RU Fit? Sharing resilience with family

Adam Bailey, waits for his partner Kassey Daugherty, 8, to finish a five kilometer run before biking 19-kilometers during a sprint triathlon Aug. 9, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.  Kassey is the daughter of Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Daugherty, 39th Communications Squadron commander’s programs section chief, and has been competing in 5K races since the age of five. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Veronica Pierce/Released)

Adam Bailey, waits for his partner Kassey Daugherty, 8, to finish a five kilometer run before biking 19-kilometers during a sprint triathlon Aug. 9, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Kassey is the daughter of Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Daugherty, 39th Communications Squadron commander’s programs section chief, and has been competing in 5K races since the age of five. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Veronica Pierce/Released)

Kassey Daugherty, 8, poses in front of a swimming pool after completing a five kilometer run and 200-meter swim during a sprint triathlon Aug. 9, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Kassey is the daughter of Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Daugherty, 39th Communications Squadron commander’s programs section chief. Daugherty and his family use pillars of resilience such as U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s RU Fit program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Veronica Pierce/Released)

Kassey Daugherty, 8, poses in front of a swimming pool after completing a five kilometer run and 200-meter swim during a sprint triathlon Aug. 9, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Kassey is the daughter of Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Daugherty, 39th Communications Squadron commander’s programs section chief. Daugherty and his family use pillars of resilience such as U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s RU Fit program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Veronica Pierce/Released)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Maintaining fitness is part of our routine in the military on and off duty, but what about the benefits of fitness for our families?

Being physically fit is just one factor in ensuring Airmen maintain a resilient lifestyle. The RU Fit program emphasizes ways Airmen can maintain their mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness.

"RU Fit is a campaign developed by U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, in an attempt to make Comprehensive Airman Fitness more palatable, especially with the social media savvy society that we live in," said Almeda Giles, 39th Air Base Wing resilience CAF program manager. "The RU Fit logo replaces the CAF logo within USAFE, but does not detract from the meaning of the CAF program and how important it is for us to strive to achieve holistic fitness."

Sharing these pillars of resilience with family members and passing on healthy habits has become a way of life for some Airmen who maintain the lifestyle by competing in athletic events as a family.

Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Daugherty, 39th Communications Squadron commander's programs section chief, and his family, have competed in various events. Most recently daughter Kassey, eight years old, competed in a sprint triathlon Aug. 9, here.

During the triathlon Kassey completed a five kilometer run and a 200-meter swim with teammate Adam Bailey who biked 19-kilometers, ultimately winning the second place team medal.

"It's important to me that my family stays active to be healthy and to enjoy a long life that is hopefully not plagued with chronic illnesses," said Daugherty. "My goal is to lead my family by example so they can pay it forward and educate their friends."

Kassey prepares by running at least two days a week and swimming three days a week. Her first competitive run was a five kilometer race at the age of five, earning her a coin from a wing commander.

"Bringing CAF principles into your family life can be essential," said Daugherty. "Just like anything you want to excel at, it needs to be practiced through every part of your life. You cannot do this if you are one person at work and another when you are home."

Maintaining healthy habits as a family can help children grow into healthy adults.

"All Airmen whether they be military, civilian or dependents need to have a growth mindset towards resilience and embrace the challenges that comes with change," said Giles. "When military members understand how vital it is for resilience to be a lifestyle, they WILL take it home and "breathe life" into their families."

Regardless of the location families who are resilient are healthier, make better choices, perform better at work, home and school, and are more valued by teams that they are a part of, explained Giles.

Using RU Fit principles, the Daugherty family plans to continue making fitness part of their daily life.

Kassey's ambition is to one day compete in an Olympic triathlon. In the near future she would like to run the 15K at the Istanbul Marathon in November, where she will have just turned nine years old, explained Daugherty.