Military Bodybuilder Of The Month: Master Sergeant Mia
Mia could tell you what she does for the U.S. Air Force, but then your BodySpace account would suddenly go dormant, your gym membership would get cancelled, and your friends would start asking why you didn't show up for leg day.
Instead, let's say she is a leader and a weightlifter. This career service member and dedicated mother found that the disciplined culture of the military helped her organize her life and reshape her body. She has to fight to cut down for her amateur competitions, but she never fails to put in the effort. Whether it's a stage contest or a PT test, Mia gives it everything she's got. That's the military way. That's how examples are set.
Age: 33 Height: 5'7" Weight: 156 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 7
Education: AA Criminal Justice; AA Communications Technology; BS in Criminal Justice Administration; in progress, MS Emergency Service Management
Branch of Service: USAF
Years of Service: 15 1/2 years (16 years in Oct)
Tours of Duty: Goodfellow AFB, Offutt AFB, Osan AB, Kadena AB (twice), Mountain Home AFB, and Edwards AFB
PT Test High Score: 100
Awards, Medals, Decorations:
Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal (3), Joint Service Achievement, Air Force Achievement Medal (2), Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2), Meritorious Unit Award, AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device, AF Good Conduct Medals (6), Air Force Recognition, National Defense Service, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, AF Overseas Short Tour Ribbons (2), AF Overseas Long Tour, AF Longevity Service Ribbons (4), Small Arms Expert Marksmanship
I always fought an uphill battle with weight when I was a teen. I was a 5-foot-7, big-boned girl and the culture and lifestyle I grew up in was just not familiar with dieting and working out. I learned discipline and fitness when I joined the military. After my first kid, I topped 230 pounds and that's when I knew I had to do something about it.
I worked hard. I made time in between the hectic schedule of fulfilling military mission requirements, school, and taking care of my household to work out, and I started looking up how to eat right.
Then I got a crazy idea to challenge myself, get a trainer, and see how far I could go with it by joining my first amateur figure competition in 2009. I placed 4th in that show. Since then I've done three more competitions (2 Figure and 1 bodybuilding) and took home two winning trophies from those. Even offseason, I gain weight and fat quick, and it is always hard to shed during competition prep, but I do what I have to and kick my own butt until I get there. That's what makes the victory so sweet!
The military mission is your priority. You have to put your personal wants second to getting the mission done. If the military calls you to deploy and leave your newborns or small children for months, you get on a plane and do it. It also takes a lot of discipline. A lot of people have a hard time transforming their lives and giving up their past civilian behaviors, but as a military member, you swore a dedication to the nation to live and set an example of "honor, credibility, integrity, respect, and service before self," and you are expected to do that because the community looks up to you. There's not a day that goes by that I don't get a "thank you" from members in the local community for what I do. I don't take it for granted. I appreciate it, because it is a tough job and I am blessed that people recognize it.
I am an intelligence analyst. There isn't too much I can tell you about my job that is not classified, so I'll just say that I have been fortunate to have a great career in the military and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
I knew nothing about dieting and fitness until I joined the military. The military gave me the education to start improving my fitness. The demanding tempo gave me the drive and spirit to push myself to the limits to achieve the goals I set my mind on, and the perseverance to continue trying. Even when I don't get where I want to be the first time, I get back up and try again.
Something along the lines of FBI or CIA. I love seeing bad guys get the justice they deserve. That's why I chose to study criminal justice and get my degrees in it.
I can say that I have been blessed and whenever my time is up in the military and I have to retire, I'm sure that I'll have a bright future in the civilian world.
It all depends on the drive of the person. There is a stereotype that the Marines may be tougher, or Navy might be more relaxed, but I've worked out with members of all different services and kicked their butts, so I believe it all depends on the individual person and their fitness level.
