When a sports season finishes and a team doesn’t have a game for several months, the off-season begins. Students take weeks off to relax: no workouts, no coaches, nothing at all, until training starts back up a few weeks later. That may be the story for athletes, but people in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) live a lifestyle where there is no off-season, with workouts starting at 6 a.m. and training at least five days a week.
Workouts for ROTC have three components: push ups, sit ups and a two-mile run. These make up the army physical fitness test which helps measure the progress among the cadets involved in ROTC. There is not a universal goal among the cadets, except for each one to improve every week. Some workouts are harder than others, according to sophomore Mitch Friesenborg.
“There are a few days where the workouts got so grueling that I could sit down later in the day and my legs would feel like jelly, and when I would get up, or at least try to get up, I would fall over,” Freisenborg said.
For ROTC there is not a major focus on maintaining healthy habits outside of the training. It is heavily suggested by the leaders of ROTC to eat healthy and sleep plenty, but cadets are not required to have specific strict diets. Sophomore Erin Gaessler said these things help her in future workouts.
“It is definitely more self-enforced than anything else, we always say, ‘Get sleep, eat right,’” Gaessler said. “That makes workouts easier — if you are rested and you have the fuel in your body to do it — but you have to be self-disciplined.”
ROTC is centered around their community and each person plays a role in the group. The goal is for everyone to improve in their army physical fitness test and workouts differ among cadets to enable that. Juniors and seniors lead different groups that focus on different workouts. The purpose is to keep cadets interested and motivated in workouts to improve their capabilities. By splitting groups, cadets are placed with others with the same fitness level, keeping interest and competition high for best results.
Captain Chance Hall, who looks over the ROTC program, said he loves workouts being held in the morning.
“It is the best way to start the day: the opportunity to wake up, get up, laugh and have fun,” Hall said.
To some, ROTC appears rigorous and tough –– with lots of yelling. The outside view appears discouraging to possible prospects of ROTC, but Hall notes that it is far from the truth.
“A lot of people have a preconceived notion that ROTC is me yelling at them and stuff like that,” Hall said. “But it is not, the three things I do is: I teach, I coach, I mentor. I am not here to yell at you, I am here to make these sessions fun.”