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At 52-years-old Hoke accomplished a 296 Combat Fitness Test score with no prior military experience. She has totaled 20 years of federal service with 16 of those being aboard the Combat Center.

Photo by Cpl. Kate Seiler

What I've Learned: Robin Hoke

18 Aug 2014 | Cpl. Kathryn Seiler

This will be my third year running the CFT as a civilian, as a woman, 50 years old and over. I wanted to be able to complete a 1st class CFT. I wasn’t sure how I would fare.

I couldn’t even run 880 yards and now I’m running 3.5 miles three times a week. The first year was kind of a disaster, the second year I scored a 296, which was last year, and I’m hoping to do even better this year. I’m really looking for a 300.

The Marines I work around are my inspiration. I work around Marines all day. They inspire me. I have it in my head that I need to be on my ‘A’ game. Marines are out there 365 days a year, running in ‘boots and utes’, training. I see them come in sweaty and hot and that’s my inspiration. I am honored to be able to do what I do and am entrusted to do what I do. I’m grateful for my position and my job and I have worked for it.

It’s been a gradual, life-changing (journey). You certainly have to have that internal drive. I’d much rather be out there, unless I’m doing crossfit training where my husband and I compete against ourselves in time, but we push each other. When you don’t think you can do that last rep, that other person is there to guide you along, to help you along. I think it’s just an internal drive, something that you want to do. I don’t think anybody can coax you into doing it.

My favorite thing right now, because I’ve become a decent runner, is the running. For me it’s ‘Wow, I’m out here doing this. I’m really out here doing this on the PFT course with the Marines.’ I like getting out there because I’ve seen a Marine walking and I’ve said ‘Hey come help me get to the finish’ because I know that helps them.

I’m extremely proud of myself. I want that 300. I had the opportunity two years in a row (to run the CFT) to get out there with (Marines) … and other females to run our CFT. I never put myself in a position where I’m equal to a Marine. So there are things that are not the same. I’m not in boots and utes. I’m in work out gear and shoes. I was the only girl to land the grenade in the box though, so I got my 5 points!

I want to keep doing this until my body says I can’t anymore, which I don’t see that coming any time soon. I mean I get the normal aches and pains just like everybody else but I want to keep doing it. It’s now a way of life for me.

I think it’s important to stay fit and to eat well. I try to make sure my portions aren’t enormous. I don’t limit myself on what to eat. I don’t over indulge or eat a lot of fast food because I like to cook and my husband likes it too.

That’s the hardest thing I remember, walking in feeling intimidated or out of place. Keep going. If you don’t know what you’re doing, ask, set up appointments set up training, go to YouTube. Keep going back and you will then earn your place to be there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Keep doing it don’t settle for, ‘Well, I’m walking today.’

I’m a wife, a mother of three grown daughters, and a grandma of three grandchildren. I hope they look at me and think I’m an inspiration to them. I’m honored to do what I do; I’m honored to be here, Marines humble me every day just by what they do.

I think the message I’m trying to send is, you don’t have to live your age. You can still do things. Keep going, keep striving. Old is (in the mind) as long as you keep your brain sharp and stimulate it with goals, striving to do more I think your body knows to keep up with your brain. You’re only as old as you want to be.

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