My freshman cadet worked hard to build his upper body strength, weight-lifting at the Y and at his high school weight room for 3 years, at least 3 days a week, running the other days, to get ready for ROTC. He's tall and naturally bean-pole thin even though he eats like a horse. He had gotten to where he wanted to be in upper-body strength by the time he entered his ROTC program. I'm proud of the careful, long-term, work-out plan he built for himself -- this, after those middle school years when he was sure he was destined to be thin as a rail his entire life. Now that he's at college, he hasn't had any problem with PT or meeting goals with the ROTC PT program so far. He started out in good shape. Here's the problem: he's afraid to go to the weight room at college. And he says he's losing his upper body strength and definition, and losing weight in the form of lost muscle mass. (This is the 7th week, I think.) There's this "punishment" thing where candidates in his EC training group have to exhibit "situational awareness" by shouting out whenever they see someone with higher rank in the group -- anywhere on campus. If the cadre guy sees you before you shouted out, you're getting extra PT, no matter when it is or where you are. (I guess classrooms are off-limits, but I'm not really sure.) Depending on where you are at the time, it could be pushups on the cafeteria floor (ok, that's kind of ew). If a pull-up bar were available, you'd be doing pull-ups. The guy could be all the way on the other side of campus. If you see him first, you better book it over to him and shout out or else you'll be running up the mountain with your backpack. If you're IN THE GYM -- you're getting a boot camp workout designed to basically kill you. So DS won't go to the weight room. It's IMPOSSIBLE to see everyone coming in and IMPOSSIBLE to get through 2 minutes of weight lifting without one of those guys showing up out of nowhere and making you run around the indoor track doing squats while carrying 15 pound weights on your ankles followed by -- I don't even know -- but followed by 45 minutes of HELL. Ok, whatever. I get the whole "be situationally aware" thing. But I paid a lot of money for that activity fee so that DS could use that awesome weight room that we toured, like, 12 times. I'm ticked off that he's losing his upper body strength because of being freaked out about going there. Shouldn't that space be off-limits? I HATE to sound like a freak helicopter parent, so, seriously, I get that calling the school isn't going to happen even though I'm THIS CLOSE to picking up the phone and complaining. Is there anything I might say to him to help him get through this? (And thing is, it wouldn't be just a freshman year thing, you know? It would be any time you're in that EC group and somebody outranks you.) When I drive down for parents' weekend next week, I'm bringing his weights with me. It's not the same kind of workout, but it's better than doing only pushups and running, sometimes with sandbags (which the cadre makes them do ALL the time). He's not really allowed to keep weights in his room. But it's the only thing I can think of to help and he says he is pretty sure he can hide them when he needs to. (His suite mate, who is a sophomore, has weights in his room and it hasn't been a problem for him yet.) Wondering if you guys might deliver words of wisdom, please.