MIDDLETOWN, Pa. --
MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Airman 1st Class Adam Schuck, a services specialist with the 193rd Special Operations Force Support Squadron, has served two years in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. The Joliet, Illinois native recently sat down for an interview to share some insight.
What brought you into the military?
I moved to Pennsylvania about five years ago to pursue my passion of strength and conditioning, working at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. I worked there for a few years before becoming a personal training.
I was in the process of joining the Navy, studying for the officer test. I met a girl and that swayed me away for a minute, so I put it on the back burner. Then things didn’t work out between us and I met a few members from the 193rd. I’ve always wanted to serve, so I joined the Air Force.
Have you ever had a failure or a setback that either directly set you up for success or provided you with a lesson learned that indirectly set you up for success later?
I did have a quote, since I’m from Illinois and Chicago. It’s Michael Jordan’s quote. “I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
I believe I definitely have done things the wrong way, possibly, or was not directed in the right path, but some how or some way, I’ve always learned from my mistakes. It’s guided me to where I’m at right now and I’m thankful to be part of the 193rd and in the Air National Guard.
The military can be very stressful at times. When things start to get overwhelming, do you have a routine or a way to help refresh your mind and get refocused?
Yes, with me being in the fitness industry I definitely love to work out. I usually try to work out between five to seven times a week, just to clear my head. I do different variations of workouts such as, cross fit. That’s probably my favorite because you push your body to the limit. I have done hot yoga with friends, which is a new addition that’s kind of nice. Then just your daily, go to the gym, hang out with friends.
I feel like you have to have your free time. It definitely needs to be away from work, where you can clear your head.
What keeps you motivated/focused?
My main goal is retirement and I’ve always wanted to serve my country. Everything that they have given me so far, being that I’m only two years in, three TDYs already, everything they’ve given me has led me to become a successful Airman.
How do you stay productive?
Always thinking about the next step. I know you come back from tech school and you have your CDCs, so I’ve accomplished that pretty quickly. Always thinking about how to improve yourself. There’s one thing in life you never stop doing, and that’s learning. I try to become a sponge in everything I do. I try to gain as much knowledge.
What advice would you give to a young Airman that is just joining the military or looking to progress their career?
Never settle. I think a lot of people join just to get in, but I feel like there are so many opportunities that the Air Force can grant you, but you definitely have to work for it. Doing things that would progress you to figure out your career. Never stop learning. Hard work pays off and everyone is always watching. Something we learned in boot camp, excellence in all we do. I feel like you have to accomplish that even when you are done with boot camp and tech school.
What advice would you tell them to ignore?
Negativity. Stay away from negativity. Try and figure out who’s giving you the advice. Think about where they came from and their experiences. Take the advice, but also think about it, some will be good and some will be bad. I think you have to pick and choose what you want to listen to and follow those.
Do you have an internal code or mantra you live your life by?
Stay humble, never stop learning and continue to progress.
Is there a book that has influenced you that you would recommend? Why?
“Can’t Hurt Me” is the name of the book and it’s by David Goggins. He’s actually a former-Air Force TACP and Navy SEAL. It’s a great book for any young Airman, or past or present veteran. It shows his life, the ups and the downs, the peaks and the valleys and what he did to overcome throughout his story. In the book he said, “There is no more time to waste. Hours and days evaporate like creeks in the desert. That’s why it’s okay to be cruel to yourself, as long as you realize you’re doing it to become better.” So that’s really powerful that it all starts with us as individuals, as what you see in the mirror and how you feel every day. It all starts if you have a goal, a career or a path. The only thing that’s really stopping you is you, and that’s what the whole book is about.
Do you have any obscure/unusual interests or hobbies?
Fantasy football. I love football and played it all of my life. Fantasy football, anything to do with football. I still play flag football. I’m actually getting into crossword puzzles though.
In the past five years, is there something that you changed your mind/opinion about? Did it make you implement a change in your lifestyle, if so, how?
Positivity. Honestly it’s when you wake up, if you’re happy and you have a mindset of accomplishing good things, good things are going to happen. If you wake up on the wrong side and you say this day’s gonna stink, I don’t want to be here right now, you take the negatives and turn them to positives. Me growing up, especially five years ago, there’s a time when I didn't want to wake up early or put the work in to be better. Now as life happened, life is short and I always take everything as a positive. Always smile, always try and help anyone out. I think that influenced me and my success early on.
Do you have a “go-to” workout? What is it?
Just show up to the gym. It really all depends, sometimes I do a body interval workout where it’s just like a pull-up, a burpee, those types of things just to get my heart rate up. If not, my go-to is arms, good old skull crushers and bicep curls. Usually I’ll have a regiment scheduled out, but that’s my go-to, those things.
What fictional character do you resonate the most with? Heroic or non-heroic?
Truthfully this is probably corny, but probably Superman honestly. Probably because he has those two sides of his life. I feel like when I put on the military uniform I could possibly be someone else. When I take it off at home with family and friends I’m just that regular Adam that everyone knows. The military, leaving for deployments, you have to be that different type of person to succeed and stay positive throughout the whole thing.
Do you have any random knowledge to part with?
Live your life to the fullest. I have a tattoo that says “Live your dash”. What the dash is, it’s the dash between your birth and your death date. And you only get one of those dashes so live your life to the best you can and always be positive. Life is short, I actually lost my father earlier this year so that definitely resonates to me that life is quick. Enjoy the time you have with friends and family, enjoy life, vacation. But also work related too, enjoy what you do. So for one of the last few questions for young Airmen, go into the Air Force knowing what you want to do and really try to push yourself to get there. That’s in the Air Force, military and civilian world, strive for a good job that you truly love doing.