GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Building resiliency not only involves working out the mind, it also requires working out the body. This not only means staying active, but pushing yourself to the next level.
For 1st Lt. Morgan Diglia, 17th Training Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator deputy, pushing herself mentally and physically through triathlons has become her pastime.
“Competing in triathlons has become a summer hobby for me,” said Diglia. “I did my first triathlon at Mountain Home Air Force Base in 2013 and I have enjoyed competing in them ever since.”
Diglia is currently training for the San Angelo Olympic Triathlon, which includes a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike ride and a 10 km run.
“When I am preparing for a triathlon, I try to swim, bike and run at least twice a week. I make sure to do strength training once a week and stretch or do yoga every day. This is all fun for me so I don't get stressed out if I miss an exercise but I do strive for a diverse training routine,” Diglia added.
Whether it’s a physical or mental activity it takes motivation to get up and get started. This motivation can be internal or external, however, in Diglia’s case it’s both.
“There are several influences that motivate my fitness routine,” said Diglia. “First, I love competition. I am internally motivated to do my best and push my limits in everything I do. I always have a goal or race planned for myself. Whether it is a week away or 6 months down the road, once I say I am going to do something I know I won't be satisfied until I complete it.
“Second, is my biggest competitor: my husband. He might be the only person I know who is more competitive than me. We are constantly pushing each other to try something new and supporting each other through whatever we are signed up for next.
“Finally, I feel like it is part of my responsibility,” Diglia added. “I have been blessed with a physical ability and blessed to be part of a service where good physical fitness is an expectation and excellence is a core value. Achieving my best physical fitness is a personal and professional standard for me.”
Performing and excelling in physical activities that require aerobic fitness, endurance, strength, flexibility and body composition derived through exercise, nutrition and training represents the physical pillar of Comprehensive Airman Fitness. Diglia explains how preparing for the triathlon has helped with that.
“Training for triathlons reminds me of the complexity of physical fitness. I can't just do one exercise and expect to be able to reach my best time in a race. It takes a little more planning and managing time and exercises, when you have to consider several different types of training,” said Diglia. “I am much more aware of what I am eating and drinking. Rest, healthy diet and proper hydration are all critical aspects of any type of training. If I am feeling fatigued or injured, I can modify any one or two of these components to correct the problem and get back at it full force.”
According to a Princeton University study conducted in 2012, physical activity reduces the brain’s responses to stress, and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function.
“For me, being active is a critical component of my social, spiritual and mental well-being. Consistent physical activity makes me feel more productive at work, more engaged and involved with family and friends and more energetic in my daily activities,” said Diglia. “I also believe physical training and discipline can improve mental capacity and confidence. It can also incorporate social interactions, promote teamwork and increase morale.”
For the four pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness, physical fitness is an important way of life not only for Airman, but for everyone. This balance help achieve resiliency, which helps one withstand, recover and grow in the face of life’s challenges.