Friday, May 11, 2018

Proud USAF Mom X3 - My Princess Is An Airman Now!

     I started this particular blog several months ago when I started helping my daughter Tiffany get as physically prepared for USAF Basic Training as she could be in only 6 weeks. Being in school and working took up all of her time so she hadn't been working out for at least 6 months prior to this. I knew the PT at Basic Training was going to be very hard for her at first but I was confident she would keep up and do just fine!
 I think I was a little more concerned about how she would be emotionally since she was never really that person who liked being away from home. We had gotten into a routine of watching some TV shows at night while snacking and chatting over a glass of wine while she laid on the couch with her skinnypig "Kramer". We were both in our "comfort zones" for quite a while. Ironically, my dog started waking me up at 5 am every morning, starting the week before she left and has continued the whole time she has been gone. It's almost like Willie decided that we were going to be supportive and be awake when Tiffany was up jogging to her cadence in Texas.

     Tiffany was most concerned about doing the running every morning since that was not something that came easily for her, and she was also worried about not finding food that she would eat. Not only is she a very picky eater, but she is also vegetarian, plus she doesn't sleep well at night. Given all of these "possible" set-backs, Tiffany was made "Element Leader" after the first two weeks of Basic Training and academically made it to the top 10% and was an Honor Graduate having her name announced at graduation with the other Honor Graduates. I am so freaking proud of this girl!
     Before Tiffany actually had time to get into the gym to start training, I told her to just start doing push-ups and sit-ups at home and if she had 15 minutes after work, she should just jog around the complex.  I think initially she struggled with doing 6 push-ups and couldn't jog half a mile without stopping. In her second week of Basic Training, she ran 1 1/2 miles in 15:08 and her final PT test after 6 weeks she did a mile and a half in 12:47! She was practicing sit-ups at home so she was able to do 44 in a minute her second week of PT and by week six she did 60 push-ups in a minute. The recruits were also given one minute for their push-ups, which she went from doing 16 the 2nd week and worked up to 35 in one minute by her sixth week which I think is very good!
     As a Personal Trainer for more than half of my life, I've seen many people go from being completely inactive, unhealthy, and weak, to becoming healthy and fit, and some even going on to run full marathons! Many people have injuries or physical disabilities that prevent them from doing some of the thins they'd like to do, but the power of intention and a strong desire to succeed will take all of us much further than we'd ever imagined we could! I'm so proud of all of my children who chose to join the United Stated Air Force and not only make this personal transformation, but to serve our country when many are incapable or unwilling. I thank all of the military men and women for their service!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Proud USAF Mom X3 - Training My Daughter Before Basic Training - 1 Week and Counting!

 I started this "Training My Daughter Before Basic Training" blog 5 weeks ago when my daughter Tiffany finished her semester at school and finally had the time to focus on her physical goals, which was to be as ready for Basic Training as best as she could be. As a Personal Trainer and her mom, it only seemed natural that I'd want to advise her and help her in the gym. Once she leaves for Lackland Air Force Base (San Antonio, TX) in a week she will only be able to communicate via hand-written letters...the good old fashioned way (NO social media, cell phone, or computer) and I will continue this journal for her based on those letters I receive.
     The three things I know Tiffany will be doing a lot of once she leaves is running, push-ups, and sit-ups so I started her on an interval-training program which incorporated those three exercises along with weight-training, plyometrics, and other cardiovascular conditioning exercises. Plyometrics,  also known as "jump training" or "plyos", are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed strength) (Wikipedia).
     We did all of her training at the Secaucus Recreation Center (Secaucus, NJ) where I teach classes and train most of my clients. They have a small indoor track in which 19 laps around is 1 mile. At first I had her jogging 3 laps and doing push-ups after each set of weights that I gave her to do. The next week I increased it to 5 laps, and on days she wasn't with me she just did a walk/jog on the track or treadmill trying to build up her endurance to be able to jog 1 mile without stopping.which she did for the first time on January 16th.
     With very little time left and still working 30 hours a week, Tiffany still had a lot of things to organize and get done, people to see, and fun to be had before being cut off from everything she now calls "her life". She has only been hitting the gym 3-4 times a week but finally ran 1 1/2 miles without stopping (required) about a week ago. My son Dakota, who is in the Air Force Reserves and lives home with us, told her that as long as she can do the required mile and a half when she gets there she will be OK. The PT (Physical Training) they do every morning in Basic Training will have her endurance up in no time!
     My oldest son Jesse is also in the Air Force National Guard and was full-time for three years, two of which were spent in Germany at Ramstein Air Force Base. He met his girlfriend Taylor, who was also stationed there but originally from Texas. They both live a few blocks away from us and are also very involved in Fitness and Nutrition.
Taylor has been a source of encouragement for Tiffany and also a good friend and "Training Buddy", which is always good to have in times like this!
     We are all going to miss Tiffany since she will be in Texas training for almost a year. She has become my best friend in her adult years and the person I've always planned so many fun things to do with. Last weekend Tiffany and I did the Cupid's Undie Run NYC (fund raiser for the Children's Tumor Foundation) for the 4th year together.
Taylor has joined us for the last 2 years and we always have such a great time!

