Journey to becoming Army Fit

Join us as two behavioral health therapists train to become mentally and physically “Army Fit.”

I am Tracy Keating Ward and I am Courtney Lynch.

Hi! I am Tracy Keating Ward and I am Courtney Lynch.  We are Psychological Health Coordinators (PHCs) for the State of Texas and we are located at the beautiful Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas.

Being therapists, we have spent a good portion of our lives learning the ins and outs of mental / emotional fitness.  However, due to busy lives and a deep desire to help others, we have found ourselves failing at being physically fit.  This has a lot to do with sitting for long hours in a chair, as therapists sometimes do, driving long hours commuting (traffic, traffic, traffic), and not prioritizing any type of regular exercise routine.  This level of poor fitness does not just appear suddenly. It creeps up day after day until you realize you now get winded going up a flight of stairs.  UGH. 

Working in a military setting and being surrounded by a large number of fit people really opens your eyes to evaluate your own fitness level.  Seeing service members running in the morning, during lunch and after work (no matter the temperature) makes you reflect on your own lack of commitment to exercising.  We have decided that we want to be role models and be both mentally fit and physically fit.

How do we do this? In talking to service members, we learn that taking a PT test every six months is a big motivator in their staying fit. So we decided to challenge ourselves to see if we could pass a PT test on March 23, 2015. Please note that we said we want to PASS the test, not EXCEED.  Passing means getting a score of 60 percent on each of the three skill sets: two-mile run, pushups, and sit-ups. 

Tracy:  That means for me, who is a 52 year-old female, I have to do nine pushups in two minutes, 28 sit-ups in two minutes and run two miles in 24 minutes and 24 seconds.  

Courtney:  And for me, at age 43, I have to do 12 pushups, 32 sit-ups and a 2-mile run in 23 minutes and 42 seconds.

We’ve begun to talk to others about our goals. Service members we have talked to have been encouraging, respectful, and did not die laughing when they heard how few pushups we had to do.  (Just like a service member to always be respectful). 

We have committed to blogging weekly about our progress.  If you are so inclined to join our fitness mission, or just want to follow our progress, please do.  If you are a civilian employee, contractor, or family member, and want to join us in becoming “Army Fit,” go to to find the standards for your age and gender. Remember, if you just want to pass like us, look at the numbers that fall in the 60 percent column.  Also, if there is a medical reason you cannot run, you are allowed to walk (a very fast walk), swim 800 meters, or bike 6 miles.  

Every journey starts with the first step.