Burpees, push-ups and sit-ups strengthen more than just muscle. Physical fitness improves resilience and sharpens mental capacity to deliver a force that is fit to fight.
Maintaining the mental and physical fitness of the ship's company and embarked forces on board the landing helicopter dock (LHD) HMAS Canberra during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE19) was a crucial capability to achieving the mission.
Petty Officer Kerryn Seaborn, one of the physical fitness instructors (PTIs) in Canberra, brought humour, variety and a little fun to every training session she delivered, even though space on the ship was limited.
"The biggest difference from land facilities are the disruptions due to the operational requirements of the ship, such as flying operations and whole-ship activities," PO Seaborn said.
"The LHDs are incredible for physical training - the space, the training areas and the equipment available is far better than any other platform in the Navy."
During the three-month deployment, PO Seaborn facilitated 15 physical fitness tests, or basic fitness assessments, and 94 physical training classes to keep the sailors, soldiers and airmen fit and strong.
"The best thing has been the people I've met and the appreciation I have received for providing them the service of physical training. I have the best job on board," she said.
"The port visits have been great - experiencing the different cultures, engaging with the other militaries and competing against them in sport.
"The biggest thing I can take away from a joint task force environment is that all three services may operate differently, but all contribute to achieving the same goal.
"A healthy force is a happy one."