4/28/2008 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Although self-described as "somewhat shy at times," Master Sgt. Tina Robinson is anything but shy when it comes to powerlifting. The mother and grandmother with bulging biceps smiles her way through the halls of the C-130 Hercules operations building.
(Media-Newswire.com) - 4/28/2008 - SOUTHWEST ASIA ( AFPN ) -- Although self-described as "somewhat shy at times," Master Sgt. Tina Robinson is anything but shy when it comes to powerlifting. The mother and grandmother with bulging biceps smiles her way through the halls of the C-130 Hercules operations building.
Here, as a first sergeant, she has a reputation for mentoring, leading and taking care of "her" people. But, as nice as Sergeant Robinson is, her people also know she's one tough cookie, who now boasts the title of the "Strongest ( female ) in the AOR."
Sergeant Robinson, a reservist deployed from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., bench-pressed 250 pounds and squatted 300 pounds in a base-level strength competition recently. Her scores, which she grudgingly admits were not a personal best, were forwarded to the U.S. Air Forces Central level, where she took top honors against four other competing females.
"Of course, I'm really proud," she said, although, she added, her numbers were higher a year ago. Last year she was able to squat 315 pounds and bench 325 pounds, but stopped lifting to focus her workouts on passing the Air Force fitness test. She had barely a week to prepare for the Strongest in the AOR competition.
And this isn't the first time Sergeant Robinson has competed and done very well on short notice.
Although "powerlifting is different than bodybuilding," she was talked into entering a bodybuilding show and walked away with a 2nd-place trophy even though "I hadn't planned to do it until the day prior," Sergeant Robinson said with a laugh. "I hadn't been dieting or training."
Not bad for someone who considers the competitions "just a hobby" and "something she does for fun." Although she said she now tries to work out at least four to five times a week, she doesn't make specific weightlifting goals, and she eats "anything and everything."
In fact, she says she "didn't do any sports before lifting in the year 2000, when my friends from the gym urged me to join an Amateur Athletic Union competition sponsored by Air Education and Training Command. They would say that I was genetically cut out for powerlifting and asked, 'Why let a good thing go to waste?'"
She has now competed in three AAU/AETC powerlifting competitions.
But the spunky athlete is not "all brawn and no brains."
She earned her master's degree in business administration management from William Carey College and two Community College of the Air Force degrees during her time in the Air Force.
"That's one thing I really love about the Air Force," the Brooklyn, N.Y., native said. "Even though 'the Air Force work place is 24 hours a day, seven days a week,' they [emphasize education]," which is part of becoming a better Airman.
Although she is looking forward to the end of her deployment and going home to her family, she said she loves being deployed as a first sergeant because she gets to see a whole different world in the flying unit.
"As a personnel instructor and mission support flight ( first sergeant ), I don't usually get to see the 'ops' side of the house where Airmen are flying real-world missions," she said. "It's a whole different experience, and I love it."
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