Maranatha ROTC cadet Robert Truax is a sophomore from Lexington, SC. He recently wrote about his experiences in attempting to overcome physical obstacles to earn an Army ROTC scholarship.
It started four months before I came to college when I had surgery on my left shoulder. My upper body was not very strong, and this didn’t help. Although I passed my run and sit-ups at the initial diagnostic Army Physical Fitness Test, I utterly failed the pushups. In fact, the grader was nice enough to give me the benefit of the doubt as I struggled to do 21 floppy pushups. I knew that my improper form would normally have prevented any of the push-ups from being counted. I went away that day dispirited, but not defeated. I tried to push my weakness to the back of my mind, and I began to work out on my own.
The following two semesters I especially hit it hard. I began working out every day with my friends. After most Physical Training sessions on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I went to the weight room and worked out for an additional 30 minutes with Elijah Walters. He was a huge encouragement. I also went with Walters to the middle school swimming pool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for lap swimming.
Through God’s grace, friends’ encouragement, and my persistent hard work, my strength increased. After three semesters of determination, I achieved a 300 on the APFT! I also competed and won gold at the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge competition. But my true gift this year was finally getting medically qualified to contract and receive the three-year ROTC scholarship I was awarded last year.
Weaknesses are there to be overcome. Our Army ethos tells us that we can never quit. With effort and support, not to mention the right attitude, anyone can overcome their weaknesses. Rock Solid!