I think it is safe to say our boots are broken in now!

Training’s now well under way for Soldier under Training (SuT) Thomas at the Army Training Centre, Pirbright. In her latest blog she recalls a week packed with swimming, running, circuit training, weapon handling lessons and outdoor pursuits.

SuT Thomas

SuT Thomas

We began our week with the Military Swimming Test. With no idea what to expect everyone was feeling anxious. Some girls had never been swimming before so this was quite a big deal. One of the Military Core Values showed strongly as it took a lot of courage for the non-swimmers to jump in and give it a go. The test involved wearing overalls, jumping in and treading water for 2 minutes, then swimming to the edge of the pool. If you cannot swim, don’t panic – extra lessons will get you through.

The majority of this week’s lessons were about weapon handling, as we learned, practised and prepared for our weapon handling test next Monday. Then – bring on the ranges! We’ve had brain overload but, as they say, “practise makes perfect” and it’s starting to make sense, especially once the southerners had mastered the northerners’ accents!

The PT (physical training) sessions hit us hard. Wow, what an increase in pace. Circuit training was great, fast and tough with lots of beetroot-red faces but they still had smiles on. We had our first “steady state” endurance run – but there was nothing steady about it! Heartbreak Hill is aptly named! I’m not sure which was worse, the hill or the run back to where our water bottles were waiting for us, lined up like lemmings, only to be told “right wheel” to find ourselves running back up the road. So close, yet so far. We also had a boot run and found ourselves on the rugby pitches sprinting the lines – at one point we were running on our hands and knees like Spider-Man and, boy, did we get leg burn. I think it is safe to say our boots are broken in now!

Saturday afternoon we did regimental activities and had a go at bouldering, command tasks and fris-golf. The command tasks were great for thinking outside the box and working together as a team, fris-golf involved a mixture of map reading and skill and bouldering needed a little more guts within ourselves and trust in our team mates. 3 weeks has flown by and as we learn more about ourselves, each other and the Army we begin to gel more strongly.

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