Airmen stay active, resilient during pandemic

Airman 1st Class Daniel Breimann, 4th Space Operations Squadron space ground link systems operator, climbs through a rock formation while hiking at Garden of the Gods April 27, 2020, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While a lot of services in the state are closed, nature remains open. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely)

During the COVID-19 outbreak, gyms, restaurants and other entertainment services have closed; however, nature remains open for all to enjoy.

Serving in the Air Force requires Airmen to maintain physical fitness standards at all times and when gyms are closed, Airmen can start to use the great outdoors.

“It’s really refreshing to get off base and leave my dorm room,” said Airman 1st Class Sophia Carbajal, 4th Space Operations Squadron extremely high frequency satellite systems operator. “It’s a nice change of scenery and I’m able to get my PT in for the day, too.”

Carbajal frequently goes to Palmer Park, Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks Open Space and the United States Air Force Academy to enjoy the numerous Colorado trails.

“I consider myself really lucky to be assigned to Schriever,” she said. “It’s beautiful here and the amount of things to do seems endless.”

According to standard risk management, Airmen should bring a wingman, water, a communication device such as a cell phone and some sort of first aid equipment in case of an injury while hiking.

“I usually go a couple of times a week,” Carbajal said. “I like going to different trails and exploring areas I haven’t seen before. I typically won’t go alone, but if I do I always let someone know where I’m going just in case something happens.”

Airman 1st Class Daniel Breimann, 4th Space Operations Squadron space ground link systems operator, also goes on frequent hikes to stay fit and resilient.

“Before [COVID-19], I really didn’t hit the trails as much as I have lately,” he said. “But since the gym’s closed and I can’t really participate in any organized PT, I’ve started to go outside and go hiking.”

Despite the activities Airmen would normally partake in being shut down, some have used this quarantine as a means to explore new opportunities.

“I’ve really been finding that I’m happier when I’m outside and in nature,” Breimann said. “I guess that’s one silver lining to all of this, right?”

When Breimann goes hiking, he makes sure to pack his face mask and stays six feet away from others who are out enjoying the trails.

“While staying in shape is important, it’s also important we stop the spread of this virus,” he said. “I don’t really leave base at all unless I’m going hiking, and if I do I make sure I’m following the proper safety precautions put out by the state.”