My journey from skeptic to Comprehensive Soldier Fitness believer began last August, when I attended a two-week course to qualify me as a Master Resilience Trainer.

I have certainly seen my share of new, flashy programs come and go, but this was different.
It challenges you to confront not what you think, but how you got there; the control of events may not be up to you but how you respond is.

I took the challenge with some tough customers: my two sons, ages 6 and 10. We began to apply one of the 12 skills by looking daily for what is good in our lives. After just a few weeks, I could see my family's outlook and style adjust.

Kids who were quick to complain now thought about each other. They began helping each other with chores and simple tasks. What began as a challenge each night became a request: "Mom, can I tell you my good things'"

The best reward to date has to be how our sons have viewed their dad's fourth deployment during our time here. On one particularly typical, but challenging evening, we were juggling school, work, activities and some very uncooperative weather, when the event was cancelled.

I quickly assessed the situation and thanked the boys for their help. We had gotten there, with the right stuff, in the right outfits, at the right time, only to be disappointed. And then I heard my youngest say "at least we had fun." At that point, I knew we had won this battle at least: resilience 1, deployment 0. (Sherri Davenport is one of two MRTs for the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. Learn more about the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program by visiting

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16