Journey to becoming Army Fit

continue to work toward our goal of taking and passing a PT testWeek 8

We continue to work toward our goal of taking and passing a PT test; however, we both notice that it is not as easy as we thought it would be. Initially, our motivation was high and our day-to-day jobs were a little less hectic since we were still new and it was the holiday season. Now, our work days are much busier and our bodies have various aches and pains from increased exercise and working under-used muscle groups, which makes working out tougher. We remind ourselves that progress is slow, and we respect that our bodies need a bit more recovery time now than they did when we were in our twenties and thirties. 

It gets us thinking about service members in the National Guard. Active duty service members typically do PT together in an organized group, and as a required part of their daily work routine. Guard members, on the other hand, often live and work apart from each other, and must rely on their own initiative to maintain their physical fitness in order to pass their PT test. It makes us very much appreciate their commitment, dedication, and self-discipline to being in the National Guard. They inspire us, along with a deep desire not to flunk, to keep chugging toward our goal. 

We have received so many good tips and strategies for building our strength and physical fitness. It is interesting to note that all of these tips and strategies are helpful, yet different. Each takes a unique approach to accomplishing the same goal or task. We see the same occurrence in mental fitness. There are varied ideas about how to maintain mental fitness and increase coping skills; all good, yet different. We compiled a list of coping skills, some that are our favorites and some that are borrowed from others:

•    Ask for help 
•    Create a support system
•    Accept imperfection / Be gentle with yourself
•    Take a relaxation break
•    Monitor inner thoughts
•    Take care of your (physical) health
•    Have a friend and be a friend

For more ideas and suggestions about coping and emotional health, check out:

Commentary by Courtney J. Lynch and Tracy K. Ward, Psychological Health Coordinators

Journey to becoming Army Fit

our PT date is closing in on usWeek 7

As our PT date is closing in on us, we notice we are feeling some anxiety about taking the test.  We are having to use more positive self talk, such as: You can do this; Others have started out weak but got stronger and passed the test;  You are progressing, be patient.  

At the same time, however, we’ve also observed an increase in negative self talk: OMG, you are going to flunk; What were you thinking signing up for a PT test and blogging about it?; You are going to make a fool out of yourself; This is a dumb idea; You are going to embarrass yourself and your colleagues; Everyone is going to laugh at you. 

We've had to help each other with these thoughts and spend some time using more realistic statements to combat the negative ones. Ok, if you fail, you tried, it's not the end of the world and you did get in better shape than when you started. Learn, adapt and try again.  As the old saying goes... “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.”

While we know there is a possibility we might not pass, we do know we will survive if we fail the PT test.  We will survive that failure, that day, that week, and the flack we may have to endure for awhile following the test. 

Mental Fitness maturity comes from facing our fears, our failures, and our mistakes followed by taking responsibility, finding solutions, gathering support and learning from the experience. Mistakes and failures are some of the best teachers, if you take time to learn from them.  Tough situations create an opportunity to practice your coping skills and find out where you may need to add extra ones. 

In sum, learning to be Army Fit is making us “walk the walk”, not just “talk the talk”. And, it is making us use our coping skills as we get closer to the test on March 23, 2015.  

•    Positive Self-Talk (Be encouraging, realistic, and patient with change and progress).
•    Monitor Negative Self-Talk (Watch for words that make the situation worse than it really is; watch for words that are mean or cruel or words that deplete your desire to keep trying or to do better).
•    Evaluate the situation outside of the anxiety/worry or fear of failure.  (Talking to someone who is outside of the situation may help you see the situation more clearly).
•    Learn and Adapt (Remind yourself that we all have challenges; they are part of our human experience and help us mature.  You will make mistakes and have failures in life.  Take responsibility for shortcomings, learn from mistakes, make amends if necessary, and move on....The Next Challenge is right around the corner). 

Commentary by Courtney J. Lynch and Tracy K. Ward, Psychological Health Coordinators

From The Top: “What the Heck is DOMOPS?” The History and Composition of the Domestic Operations Task Force

Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton CommanderCommentary by Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton
Commander, Domestic Operations Task Force

CAMP MABRY, Texas – Many members of the Texas Military forces are unfamiliar with the Domestic Operations Task Force also called “DOMOPS”.  What is it?  Who are they?  What do they do?  I will answer these questions and give a short history on how the Domestic Operations Task Force came to be.

