Running and Rewards


I hate running. It’s not that I dislike running, I actively disdain and abhor it. You may think I’m exaggerating because Americans in general seems to dislike exercise. No. I hate it. I would rather do just about anything other than run. Even if I was being chased by a hungry lion that had a starving tiger on its back and was being followed by a pterodactyl I’d still rather not run more than just about anything. The only thing I dislike more than running is vomiting. I’ve actually known a guy that only felt he had a really good run if he threw up afterwards. I can’t think of anything more unpleasant than combining those two activities.

Recently the Reserve Unit I belong to decided that they needed to reorganize several of the divisions. Now I’ve been in the military long enough now to realize that the only constant is change. Sometimes you need to refocus. Either because the mission changes or the requirements do. It doesn’t help to complain about it, although that is every enlisted members right. Better to just figure out what needs to be done and take care of it. Find out what the commander wants and get moving to make sure you can legally, ethically and morally get it done.

As anyone who knows anyone in the military is aware, you are required to keep a certain level of physical fitness along with ensuring that your technical skill in your military occupation is kept up to date. You have to keep your weight within certain limits and they check your overall fitness using an archaic series of exercises that almost completely but not entirely are exactly unlike any combat operation you will ever do. They call it the Army Physical Fitness Test. Regardless of that you need to train so that you can score, at a minimum, a passing score on the test. There is some advantage for enlisted personnel as the higher you score the more points you can earn to help get promoted, but for Warrant and other Officers no such incentive exists.

With the restructuring of the unit a large number of people needed to be reassigned. As with most reassignments the needs of the service prevailed. The various skills of the personnel were taken into account and people were shifted to where they were needed. A couple of command positions needed to be filled so the commander interviewed those that were interested and assigned them accordingly. As a Warrant Officer I don’t need a command position to get promoted. I can have a command position but I don’t need one. As such I thought it would be rather bad form to apply for a one. And in any case I really didn’t need the headache or complication that being in command would mean. I was more than satisfied to operate in the role to which my rank was created. To be the adviser to a commander as to the best practice to perform our particular duties.

I understand the need to keep myself in good shape, never know when I’ll have to dodge bullets or carry my buddy to safety, why do I have to subject myself to running. It’s not like I’ll actually be required to try to dodge bullets. With the Marines at least they have what’s known as a combat fitness test or CFT. We in the military do love our acronyms. You do have to run but it’s only half a mile and 75 yards zigzagging through cones. And you have to do it in combat boots. Seems to me that makes more sense. I’m more likely to be trying and keep from getting shoot by dodging around stuff and then sprinting a short distance to cover. Not straight out or in a circle for two miles.

The commander gathered us all up at the end of the day and started announcing the assignments. SGT Snuffy to this division, CPT Smarty to this position, still needed an Officer to apply for this position. When he finally made it around to me I was in for a unique surprise. I was the only person that to whom he offered a choice. This should have immediately tipped me off that something bad would happen. Just like running, although required making a choice would probably be unpleasant. As I suspected, as soon as I let the commander know what I thought would be more interesting to me, he agreed and mentioned that it would also give me the opportunity to be Deputy Division Chief if not acting Chief.

Crap.

Like the dreaded running, although I had prepared myself to be able to meet the minimum, I was not going to enjoy it. As with this choice, I  didn’t want to be in charge, I was kind of looking forward to not being in charge for a change and just being a worker bee. Unfortunately I don’t know how not to slack off of these choices and I find myself rewarded by being but in charge and given more work. So know, like the aforementioned dread, I have to start working out and forcing myself to run.

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