I realized that the best way to deal with my struggles is to face it head on and I am doing it just now.
PMA as most people already know is not an ordinary educational institution. Although it pride itself with having an excellent academic curriculum, one does not graduate by merely being academically brilliant. There are four actualy: academics, character, military and physical. These four are all important aspects of cadet training which all of us must pass. On this four I struggle with the last.
Not that I am physically weak, its just that I have trouble doing one of the events in our regular Physical Fitness Test; the Pull-ups. According to some of the research I have done, the pull up is the ultimate exercise to test a person's weight to strength ratio. It is also the best exercise for the back. Obviously, my deficiency is on that aspect. When the semester begun this year, we were told that there will be a change in the way the Physical Fitness Test will be performed. They imposed stricter standards and that is where I find myself in trouble. In the previous years, I was used to doing this jerking motion to be able to do the exercise, this year though the jerking is no longer allowed. I find myself not being able to do even one against the required nine for me to pass. Not passing it means not being able to graduate in March. There goes my trouble.
I am writing this now not because I am asking for some mercy but because i want to face my fear. My fear is to accept that I am weak on this aspect and that I need help. Being in my position, with many other cadets looking up to as their leader, it is not easy to accept ones weakness. Every now and then when I go about doing my duty, I ask myself whether or not I have the right to lead people when I can not even do one exercise that most of those under me can do perfectly well. This has taken its toll with my not wanting to ask for help thus this honest revelation hoping to be comfortable with the idea that I need help and I need it badly. It took a while for me to do the exercise in the presence of other cadets out of simple embarrassment. I really have to swallow my pride now.
Last night, I was in a meeting with my other classmates. The agenda was simple: Me and how to pass my PFT. Although I did not show it to my classmates, it was one of the first signs of hope I had in the many months that I struggled dealing with this problem all by myself. More than just my own problem, it became clear that it was also my classmates problem. As we say here, "A mistah is thicker than blood." After last night I knew that those bunch of people will do whatever it takes to see to it that I will be stronger and be triumphant over my struggle.
Today I made a vow to myself (and to the others who are supporting me), I am giving myself up to October 20. That's almost a month. My birthday is the day after that and my birthday present is me being able to pass my PFT. I am having a rough start but then I know it can be done.
Yesterday, I was reading a story about a South African Doctor by the name of Dr. Richard Mayoyo. He was a neurosurgeon who was accidentaly shot on the head causing his paralysis. He wanted so badly to go back to being a neurosurgeon, something that was impossible because of how intricate it is to operate on a person's brain and him being paralyzed. To make the long story short he did came back to becoming a neurosurgeon. Some say it was a miracle, but reading it I say it was the triumph of the human spirit. The triumph of Dr Mayoyo's spirit and all the others who did not give up on him.
I am beginning my own journey into the triumph of my own spirit. Just as how this blog has been a witness to many of my struggles as a cadet and how I managed to deal with all of it, this blog will be a witness to that. I am hoping that those who will read this blog will pray for my struggle. I will pull my spirit up and in the process become a better person... God Bless me