Face of Defense: Airman Shares Fitness Success Story
By Air Force Airman 1st Class Armando A. Schwier-Morales
22nd Air Refueling Wing
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan., Oct. 29, 2010 Deployed airmen face many challenges, but Air Force Staff Sgt. Michelle Rose transformed her mental and physical obstacles into a fitness success story.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Michelle Rose runs with her squadron in physical training at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., Oct. 13, 2010. Rose lost more than 55 pounds during a deployment to Southwest Asia and has taken on a leadership role in her squadron’s physical training program. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Armando A. Schwier-Morales
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Rose, noncommissioned officer in charge of 22nd Operations Support Squadron aviation resource management, began her battle to improve her fitness in September 2009. Her physical fitness test score was 76 points, one point from failing, and it affected many parts of her life.
"I weighed 175 pounds and was completely unhappy with myself," she said. "My self-esteem was low; therefore, I never wanted to go out when friends asked me."
Rose’s transformation began when she deployed to Southwest Asia.
"The day after I got to my deployed location, I went to the gym in the coalition compound," she said. "I asked for a workout plan, and a civilian employee offered to train me."
With the help of friends, Rose continued her regimen during her deployment and dropped 45 pounds.
"I trained six days a week for 114 days, and cardio and weightlifting was the key to my success," she said.
Rose returned here in December 2009 with a changed mind set and a new lifestyle. She scored 94.9 points on her physical training test.
"The changes have made her healthier and have given her a more positive outlook on life and the future," said Air Force Master Sgt. Clayton Raub, the squadron’s chief of host aviation resource management. The changes in Rose’s personal life led to improvements in her professional life, Raub added.
"She is able to supervise and lead better, because now she can come from the standpoint [of] 'I am doing this, and there is no reason you can't,'" he explained.
Rose has been leading and encouraging others in her squadron during their physical training.
"When we PT, she is leading it and putting her energy out on other people, … and they take it well," Raub said. "How can you not take it from someone that actually went from where she was to where she is now?"
Down to 117 pounds and striving for a perfect score, Rose said she will continue to improve her health every day by improving on all aspects of her life.
"I will continue to always be physically fit -- and the happiness that it has brought me is more than words can describe," she said.