit. From MARSOC, Force Recon, STA Snipers, Ranger School, to SFAS (Special Forces Assessment and Selection), and BUD/S, they all have must pass physical fitness requirements just to begin the training. This is the initial process to thin the ranks and separate the pretenders from the contenders, which continues as these selection courses progress. The ideology behind it is if you cannot show up physically ready to go, then you do not deserve to even try out. I’m talking about working/operating in places where you give everything you have just to meet the standard. That’s one aspect of the culture, and everyone is held accountable. You earn it every day. Every day is a test. Bottom-line you have to be ready for anything without warning. There’s no warmup, no re-test. As Yodi said, Do. Or do not. There is no try. What you brought that day is all you have, and no one cares about what you did yesterday, last week, last month or last year. This is a what can you do today environment and mindset. This is an environment and culture that keeps people from becoming complacent. Everyone should keep themselves in shape and hold yourself accountable. This gets to the heart of when Goggin’s talks about the, “accountability mirror”. Some may ask why we keep a high level of physical readiness and the answer is because we know that we could still be called upon to perform on demand for our families, teammates and hold the line between good and evil in this world. We refuse to allow laziness and complacency to keep us from succeeding and protecting all that we love and hold dear in this world.

As for all this there are many other positive effects that fitness provides. We can say we don’t judge people based on our initial assessment of them, but in reality, most people are extremely judgmental. The first thing most people notice in others is physical appearance. If you take care of yourself, bad people are less likely to do bad things to you. Physical readiness shows that you have a high level of self-respect, which leads to many other sought-after traits. There is also indisputable evidence of the positive mental effects of staying fit. The old saying of “sound body, sound mind” may not always be accurate, but for the most part, this adage is truer than not. From first impressions, to self-confidence, performance, and stress reduction, consistent physical training has too many valuable attributes to neglect. It is a lifestyle. Some people will say we are obsessed. Keep in mind, obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated. Stay the course.   

Now there are numerous fitness programs out there. It’s difficult, if not impossible to be incredibly good at everything at the same time. If all you do is power lift, then you probably are not running or conducting High Intensity Training. You must be well rounded in regard to physical fitness. For example, you need to be able to run up a hill or staircases with kit on and be strong enough to carry a wounded teammate/family member back down. You want to be strong, swift and durable. True fitness is task oriented. There are plenty of excellent, well thought out programs that will advance your overall physical capabilities. You want to focus on building functional strength, speed, agility and injury prevention. I suggest you ask yourself two questions when deciding on a program:

1. Is this functional and applicable to your job and meet your mission requirements? 

2. Are you willing to commit to doing it? 

If your answer to question 1 is no, then find another training program that better suits your needs. 

If you answer no to question 2. That’s an individual issue that must be figured out from within.

Now what could the consequences be for failing to maintain a high level of physical readiness? We could “what if” this all day. I’ll provide one and the rest I will leave for you to decide. Your family member (wife, daughter, son, parent) is shot and needs to be moved to a position of cover to receive medical treatment. You get to them, but you do not possess the strength to pick them up and carry them. You’re weak, winded, and have made a poor decision to blow off physical training (PT) for God knows how long. They succumb to their wounds. Now picture yourself watching your grieving family as you bury your loved one. Let that sink in for a minute.

PREPARE – PROTECT – PREVAIL

By:  Travis N. – Director of Operations at Bellevue Gun Club

Travis N. – LinkedIn

If you, your family or organization is interested in private or group training please contact us.

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