Being a mom! I've done cool things, from tracking down terrorists to helping people and communities affected by natural disasters, but my favorite job is being a mom. Any military mom I'm sure would agree that being a mom is the biggest obstacle, because you balance all the responsibilities that civilian moms do, plus live up to the military demands and responsibilities. It's a tough job, but I wouldn't trade a minute of it! An obstacle is defined as something that you try to go over or around, being a military mom is none of that. It's something that makes you stronger and makes your heart fuller.
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I set high standards for myself. Although I am in excellent physical shape, I'll have anxiety in the days leading up to my PT test because I want to score a 100 every time! When I fall short of that, I'll be disappointed in myself, but I use it to push myself even harder the next time I test. It's getting tougher the older I get. As long as I have blood running though my veins, I am going to push myself to score as high as I can, every time! It's my job to be a leader and set the example and I refuse to accept anything less.
You turn the stresses of the personal sacrifices of the military into the ammunition and drive to push yourself. I don't sit around sulking in sadness because I miss my family when I have to deploy. You see me in the gym, pushing weights on any free time I have in order to make the time go by faster so I can be home with them again.
I don't think it makes a difference. I've met some awesome "kick-butt" civilian women. I believe it's all up to the individual person.
Actually they are changing to accommodate the fact that women are capable of doing some of the same demanding jobs that only males could previously do. I think it's a great thing, but I am also aware that it is a sensitive and controversial subject, so I'll leave it at that.
We are responsible for being combat ready at all times, and that means being physically fit.
I push myself harder to take away the stress of being away from home.
My dad retired from the Air Force, so I followed in his footsteps. It changed my outlook on fitness. I didn't know anything about fitness and dieting until I joined the military. It started me off, and competing got me hooked on reaching my fitness goals because it showed me all the possibilities that I could achieve.
Maybe try a stateside figure competition.
It would mean I made it, that all the hard work got me that prize at the end!
It gives me the motivation to know that I can do anything I set my mind to.
Nothing. They all are some awesome, driven, disciplined, and hard-working people! I say, "Do your thing and show the world just how awesome and strong you are! Bravo!"
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no kidding! she def looks like she coulda made it thru the island.
Great story, have to agree about being a mom, but disagree about the marines, its in my blood and takes a diff kind of person to be able to be a marine. :0) Although I coulda handle Kadena twice... like the Ritz compaired to Hansen OooRah
Thank you! My hat off to you Marines...I think I would have loved to have been a Marine myself because I love the discipline, look, and pride the Corp has...so I can't disagree about your comment at all. Plus, some of my good friends and family are Marine officers, so I got mad respect for it! Take care!
Nish!!!! How have you been girl???? Dang, I haven't seen you since Idaho! Miss u girl...and you look great! Are you still working on base? If so....hit me on global, I'd love to catch up!
Thank you! Yes, I'm still at Cali...but I'm headed out on a deployment. I seen you in the gym when we first PCS'd there...you are looking great...and I can always appreciate someone who looks all hard in the gym because they are focused on their workout! I do the same thing...so you know i've seen ya! :) If your goal is to compete, you are on the right track...you look great! :)
Wow! Amazing! Just found another great person to add to my inspiration list. I plan to achieve that sort of discipline ASAP even though I'm not in the military.
Thank you for keeping our country safe! You are definitely appreciate for your hard work, dedication, and sacrifice!
Thank you Ma'am...I appreciate your kindness and hope you reach your goals! Just think of it as: Nothing comes easy, you got to work hard to make it there, so push yourself to be where you want to be. When you feel like you can't do it...push even harder! :) Please keep me posted on your success! ;)
I completely admire this person's accomplishments! I by no means am not criticizing or disrespect her by my question. I am just curious about one of her Korean Service Medal. It is simply a matter of seeking info. I don't know much about the award requirements, and based upon her age and the dates of the Korean War, I am wondering how she served in the Korean War that occurred in the early to mid-1950's. I'm certain she meets the requirements, and I'm merely hoping someone can help explain what the award requirements are for that medal.