Over the years leading up to the Task Force’s creation, the Texas Military Forces had responded to many hurricanes and other emergencies averaging almost 30,000 man days per year since 2001.  The response effort, while effective, lacked a standing headquarters.  Units who were called on to respond were always changing and Soldiers had to learn and re-learn response operations in support of civil authorities.  It was quickly discovered that a permanent task force headquarters was needed.  

In the fall of 2011, the Joint Staff were tasked by the Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, to devise a plan which would allow the Texas Military Forces to improve response time, maximize equipment and personnel capabilities, place various critical Domestic Operations programs on a sustainable footing, and make the best use of taxpayers’ dollars in regards to the State Active Duty (SAD) or Federal Title 32 Domestic Operations Missions.  A distributed planning team was assembled and conducted a systematic planning effort to develop courses of action.  After much analysis, a plan was approved. Brig. Gen. Len Smith, now Maj. Gen., spearheaded the establishment of the Domestic Operations Task Force as permanent force structure with subordinate, non-divisional units.  The Domestic Operations Task Force was established on May 21st, 2012 under the command of then Brigadier General Len Smith. 

The Domestic Operations Task Force is a joint organization comprised of four subordinate units and a joint staff.   In addition to the joint staff, the four units that make up the task force are the Joint Task Force 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB), the 176th Engineer Brigade, the Joint Counter Drug Task Force, and the Southwest Border Task Force.  Each of the subordinate units has a mission set that is specific to Domestic Operations, while also maintaining its federal, wartime mission. 

One of these missions is the Homeland Response Force (HRF) Mission.  The HRF Mission belongs to the Joint Task Force 136th (MEB) in Round Rock, Texas.  The HRF mission is to provide a CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) response capability in each FEMA region that is able to provide timely life-saving skills within the first 48 hours of a CBRNE event, and to establish, when necessary, a regional command and control structure in order to synchronize all State Active Duty/Title 32 CBRNE responses involving Civil Support Teams (CST), CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP) and prepare for follow-on forces.   Texas is in FEMA Region VI, which is also comprised of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.  The JTF 136th (MEB)’s HRF mission is evaluated and re-certified every three years. 

The 176th Engineer Brigade is assigned the All Hazards mission set and provides the Joint Task Force Headquarters for Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) missions.  TXMF are continuously supporting civilian authorities by responding to all hazards at the direction of the Governor, in order to preserve the lives and property of the people of Texas.  Those missions include hurricane response, ground wildfire suppression, and winter storm response to name a few. The 176th’s geographic dispersion and variety of equipment make it a perfect unit for domestic all hazards response.

The Joint Counterdrug Task Force’s mission is to assist Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the disruption of illicit drug financing, production, transportation and distribution, and promotes drug-free living through community-based education and prevention.  The Joint Counterdrug Task Force (JCDTF) conducts operations throughout the state of Texas and along the southwest border.  In addition to military counterdrug operations, the JCDTF also conducts civil operations to coach communities by delivering collaborative and effective strategies that create healthy citizens.  Civil operations include the Texas ChalleNGe Academy, STARBASE, Operation Crackdown, and the Joint Substance Abuse Program. 

The Southwest Border Mission (Operation Phalanx) is conducted by Joint Task Force Liberty, of which the Texas Military Forces has operational control.  The Task Force’s mission is to conduct aerial detection and monitoring to disrupt Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) and Drug Trafficking Organizations in support of U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  JTF Liberty works closely alongside the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) to provide air-centric operations and increase CBP’s capability with personnel and technology.  The helicopter used to conduct air operations along the border is the UH-72 Lakota and it is the premier Law Enforcement Agency support aircraft within the National Guard.  The National Guard is a key partner in the Department of Defense’s efforts on border security, and our operations on the border have led to the seizure of over 75,000lbs of illegal narcotics and the apprehension of over 61,000 undocumented aliens since 2012. 

