As a Reservist with the Canadian military, I have a requirement to maintain a certain standard of “readiness” that includes, among other things, passing an annual fitness test.
Members who have medical contra-indications (pregnancy being one of them) do not normally take the test until their medical situation has been resolved. In the case of pregnancy, this usually means at least three to six months post-partum.
Because I have continued to train throughout my pregnancy to a standard higher than what is required by the test, I wanted to see if I would be permitted to attempt the test at 21 weeks pregnant. Not only do I see this as a healthy and attainable challenge, but it also makes things easier for me from an administrative standpoint, as it will be one less item of business to take care of when I return from maternity leave.
A few weeks ago I started the process of seeking approval to do the test. It seems that locally, at least, this might be the first time in recent history that anyone has made such a request. My query had to go all the way to the national fitness office in Ottawa, where it was determined that I could do the test — as long as I received explicit permission from a military doctor. On Monday I saw the doctor, and surprisingly, he was extremely supportive and saw no reason why I should not be allowed to at least attempt the test!
So tonight I take a stab at achieving my required military fitness standard at nearly five months pregnant. I am, in fact, striving for the “incentive” standard — a slightly higher level that enables my test result to be valid for two years instead of one. Let’s see how it goes…
UPDATE: I very comfortably achieved my goal of attaining the “incentive” standard (and was in fact the only female to do so tonight! :-)). Overall, my scores were at least one third less than I would normally achieve (with the exception of the hand grip), but I was being very careful not to push myself to the point of being out of breath on the shuttle run, nor to the point of muscle strain with the sit-ups.
Minimum standard — 20-metre shuttle run 4.0 / hand grip 50 kg / 9 push-ups / 15 sit-ups (in 60 sec)
“Incentive” standard — 20-metre shuttle run 5.0 / strength score (hand grip + push-ups + sit-ups in 60 sec) 99
My results — 20-metre shuttle run = 6.0 / strength score (hand grip 94 + push-ups 28 + sit-ups 42) = 164