Military Bodybuilder Of The Month: Alicia Ferris
It takes a special kind of military woman to set her eyes on the goal of scoring 100 percent on the men's PT test. But that's how tough Alicia Ferris is!
After Alicia finished college, she was feeling physically run down, too thin, and knew she needed a change. Once she set off to in the Air Force, she set her sights on adding more muscle and strength. When she saw Nicole Nagrani's bikini body at the Arnold Sports Festival, Alicia added competition to her bucket list as well.
Bodybuilding has given Alicia the confidence to fulfill her duties and has possibly helped outline her future once she departs from the USAF. She intends to open her own gym, so she can help others figure out the benefits of health, fitness, and bodybuilding, just like she did!
How did you get started in bodybuilding?
I've been involved with sports—soccer, cheerleading, and track and field—for most of my life, but never fell in love with it. I was a varsity cheerleader at the Air Force Academy for all four years I was there. After graduating from college, I realized I had run my body into the ground. I barely weighed 100 pounds!
This was when I began to focus solely on activities that truly interest me. First and foremost, I began working on my fitness. I'm astonished by other people's transformations from hard work in the gym. I started with Bodybuilding.com to learn the fundamentals for training and nutrition. It was trying at times and there were a lot of setbacks but no matter where I went, the support was there from other fitness fanatics.
I fell in love with the process and the progress and never looked back! Today, I don't work out to just "stay in shape," but I can say without hesitation that fitness is my way of life.
What inspired you to join the military?
After graduating from high school I was not ready for college, so I joined [the Air Force] for new experiences. What I got was much more than that. I learned life and job skills and made new friends. I have been given so many wonderful opportunities! I also got to travel all over the world.
Will you please describe your duties in the military?
I provide contracting support for the military installation. I obligate the taxpayers' dollars, so to speak.
If you hadn't gone into the military, what occupation would you have pursued?
I have always been interested in the medical career field. I worked as a certified nursing assistant prior to joining the military, and my first AFSC was 3E031 (Public Health Technician) as an airman. I would love to be involved in the medical field again in a fitness-specific way. Currently, I am working on my MBA and recently got certified in personal training. I'm hoping to open up my own gym one day.
What is the biggest obstacle in leading a military lifestyle?
The biggest obstacle to leading a military lifestyle is managing time. You are expected first and foremost to do your job and the mission. When you accompany your duties with community service and continuing education, you find that you do not own your time; the government does.
The mission comes first and everything else after. I have to sacrifice my time to work out, time to study, and time with family and friends because I swore to defend my country. Although it is at times difficult to plan things out, it's just a small price to pay for the freedom we enjoy.
How important is it to you to perform well on a PT test?
The highest standards are those set by you, and you are your own harshest critic. While scoring well on the PT test is an important aspect of the military, improving performance year after year is my challenge. And I keep raising my own standards! I don't settle for mediocrity. My high score on the PT test is 100 percent, and hopefully I'll be getting 100 percent on the men's test this year!
Ultimately, it all comes down to my desire to stay fit. I want to present a professional, strong, but feminine image to all the young women out there who aspire to be in the military. The Air Force does a wonderful job of providing time during the week to work out. Your results are determined by to how much effort each individual puts forth during the time given.