As we move into hurricane and wildfire season and as activity along the southwest border is picking up, there is no question that the Domestic Operations Task Force is ready to respond at a moment’s notice. The Soldiers and Airmen of the Domestic Operations Task Force are “Texans Defending Texas.”

Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton has served over 28 years in the Texas Army National Guard and became the Commander of the Domestic Operations Task Force in June of 2013. His military career includes deployments to Bosnia and Afghanistan and has served as the Adjutant General’s Chief of Staff. Brig. Gen. Hamilton holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

I am the Guard


New Video from the Texas Military Forces

Story by: Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer

Posted: March 9, 2015

I am the GuardI am the Guard - Video AUSTIN, Texas) - The Texas State Guard is featured in the new "I AM THE GUARD" video produced by SFC Malcolm McClendon, Texas Military Public Affairs Office.  This video is about the Texas Military Forces which includes the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. 

One of the soldiers profiled is Staff Sgt. Jason Lopez, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard.  Photos include as well other TXSG soldiers. 

Video is available by clicking the image (left), the link in the right column on this page I am the Guard, or,  the TMD website  or

Journey to becoming Army Fit

great tips for reaching our pushup goalsWeek 6

We had an interesting and very helpful meeting with Capt. Nigrelle at PAO. She gave us great tips for reaching our pushup goals. For pushups, she demonstrated a technique that helped her and described it like this: Set a number goal for your pushups, let’s say 20. So, start by doing as many of the 20 on your toes that you can. If you do less than 20 on your toes, do the remainder up to 20 on your knees. Then do an additional 20 pushups from your knees, then 20 more from your hips. We like this idea and have been trying it. 

We are still several weeks away from the test day, so we need all the encouragement we can get. We so appreciate the soldiers who stop us to say that they are reading the blog, those who write comments on the blog itself, and the many who offer great tips/suggestions to help us improve! We try to remember and practice all of the helpful hints. 

Mental Fitness Tips

Add the word ‘yet’! 

During times of struggle, we often have negative thoughts or doubts about our abilities. We are noticing these thoughts creeping in lately. Thoughts like, ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m not good at this’ or ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’  When you think this way, try adding the word ‘yet’ to the end of the phrase. For example, ‘I can’t do 32 sit-ups’, becomes ‘I can’t do 32 sit-ups ‘yet’.  Just adding the small word ‘yet’ opens the door to feeling more hopeful and motivated to keep trying. 

We think this strategy could apply for any challenge or struggle in your life when your self-confidence is waning. To read more about this and other strategies to build self-confidence, go to

Commentary by Courtney J. Lynch and Tracy K. Ward, Psychological Health Coordinators

Texas Native Named Texas Air National Guard Senior Enlisted Advisor

Chief Master Sgt. Marlon K Nation, assumed responsibility as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Texas Air National Guard from Chief Master Sgt. Kevin J. O’Gorman

Commentary by Michelle McBride

AUSTIN, Texas (Mar. 3, 2015) – Chief Master Sgt. Marlon K Nation, assumed responsibility as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Texas Air National Guard from Chief Master Sgt. Kevin J. O’Gorman, in a ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin, Feb. 8, 2015. 

During the ceremony Nation thanked his family and friends for their many years of love, support and sacrifice. 

“I have a lot of thanks to pass along,” said Nation, “Because I certainly didn’t get to this position on my own.”

After a successful active duty career, Nation enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, in September of 1981 as a Weapons Systems Specialist. Since then he has held various positions at Ellington to include being the noncommissioned officer in charge of Quality Assurance within the 147th Maintenance Group, the Maintenance Operations Flight NCOIC where he was responsible for the oversight of day-to-day operations of several sections including Group Training, Management Analysis, Plans and Programs, Maintenance Operations and Coordination and Budget oversight, as well as serving as the Chief Enlisted Manager for more than 300 enlisted personnel assigned to the 147th Operations Group.  In 2011, Nation was selected as the 147th Reconnaissance Wing’s Command Chief Master Sergeant.

“The American people expect standards of us that they don’t expect in any other walk of life,” said Nation. “We have all taken an oath and signed a contract to support and defend that way of life and I plan on doing that to the best of my ability.”

