Week 16: Intermediate Term

It’s week sixteen, or week one of inters (Intermediate Term), and in comparison to week one Juniors, it bears no similarity. There is somewhat of a drag of getting back, after all, with three weeks leave many of us had become used to sleeping in until our first meal was lunch not breakfast! Nevertheless, there is a feeling of excitement at getting stuck back into it. After all, many of the regiments held social functions over the Christmas period; I went to a drinks night at the famous In and Out Officers club, which was incredible. We do understand that the term will be harder but as just experienced, it will be more rewarding! We were anxious to find out in what ways it will be and how we will change. When coming back and driving through the gates I saw out of the glimpse of my eye the next intake on IBS (Ironing Board Sunday: named so as everyone walks around looking extremely lost, extremely smart and with an extremely large ironing board!) I arrive at our new accommodation in New College. There are many more luxuries here: in the ante rooms you can find coffee and cake in the afternoon; for breakfast there is the option of pancakes or pains au chocolat; and there is also a baguette bar at lunch, which we take full advantage of. In summary, a lot more food! Could be seen as a ploy. I was sat at one meal thinking, gosh, all this weight I lost (a grand total of nearly 20 kg!) will soon be piled back on. I had that thought until I discovered true Army fitness…

The ownership of personal fitness is now placed onto us, as now we know the best ways to exercise our bodies. You have to understand, being fit in the Army is very different to being a fit civilian. So PT sessions, which were originally squared runs or HIIT circuits, have been replaced with obstacle courses and combat battle training – in other terms, conditions for our career. On the obstacle course I occasionally think I am in the Navy due to the amount of time I spend in the lakes and streams instead of dry land! However, it is a very good mechanism of training, we get to develop our leadership but also it can push you to a level of exhaustion that a run simply cannot. Then also there is combat battle training. From a distance it looks like just brawling, and at times that is how it feels, but here we learn some key skills of hand to hand combat such as striking and grappling methods. Our PTI likes to make it a tad more interesting by throwing in a basic body weight circuit too just to wear us down a bit faster. After these sessions, it’s not like a hard gym session or particularly long run, you ache, and you ache for a while.

Inters is in some eyes the first step into functioning as the field Army does, somewhat more realistic hours, we have longer to eat and get more time to ourselves to carry out personal study. Ultimately, we get time to work on ourselves, I managed to visit the gym six times this week and had a personal training plan written by one of the PTIs at the academy.