Oh, mama

Surprise! The second record Army Physical Fitness Test of the year is rapidly approaching, as is the slightly worrying prospect of MS IIs leading morning PT sessions.

For the past few months, I’ve been training with Fortis Academy founder and all-around awesome Princeton student Josh Levine to build strength, resist injury and nudge that APFT score higher. (All worthy goals, though Josh and I would also love to see a certain cadet’s high score conquered).

However, a gruesome finals period and a badly sprained wrist have me worried that I’ve cramped my progress. Call me insecure, but I think if we faced each other today, my mother would kick my ass.

Of course, my mother is no ordinary woman.

"This Christmas card photo is taking a long time. Let's go over there and do some lunges."

Some women have walk-in closets. My mother has a pull-up bar. Free-standing and made of steel, the thing looks like a doorway, a magical portal from her room to the land of beautifully-defined back muscles.

The picture of health, my mother. Every time I go back home, she has six new nutrition texts at her desk. A doctor should take photos of our kitchen shelves, honestly. And of course, she looks great. Since my sophomore year of high school, she gives me clothing that…wait for it…is too big for her. One time we were going through security at the airport, and the TSA agent thought she and my brother were twins.

My mother has always inspired me in many ways. She’s thoughtful, pragmatic and dedicated.  A graduate of the second class of women at West Point, my mother went on to fly helicopters for the army, study history and teach. I count on her support but I also think there is something about her example that is especially motivating for the trials of cadet life.

Because when I’m complaining, she’s already done twenty reps.