As the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Texas Air National Guard, Nation will advise the Texas Air National Guard Commander on all enlisted matters affecting training, effective utilization, health of the force and enlisted professional development.

Texas Army National Guard’s MFTC validates Army’s one-school concept

Story by: 1st Lt. Alicia Lacy

Posted: March 3, 2015

1st Lt. Alicia Lacy Staff Sgt. Anthony Delagarza, a Master Fitness Trainer Course instructor, gives directions to soldiers before a round of guerrilla drills March 3, 2015, at Fort Hood, Texas, as part of the Master Fitness Trainer Course. About 20 National Guard and active duty Army soldiers began the final two weeks of training to become master fitness trainers to act as special advisers to unit commanders to facilitate physical training. (Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Alicia M. Lacy/Released)
1st Lt. Alicia Lacy
Staff Sgt. Anthony Delagarza, a Master Fitness Trainer Course instructor, gives directions to soldiers before a round of guerrilla drills March 3, 2015, at Fort Hood, Texas, as part of the Master Fitness Trainer Course. About 20 National Guard and active duty Army soldiers began the final two weeks of training to become master fitness trainers to act as special advisers to unit commanders to facilitate physical training. (Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Alicia M. Lacy/Released)

FORT HOOD, Texas – Master Fitness Trainer Course instructors from the 2nd Battalion, 136th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Texas Army National Guard, continue to support the one-Army-school system through their multi-component training class.

The instructors hosted the fourth iteration of the course Feb. 22 – March 6, 2015, at Fort Hood. 

“Right now, the Army is working toward a one-Army-school system, which basically means that any soldier from any component can go to a school being taught by a different component,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Balderston, commandant for the Texas Army National Guard training institute. “This course validates the principle that it’s a joint effort between components.”

Traditionally, National Guard, active duty and Reserve soldiers attended the two-week, in-residence, Phase II portion of the training class at the Texas National Guard’s headquarters at Camp Mabry in Austin; however, for this iteration the course tested the Fort Hood location.

“Fort Hood’s III Corps is providing resources and we’re providing instructors, so it’s a win-win for everybody because they’re able to get their soldiers trained and we’re able to validate the one-Army-school system concept,” Balderston said about soldiers receiving training across components.

The course had a mix of five National Guard soldiers from Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Missouri, and 15 active duty soldiers from numerous bases in Texas and Colorado.

The multi-component mixture in the class supported the total force Army concept, allowing soldiers from all components to work and train together.

“I look at it as a one team, one fight,” said Sgt. Jose Hamilton, a nodal network systems operator-maintainer with the 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion based at Fort Bliss. “The instructors are Guard and they still come in with that military bearing ... you would expect from someone being in the Army, period.” 

The National Guard-led course is only one of five Master Fitness Trainer Course sites in the entire country, charged with training National Guard, active duty and Reserve soldiers to be master fitness trainers who can conduct physical readiness training for their units.

“The course is getting us ready to train our units on how to do the correct PRT to help our soldiers get better at fitness all around,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christi Stephens, the readiness noncommissioned officer for the 249th Transportation Company, Texas Army National Guard. “When we do PRT, we’ll do it the right way, so even if we have them for just one day and we do one hour, we can do it right and have that precision we’re supposed to have.”

Following the successful completion of the academically intense, two-week distance learning course and the two-week in-residence course, which is largely physical, the soldiers will be advisers to their unit commanders on all things PRT, as well as educating their peers on performance, nutrition, fitness and readiness.

While working through the training modules, soldiers learned about the principles of PRT – precision, progression and integration – that aid in reconditioning and reducing injuries.

“You’ve got to earn your precision before you can go to the progression phase of these movements,” said Sgt. 1st Class Shelley Horner, an MFTC instructor and the course’s noncommissioned officer in charge. “Injury prevention is one of the biggest things for MFTC. We are very specific. We make sure the students really know the standard and are able to take that back to their units and train the trainer.”

Master Fitness is part of the Army’s effort to increase soldier physical readiness, reduce injuries and standardize unit training by preparing soldiers for the physical challenges of fulfilling the mission in complex environments, while facing a range of threats, according to the Army Physical Readiness Training Field Manual 7-22. 

