For Shelly Ledyard of rural Wauseon, fitness means more than a trip to the gym or a casual jog. The former Marine and present Trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, recently became the first female trooper to receive a perfect score on her fitness test for the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The test is a requirement for officers every two years, and standards must be met. On October 9th of this year, she completed the five part test and surpassed the standards for each component resulting in a perfect score.
The five segments of the fitness test include a body fat test, flexibility test, maximum bench press, a maximum leg press, and a treadmill test. Each test has established standards for both male and female officers. The body fat test factors in age, height, and weight, and the lower the body fat, the higher the points received. The flexibility test measures how far a person can sit and reach. Both the bench press and the leg press tests factor in age, height, and weight, and points are awarded based on how much weight is lifted. The treadmill stress test awards points based on how long a person remains on the treadmill.
For Ledyard, who regularly works out at Marshall Fitness in Wauseon with a personal trainer, fitness became a way to deal with her father’s death who passed away last year. “Working out keeps me occupied since my dad died. It keeps me in shape and helps me keep a positive attitude,” she affirms.
It was her personal goal to achieve the perfect score of 500 on the fitness test. She was able to bench press 165 pounds and leg press 315 pounds. Her positive attitude is what motivated Ledyard in her fitness test goals. She has a personal motto for herself. “Never settle for the average. Go above and beyond and give it your all.”
Ledyard who received multiple phone calls and letters from senior staff congratulating her on her perfect score has now found herself as a role model and spokesperson for the female recruitment efforts. Currently, there are 130 female officers with 1600 total officers. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is interested in recruiting more females as troopers.
Ledyard speculates that the low number of female officers could stem from the stigma of the State Highway patrol traditionally being thought of as a male role. Ledyard who is stationed at the Defiance and Williams post has been the only female trooper for the past 2-3 years.
“I get called ‘Sir’ a lot before people realize and correct themselves,” Ledyard says with a laugh.
Ledyard has been with the Patrol for nine years and plans to retire from the Patrol. “It’s my chosen career path, my calling. I learn something new every day. Every day is a different day; no day is ever the same.” She enjoys being able to assist people in need.
Ledyard feels that female officers play just as much of a part as male officers. Females can bring a different perspective and approach to situations.
For a female thinking about applying to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, Ledyard would encourage them to. “You may get negative comments. Instead, use them as motivation to become more successful,” she advises.
The requirements to enter the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy are that one has a high school diploma, is a citizen of the United States, is a permanent resident of Ohio, and between the ages of 20-34 (must be 21 before they graduate from academy). The process requires a background check, a polygraph, physical, and the ability to pass a fitness test. More information can be found at their website http://statepatrol.ohio.gov
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