When it comes to fitness, your mind, diet and body are all part of the equation, all the time. This is the mindset Fort Carson wants its soldiers and families to have—and the foundation of its self-described wellness adventure Mountain Post Living.
In 2018, Maj. Gen. Randy George, 4th Infantry Division commanding general, began a new initiative to shift the way the Fort Carson community views fitness. Implemented by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR), the Mountain Post Living initiative brings awareness to events, nutrition, exercise, resources on and off post, and encouragement for soldiers, civilians, retirees and families at Fort Carson to improve their overall health and well-being year-round.
“The driver behind Mountain Post Living is the Army’s number one priority, which is readiness,” says Mike O’Donnell, director of DFMWR. “It’s the readiness of our force—soldiers and family members should be at their optimum fitness and mental health and know those resources are out there to help anybody at any time in their personal journey.”
DFMWR quickly found increased participation from leadership and organizations on and off post in the program, so it became a movement within the Fort Carson community, O’Donnell says.
“Mountain Post Living allows us to reach family members who maybe have never been interested in fitness or don’t know a lot about nutrition, so it’s for that beginner level all the way up to world-class and Olympic athletes,” O’Donnell says. “The program incorporates something for everybody.”
After the first year of the initiative, Fort Carson switched its format to provide one large event per month. So far, this year’s most successful event was the War Dog Memorial Run, says Patty George, wife of Maj. Gen. George and senior Fort Carson spouse who helped start the health initiative.
“We had about three times the number of participants we’ve ever had participate in that run; it was tremendous,” she says. “A lot of people learned about what our working dogs do in the military, and we actually had to delay the race by 15 minutes because we had so many people trying to get registered.”
Other events on the calendar include the Fort Carson Freedom Fest and the Spartan Race. Such events and the overall initiative are centered around the pillars mind, body, nutrition and community, George says. Through them, soldiers, civilians and family members can participate in Mountain Post Living and use additional provided resources to improve their physical fitness, diet and mental health.
“One of Gen. George’s call to all soldiers is to be READY [Respectful, Expert, Athlete, Disciplined, You],” George says. “He says every soldier needs to be physically fit to do their job no matter what their job is. You never know when you’re going to have to help somebody else or do something you weren’t expecting to do.”
The Mountain Post Living Facebook page, @mountainpostliving, provides healthy recipes, encouraging posts and upcoming event information. And the initiative offers additional helps, such as financial, mental health and other resources.
“We have access to great ways to improve our minds and mindset,” George says. “That is our hope—that this is something that is part of when you get assigned to Fort Carson, that you know you’re going to jump into this healthy, balanced way of living, and it’s called Mountain Post Living.”
- Follow #MountainPostLiving
- Stay up to date on Mountain Post Living events and resources at carson.armymwr.com and facebook/mountainpostliving
Think You’re Fort Carson Fit?
Try this Army conditioning circuit to find out. Staff Sgt. Michael Bizzaro, master fitness trainer at Colorado Springs’ Fort Carson, provides the workout in Are You Fort Carson Fit?