     This year we wore camouflage-themed clothes (with pink and red hearts, of course!) to show support of Tiffany's decision to join the Air Force. By the way...Tiffany is ahead of both of us in that photo!
I don't know if we'll do it again next year but it sure has given us some fun memories, as well as many other things we've done together over the last few years.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Proud USAF Mom X3 - Training My Daughter Before Basic - 6 Weeks and Counting!

      My daughter Tiffany has decided to follow in her brothers' and father's footsteps and enlist in the United States Air Force National Guard. My oldest son served 3 years full-time and now continues in the National Guard at McGuire Air Force Base, which is where my daughter will eventually go for her monthly drills . My youngest son has been serving for 2 years as a Boom Operator in the Air Force Reserves, and after a year of training in Texas, he also reports to McGuire AF Base.
     Tiffany started with MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) a year ago and was working out fairly regularly getting ready to enlist, but she was holding out for a military job to become available that she was willing to commit to. In the meantime, she continued her education and obtained a job as a beauty consultant since she has been a licenced Aesthetician for five years. I've been very fortunate to have my own personal Make-up Artist for various events I've had to attend over the years. She is an amazing Make-up Artist!
     With the extremely tight schedule she has had the last 6 months, Tiffany didn't have time to keep up with her workouts. In September she was notified of a opening for a Medical Technician position in the Air National Guard and she had 1 week to decide and get sworn-in. She accepted the position with the condition that she would not leave until after this past semester of school was over. She now has less than 6 weeks left to get physically and mentally prepared to leave for 8 weeks of Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas. Being a Personal Trainer allows me to at least help her with that!
     We've decided to keep a log of her journey together. She is more into the videos and photos used on Instagram, and doesn't enjoy blogging as much as I do. I will be training her a couple times a week (besides her own workouts she is doing) and taking photos as well as blogging along the way. Once she leaves for Basic Training she will no longer have access to anything but a pen and paper to write with...NO Social Media AT ALL! That's where my blogging will take over! I will continue to report her journey as I receive letters from her. I know the first few weeks will be the hardest for her both physically and emotionally, especially since it takes some time to start receiving letters of encouragement from home.
I've written plenty of letters to my sons while they were in Basic Training, hoping to cheer them up when they might've been feeling discouraged or just home sick, plus it gave me a temporary sense of having them with me. My niece Nina just finished all of her training in Texas for the Air Force Reserves. I am so proud of her! She was working so hard to get physically prepared and totally kicked butt taking my classes before she left.
     Tiffany was always pretty athletic in school and even after high school did a little bit of kickboxing, weight training and was taking some of my spin and interval training classes. The one thing she didn't enjoy was running and pretty soon she'll be doing a lot of that! Last night she came back from the gym after being sick all week and ran her first mile without stopping, which is a great start for her. Tiffany has been getting advice about what to expect at Basic Training from her her cousin, her brother Jesse and his girlfriend Taylor, who is also an Air Force Veteran, and her younger brother Dakota who lives home with us.
      I'm sure it will be a little strange having their sister gone with the Military for 10 months but it is going to be very difficult for me to not have my Princess home with me for that long. You can follow +Tiffybopp on Instagram and Youtube for the next 41 days and after that just stay tuned to my blogs.