The MFTC is one of several courses offered by the RTI that is available to all soldiers regardless of component.

Texas National Guard’s 176th Engineer Brigade exercises total force concept with III Corps during warfighter exercise


Story By: 1st Lt. Alicia Lacy & Capt. Martha Nigrelle

Posted: March 2, 2015

Courtesy Photo Soldiers with the 176th Engineer Brigade, Texas Army National Guard, during a Warfighter exercise at Fort Hood. During the three-week exercise, brigade soldiers provided engineer support to III Corps at Fort Hood.
Courtesy Photo
Soldiers with the 176th Engineer Brigade, Texas Army National Guard, during a Warfighter exercise at Fort Hood. During the three-week exercise, brigade soldiers provided engineer support to III Corps at Fort Hood.

FORT HOOD, Texas – The Texas Army National Guard’s 176th Engineer Brigade worked alongside its active duty partners at III Corps during a war fighter exercise Feb. 2-11, 2015, at Fort Hood. 

The exercise, a large-scale simulated war zone, not only tested the brigade’s capabilities, but also provided an opportunity to identify any gaps that can potentially affect responsiveness while maintaining a ready force.

“We’re doing the full spectrum of operations – combat support, combat service support and combat engineering,” said Col. Tracy Norris, commander, 176th Engineer Brigade, Texas Army National Guard.

The brigade is traditionally a corps-level engineering asset, which means it can be attached to an Army corps and deployed in support of theater-level engineering operations. 

“This exercise has been really effective because the brigade is a corps-level asset and any opportunity to work side-by-side with an Army corps helps us to train on the skill sets we need in case we are called into action,” said Col. Charles Schoening, 176th Engineer Brigade deputy commander. 

The brigade’s integration with III Corps is part of the total force concept, integrating active, Reserve and National Guard components.

“It’s great having Colonel Norris and her team plugged in because it generates combat readiness for us,” said Col. Jim Markert, assistant chief of staff for Operations, III Corps. “It makes us better at III Corps and it makes them better, too.”

In the three-week exercise, the brigade trained on how to conduct operations from a headquarters level. This allowed the staff to do all the tasks they would need to do in a deployed environment.

The exercise took place at Fort Hood and Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, and encompassed numerous brigades, as well as staffs from the 1st and 38th Infantry Divisions. The simulated warfare spread across a notional country the size of Afghanistan. 

Given the scope and fast-paced nature of the exercise, the brigade demonstrated its ability to succeed in any task or mission given to them, said Markert.

One unique capability of the brigade is their multi-role bridging company. With only two of these companies in the active duty component, training with this asset is a valuable opportunity for units like III Corps.

“A highlight for me was using their bridging assets,” said Markert. “In an offensive operation, we have to; we can’t do it without bridging assets. We are absolutely reliant on them if we go right into a big war.”

“This exercise was important because it demonstrates our capabilities of working shoulder-to-shoulder with the active duty,” said Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general-Texas. “We owe a great big thank you to III Corps for taking us under their wing and look forward to continuing this partnership.”

Amputee Serves State in Texas Guard

Story by: Capt. Esperanza Meza

Posted: March 1, 2015

PFC Lonnie Roy(GREENVILLE, Texas) - Despite growing up as an amputee with a prosthetic leg, Pfc. Lonnie Roy, Texas State Guard, always wanted to serve.

Roy grew up watching his father, a retired chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy, serve and spent much of his childhood on military bases. Roy always had a desire to serve, but never could due to his disability.

Roy realized his dream when he graduated Regional Basic Orientation Training and became a Texas State Guardsman Nov. 16, 2014, at the Greenville Armory.

Roy, a Dallas-area resident and director of health systems research at Parkland Health & Hospital Systems in Dallas, was born with a bone disease that led to a leg amputation. After a chance meeting with Sgt. Brian Nail, 19th Regiment, Texas State Guard, Roy learned that his dream of serving might become a reality.

Nail told Roy to look into the State Guard, informing Roy that his disability may be an obstacle but might not be a disqualifier. Roy’s wife was excited and wholeheartedly supported him as she knew he wanted to be in the military his whole life, Roy said. 

