Physical fitness is one of the four dimension of Air Force wellness. One Airman displayed his mastery of this dimension by earning 100 percent on his fitness assessment test earlier last month and shared his story on what it took to get there.
“It’s an amazing feeling scoring 100 percent on the FA,” said Maj. Ruben Amezaga, 56th Training Squadron primary flying training chief. “All the commitment is worth it once you cross the finish line.”
Scoring 100 percent on the FA takes dedication, according to Amezaga.
“I start getting ready for the FA about two months out,” he said. “I only run four times a week, and I vary the amount of miles I run each time between three and eight miles.”
For Amezaga, the FA couldn’t have come at a better time.
“This year I was training for a half marathon which was perfect,” he said. “In fact I took my fitness assessment and completed the half marathon in the same week. It was pretty challenging to do, but the FA definitely helped.”
Even though Amezaga performed excellently on his FA, the run portion pushed him to his limit.
“In my opinion, the 1.5-mile run is always the toughest portion to score full points,” he said. “The situp and pushup portion of the test comes naturally to me, so I focus on aiming for a perfect score on the run.”
Being an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilot, it’s important for Amezaga to stay fit year-round to fly.
“A fighter pilot requires a certain degree of physical fitness,” he said. “However, it doesn’t help achieve 100 percent on the PT test. Dedication is the key to striving for excellence. No matter what obstacles come your way, put in the time to achieve a perfect score.”
There are many reasons for staying fit. Like Amezaga, some people are fueled by a driving desire to perform better.
“Personal fitness is an individual thing, whether you’re training for a particular sport or to pass your fitness assessment,” said Sherri Biringer, 56th Force Support Squadron Fitness Center recreation aide. “There has to be a driving factor. It can be a medical thing or just to look better. It’s different for everyone.”
Amezaga’s advice to Airmen who want to score a 100 percent on the FA is simple.
“Focus on areas you’re weak in,” he said. “If you’re struggling with the run, add long-distance running into your workout routine. The more you do the training, plus adding miles to workouts, the easier it will be to do the run portion when test day comes.”
Luke Air Force Base is filled with Airmen making contributions to the mission, and Amezaga sees it on a daily basis.
“All of Team Luke works hard every day,” he said. “We have to in order to train the best F-35 Lightning II and F-16 pilots. Being physically in shape is just one aspect of the balance required to be successful in the military. If your goal is to achieve a 100-percent score on the FA, go for it. Don’t let negativity stand in your way. It can be done.”