A down on his luck Austin, Texas, native had bills to pay and was looking for a way to make ends meet. He never imagined he would enlist in the Air Force, become the “go-to” guy in his shop, compete in powerlifting competitions and become a personal trainer.
Airman 1st Class Joshua Pant, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron operations management apprentice, found a great job that allows him to focus on his passions, work out, pursue his education and serve his country.
“I’d seen movies like ‘Full Metal Jacket’ when I joined the military,” he said. “I was thinking it’s going to be intense, and it was exactly what I expected. I knew I wasn’t going to see my family, but in the end it hasn’t been bad. The Air Force put a roof over my head, money in my pocket and food in my mouth. It has been great to be part of something that makes a difference around the world.”
Pant has always had an interest in weightlifting and body building but didn’t really discover his passion for it until he joined the Air Force. When he went to technical school, he met Airman 1st Class Tyler Dunn, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron operations management apprentice, who would also become a weightlifting enthusiast.
“I was 125 pounds when I joined the Air Force, but Dunn and I started taking weightlifting very seriously,” Pant said. “I did research, started buying protein and experimented with different products to find out what would give my body the best results.”
With his newly found weightlifting passion, Pant started competing in powerlifting competitions where he could get and share workout tips with other competitors. He says it’s the thrill of competition and the people he’s surrounded by that make him want to compete.
“It’s always great to be around people who share the same mindset when it comes to lifting,” he said. “I’m a big people person so connecting and sharing advice at the competitions is always a good time.”
Besides improving his strength and living a healthier lifestyle, Pant also improved his mental state and his ability to handle and overcome stressful situations better.
“Working out relieves a lot of stress for me,” he said. “It’s a big part of my life now. I am able to see the results and set higher goals, and be able to achieve them. These aren’t goals I achieve overnight but through months of training. It’s amazing how much you can do if you put your mind to it and then apply that focus to everyday life. I come to work and there’s a lot to do or a lot of stressful situations happening at once, but I know I can push through it and accomplish all that’s needed.”
Pant applies this mindset to his job on a daily basis. He’s someone his shop can rely on to get the job done.
“Airman Pant is very knowledgeable and hard working,” said Staff Sgt. Keeon Pullen, 56th CES NCO-in-charge of customer service. “Any time we need something done or leadership needs something taken care of, Pant is our go-to guy.”
Pant is hoping to get a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and eventually get a degree in physical therapy. In the short-term, Pant is halfway to becoming a personal trainer.
“I’ve been blessed with awesome people in my life who have helped me get to where I am today through their advice and experience,” he said. “I’m in the gym all the time, and being a personal trainer would be a great way to give back by using everything I’ve learned. I know how it was being the new kid at the gym. This is a way I can help ease the process and share my passion for fitness and nutrition.”