“Being an amputee, some unique challenges required a little more effort to overcome aside from everyday inconveniences,” said Roy. 

During the training, troops received extensive training in land navigation, communications, customs and courtesies, rank structure and chain of command, wear and maintenance of the uniform, a basic leadership course, drill and ceremony and a physical fitness test. 

During his training, Roy had to get creative. He learned putting on trousers with a prosthetic leg was difficult due to its three inter-locking pieces. To minimize the time devoted to dressing in the morning, Roy decided it would be easier to pre-dress the leg and lace up the boot and leave it up against his bed roll before going to sleep. 

“RBOT was more difficult for me than my fellow trainees,” said Roy, about the training. “Marching presented some unique obstacles for me.” 

Marching on uneven surfaces makes it difficult for an amputee to maintain balance. That coupled with keeping in step with his prosthetic leg that seemed to take too long to follow through on the forward step, resulted in Roy falling to the rear.

To fix this marching problem, Roy adjusted his gait, taking 30-inch steps with his leg and 15-inch steps with the prosthetic leg, a suggestion given to him based on how wounded warrior amputees adjusted to marching.
In addition to adjusting to marching with a prosthetic, Roy experienced difficulty in completing the one-mile event on the fitness test, but with some encouragement from fellow service members, he was able to complete it.

“My success was a combination of internal fortitude and fellow soldier’s encouragement providing me the needed motivation,” said Roy. “I am very excited to be part of the Texas State Guard and the Texas Military Forces. I never thought it would be possible to serve in any military force. I hope to continue to serve the State of Texas.”

For those considering the Texas State Guard, but hesitant that a disability may inhibit them, Roy’s message is: "If you are interested in joining, apply and go for it."

Roy is assigned to 1st Battalion, 19th Regiment of the Texas State Guard.

Journey to becoming Army Fit

drink water during the day on the warm daysWeek 5

Texas weather can be a challenge to beginning runners.  Since the new year, we’ve had very cold days followed quickly by warm days in the 70s and 80s. Cold and hot temperatures take a little more planning and preparation.  We learned the hard way that you have to drink water during the day on the warm days because it's too late to try and hydrate once you begin to run. 

When we run this week in the warm weather, both of us comment that we have a tough time swallowing because we are so parched and did not drink enough water.  We also have the pleasure of running with colleagues CPT Wayne Marrs and Amy Cowan. Their speed is quicker than our speed so (of course) we pick up our pace, only to be heaving and gasping for air and wanting water at the end of the two miles. We feel proud of ourselves for not quitting, and even prouder when we see that we took a minute off of our run time.

As for the pushups and sit ups, both of us are plodding along.  Tracy has found that having her 15-year-old sonhold her feet while doing her situps and saying, “Come on Mom, you can do a few more!”  helps her keep going and crank out a couple more.  Thanks to his coaching she is up to 18 situps.  Courtney's pushups look strong and she is able to have parallel arms on many of them.  She too is able to do 18 sit-ups.  That's only 14 short of her goal of 32.  

Physical Fitness Tips (learned the hard way):

•    Drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Recommended is 64 ounces. (Tracy finds that adding electrolytes by drinking coconut water or Emergenc-C Electro Mix packets mixed in water seem to help with cramping).
•    Running with people faster than you can motivate you to pick up your pace. 
•    Asking family members to help you makes the challenge of exercise more enjoyable.   
•    Having a goal about three months out helps keep up motivation when your body aches from the new activity and you just want to sit and watch TV.  For example, set a goal to participate in a 5K race. Make sure you pay for the race and get the T-shirt and the packet to remind you to keep training.  Old Race Rule- you can't wear the shirt until you run the race. 

Mental Fitness Tips: 

•    "For mild depression, physical activity can be as good as antidepressants or psychological treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy.”
•    “In some areas in the UK, GPs (family doctors) can prescribe exercise”.
•    “Exercise can also help you to cope better by improving how you feel about yourself and getting you together with other people”. 

from: Royal College of Psychiatrists (

Commentary by Courtney J. Lynch and Tracy K. Ward, Psychological Health Coordinators