This article by Sgt. 1st Class Gary Faraway originally appeared on Task & Purpose, a digital news and culture publication dedicated to military and veterans issues.
Sure. You’re all wonderin’: That Gary, how does he do it.
You see all those other guys flunking their height and weight standards: the pencil-necked pointdexters, the legitimately injured, the injury-milkers, the PT studs with funky body types getting chaptered left and right. But somehow I, the shlub with the big neck in your unit who’s always carrying pizza boxes at comically inappropriate times, meet the Army’s prehistoric tape standards and sneak through the Army Physical Fitness Test.
The answer is as simple as you think: I owe my success to the mesmerizing slats of wattle beneath, and sometimes supporting, my head. Over the years, with rigorous eating and occasional isometric exercises, I have risen through the ranks while building a large neck that wobbles with the majesty of a gelatinous Tower of Babel.
To my fat neck, I am eternally beholden.
With a possible new Army-wide physical fitness test, the Army Combat Readiness Test, on the horizon, you might think my kind — the emboldeners of neck beef — would be worried. We rest easy knowing that Body Mass Index standards will probably stay the same, but even a true neck-chub champion has to, uh, “meet” fitness test standards.
If we broadnecks are to maintain our power — and discourage changes to the height and weight standards — we must grow our ranks like we grow our neck girth. Join us. Here, I will lay out how I shammed through the new “Combat Readiness Test” so you, too, can mooch onward like your amply necked brethren.
1. Leg tuck
As the demonstrators mount the bar for the first exercise, pinch back a chunk of neck/back fat — I call that my neckcess — and hold it tight. When finally told to begin the exercise, release the nape-kraken just before gripping the bar, creating enough forward momentum to propel your legs towards the bar. Repeat for as many reps as your neck oscillations will allow.
2. Power throw
The night prior, apply a light coat of biscuit gravy and toenail clippings to the pelt of your fat neck, twirl around thrice, and sleep on seven thumbtacks. When you wake up listen to Spandau Ballet’s “True” on repeat and gargle three cups of vinegar. This will prepare you for the power throw.
3. Trap bar deadlift
During the upward movement of the deadlift, my elephantine neck inflates like a bulging blimp, boosting my hips and knees till I am standing up. Upon finishing the minimum reps, I let go and walk past First Sergeant, gasping like a carp so Top knows I am giving 110%. Your mileage may vary, depending on how long you’ve been conditioning your wattle.
4. T push-up
Tuck two socks underneath the rippling reams of your neckcess to balance yourself out during the T Push-Up. When muscle failure nears, rest your weight on one hand and shift your neck heft to accommodate. You may need to shift a lot to avoid making too much noise. The rippling reams beneath my chin wheeze in the morning breeze as if trying to speak.
5. Shuttle sprint/ Drag-carry
Sprinting to the sled, your huge necky hill of flesh will help you quickly pivot to begin the sprint back, like a satellite launching itself around the gravity field of a dense planet. As you pick up the kettlebells, you feel you are floating through the exercise. Look down: Your neck-handles are carrying the kettlebells. Note: This will take some serious practice.
6. 2-mile run
Shamming the two mile is a biannual tradition for me and the broad trunk that roots itself in my torso. After lap one, make sure to suddenly stop and walk for significant intervals, to frustrate the runners behind you. For turbo boosts, pinch the paunch on the sides of your neck as you did before the Leg Tuck, and let the slingshot effect fast-forward your fat, and eventually, the rest of you.
Rounding the track on my fourth lap, the flaps of my neck flab sing out in a quivering chorus. “Gary, today we are absorption ascendant adapting. In roly-poly is sum, Gary,” the neck fat sings.
I look on aghast as neck fat swallows my arms, legs, and PT belt. The neck fat envelops me, cocooning me. There is no longer Sgt. 1st Class Gary Faraway. Only Neck Fat.
We are Neck Fat, and we have beaten the CRT. Bow to Neck Fat.
This article originally appeared on Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter.
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