FORT CARSON, Colo. - Smiles and high-fives were shared as spouses and friends of 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, completed a Friday morning "Spouses Physical Training" (PT) workout Nov. 15, 2019.
However, this isn't the first or the last time the group has gathered for an early morning workout.
Joe Sullivan, a family readiness group leader for 704th BSB and spouse of Lt. Col. Adrian Sullivan, commander, 704th BSB, 2nd IBCT, created the program for the battalion in August 2019.
"I wanted to do something different and creative for the Families that didn't involve the normal baking cupcakes or bake sales," he said. "So right after summer break, I decided to host my first spouse's PT session, and have continued hosting it every Friday morning, since then."
Joe Sullivan said the idea of the program started because Family members were surprised at what their Soldiers had to do every morning for PT.
"It's nice to see spouses and friends of service members going through a similar PT program, and seeing how surprised they are that they are capable of doing the same thing," he said.
The concept of exercising as a group made it a perfect reason to join for some of the Family members of the battalion.
"(Joe) always puts together a great workout, and it's nice to have others around to distract you of how tired you are getting during the workouts," said Alexandra McDonald. "Having someone there giving 100 percent to a workout also makes you want to push yourself, and I really like the concept of group workouts."
The program, according to McDonald, also allows the members to stay connected as a unit.
"It's nice getting to meet people from across the battalion that I wouldn't normally get to meet," McDonald said. "It gives us an opportunity to meet and connect in an environment other than a unit function, which I find nice."
With most of the battalion gone for a combat training center rotation, McDonald said the program makes it easier to count down the days till their service members return.
"The workout gives you something to look forward to at the end of the week, and it helps to know you are all going through the same thing and have people to reach out to," she said.
Although the program only began a few months ago, Sullivan said he hopes to continue building a community within the battalion.
"I love seeing people push themselves, make friends and share the misery of exercise," said Sullivan. "Hearing that members (are) continuing to do stuff as groups outside of spouses PT is honestly the most rewarding part of the entire program and really the reason why I wanted to put this together."
Joe Sullivan and the members of the program added that they encouraged everyone to come out and workout with the group.
"Motherhood and fatherhood are hard work and we like to encourage everyone, not only Families and friends of the 704th, but everyone in the brigade to come out and try it because having children should be your reason to workout, not your excuse," said McDonald. "Whether you have kids or not, it's free, its nonjudgmental and just a way for everyone to have some fun and build friendships."