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How did I complete the scariest training program in the US Army?



  emily-lilly-fb-2.jpg [19659002] Photos: US Army

When I was growing up, my parents had high expectations of all five children: we all had to learn a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and have a sport To practice sports, swimming was my concern, I started at the age of 7, and when I was 12, I was there all year and worked hard to become (eventually) a citizen to this point – and although I was recruited to swim for a few colleges, I got an academic scholarship instead.

Fitness remained an important part of my life during college when I joined the Army, and continued until I had my children at the age of 29 and 30 years. Like most mothers, my health was a back seat for the first couple of years, but when my son turned two, I began training to become an Army National Guard. As you can imagine, there are several physical fitness standards that you must meet to set up the watch. This served as a push for me to get back into shape. (See also: What is the Military Diet? All about this weird 3-day diet plan)

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<p>  Even as I passed the training and became a first lieutenant, I continued to push my body physically, driving 10Ks and half-marathons, working primarily on strength training, and in 2014 the Army Ranger School opened for the first time in their 63-year history, they have opened their doors to women. </p><div><script async src=

For those who are unfamiliar with Army Ranger School, it is considered the US Army's leading infantry leadership school and lasts between 62 days and five to six months and trying to simulate the real fight as accurately as possible, designed to stretch your mental and physical limits, about 67 percent of those who participate in the training do not even exist. [19659004] That number in itself was enough to make me think I did not have the qualifications to qualify. But in 2016, when I had the opportunity to try this school, I knew I had to try – even if my chances of making it all the way were slim.

Training for the Army Ranger School

To get into the training program, I knew two things well: I had to work on my stamina and really build my strength. To see how much work I had in front of me, I signed up for my first marathon without training. I made it in 3 hours and 25 minutes, but my coach made it clear that that would not be enough. So I started the powerlifting. At the time, I felt comfortable with the bench press of heavy weights, but for the first time I learned the mechanics of squatting and deadlifting – and instantly fell in love with them. (See also: This woman traded cheerleaders for powerlifting and found her strongest self)

Finally, I went on and even broke some American records. But to do Army Ranger School, I had to be both agile and agile. Over a period of five months, I have completed cross-training – several times a week long distances and powerlifting. At the end of those five months, I put my skills to the test: I wanted to run a full marathon and then take part in a powerlifting six days later. I finished the marathon in 3 hours and 45 minutes and was able to squat 275 pounds, set 198 pounds and hit 360 pounds at the powerlifting meeting. At that point I knew that I was ready for the Army Ranger School physical test.

What it took to get into the program

To enter the program at all, there is a certain physical standard that you have to meet. A one-week exam will determine if you are physically able to start the program and test your abilities both on land and on water.

First, you must complete 49 pushups and 59 sit-ups (which meet military standards) for two minutes each. They will then complete a 5-mile run in less than 40 minutes and make six pull-ups that meet the standard. Once you've done that, you'll get to a combat water survival event. On a swim of 15 meters in full uniform you should overcome obstacles in the water, where the risk of injury is high.

  53203755_2272507732771073_2213543522072526848_n.jpg "src = [19659016] After that, you'll need to complete a 12-mile hike with a 50-pound pack in under three hours, and of course, those grueling physical tasks get worse as you sleep with minimal sleep Meanwhile, you are expected to communicate and collaborate with other people as exhausted as you are. Not only are you physically demanding, but you are really challenging your mental stamina. (Do you feel inspired? Try this military-inspired TRX workout.) 19659004] I was one of four or five women who made it through the first week and began the actual program. Over the next five months, I completed the completion of all three phases of the Ranger School, beginning with the Fort Benning Phase and then the Mountain Phase and ending with the Florida Phase, each of which is designed

The insulting reality of the Ranger School

Physically, the mountainous phase was the most difficult. I went through it in the winter, which means you have to carry a heavier backpack to cope with the harsh weather. There were times when I pulled 125 pounds up a mountain, in the snow or in mud, while it was 10 degrees outside. This affects you, especially if you consume only 2,500 calories a day, but burn much more. (Look at these scientifically proven ways to enforce exercise fatigue.)

I was also often the only woman at any stage. So I operated on a swamp for 10 days and never saw another woman. You just have to become one of the guys. After a while, it does not matter. Everyone judges by what they bring to the table. It's not about whether you're an officer, whether you've been in the army for 20 years, or you've applied. It's about what you can do to help. As long as you contribute, it does not seem to matter to anyone whether you are a man or a woman, young or old.

When I reached the final stage, we had operated in a plateau-level environment, working with other platoons and testing our ability to navigate people through swamps, coding operations, and flight operations, including jumping out of helicopters and airplanes. So there are many different moving parts and it was expected that under these conditions we will work to military standard with very little sleep.

  31404282_10157342592942519_6515846909976903680_o.jpg "src =" http://www.shape.com/sites/shape.com/files/u28559/31404282_10157342592942519_65158469090903680_o.jpg "/ jdn Resources for training for these simulation tests Other participants in the training came with me from areas of the army that gave them more leverage than I did myself. All I had to do was the physical training I had been through myself and my years (Related: How can one get past mental obstacles with mindfulness? ) </p>
<p>  Five months into the program (and just two months before my 39th birthday), I graduated from the Army National Guard's first female Army Ranger-something I still find hard to believe sometimes. </p>
<p>  There were so many times that I thought I would quit, but there was a sentence I carried with me: "They did not come here to come so far. Besides, it was not the end until I finished what I did there. </p><div><script async src=

My Next Conquest

Completing the Ranger School has changed my life in more ways than one My thinking process has changed in a way that people in my current unit have noticed, and now people are telling me that I have a strong, commanding presence with my soldiers, and I feel as if I have really grown in my leadership ability I realized that training was more than just going through swamps and lifting some heavy weights.

When you push your body so hard, you realize that you can do so much more than you think no matter what your goals are, regardless of whether you're trying to enter the Army Ranger School or complete a training course to drive your first 5km You can still go a step further, even if you feel you can not. It's about what you want to get involved with.


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