Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Onion

So as I peel away the layers of my life and start motivating myself to do the unexpected... I wish I could say that others are doing the same. Oh well, I can't control them, just me. Unfortunately I must deal with these less than motivated individuals. We will see how that goes!
So today was pretty much the same as most days: teaching, plannning, meetings, and the ever dreadful grad class. WOW! That is going to be a doozy of a class, and I am debating which is going to be worse, my classmates or the teacher. That remains to be seen. Needless to say we have a ton of work, lots of writing and many boring readings. I just hope I get something out of the course, other than the bill. That too remains to be seen.

So my training....well today was an off day and that was OK. I was sore and the P90X yoga we did yesterday...broke me off. My lats, and other muscles I have no idea what they are called, are extremely sore. Which is good! This Monday is measurement day, one month after the start of this endeavor. I will see what the tape measure tells me. I know the scale has been on my side, I have been steady losing weight and I am happy about that. I have more energy and I have more strength. To me that is the most amazing part, I FEEL better.

We will see what tomorrow brings.... we are supposed to walk/run however we have a Back to School Night/Meet the Teacher. Hopefully I can schedule some me time in there and get my workout in. I will let you know how that works out. In closing....I think I have another thing to add to my bucket list..... actually I think I am going to create a bucket list... right here!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Panic at the Disco

So for whatever reason, well actually I know the reasons, but at any rate I have decided that I am going to start compiling and accomplishing my Bucket List. For those who have not seen the movie, the premise is simple... create a list of things you want to accomplish in your life BEFORE you kick the bucket. Hence the name of the movie/list Bucket List. So I did.... I have my bucket list. Inspired by a co-worker, Lynn, I have decided that I am going to start training for a 5k. Once I have completed that, I will work my way up through the races and hopefully make it to a full marathon. It is my goal to not only complete the training for these runs, but to also lose the weight that I have been carrying around. I have justified for so long that round was shape, and therefore I was in shape. I have justified being heavy because of my age, not having the time and all these other excuses. Well no longer. I am determined to make it! So yesterday was DAY 1 in this journey. We started out with a 15 minute run/walk, as per the training schedule. We pushed ourselves a bit more and walked/ran a total of 26+ minutes. But it felt WONDERFUL! Just me, my MP3 player and the crisp late afternoon air. I ran some, and walked a good plenty. Despite not always feeling like I could do it, I did! And that feeling of "I can do this" is exhilirating. I know that my mind is more powerful than my body and I can push my body through the pain and discomfort to the end goal...which is finishing what I started.
Today was just as good! I felt a bit sore, and tired... starting a new semester certainly doesn't help that. I also started my grad class tonight. Despite all the things on my plate today, I made time for 40 minutes of yoga, and a thirty minute run/walk. Yes, I am sore as hell right now, and my shins are about to split from my legs. However, I know I can do this. I can work through it and push through the pain. I will accomplish my goal, of this I am sure. Tomorrow is another day, and thankfully it is an off day for the training schedule...but I have substituted that with a meeting and a grad class. Call me crazy..... ok so I call myself crazy.
Enough about me.... I know this is my daily grind...but part of that grind are my family. As a side note, my daughter Kelsey started running indoor track this year, and won third place in the county in the 300 meter. I was so proud, I bursted into tears! It was so incredibly emotional because she is the culmination of all that is right with me. She is the very best of me and I am reminded daily of how good God is and how priviledged I am to be her mom. This says nothing of my little man, who embodies the best and worst of Harvey and I. He is strong-willed, emotional, sarcastic, loving and funny. He is intuned with how you feel and at time oblivious to everyone else around him. He wears his little heart on his sleeve and takes everything literal. He is truly my baby boy. It is for these two young lovely people that I dedicate my first goal on the bucket list. May you both always have the courage to meet your goals head on and tackle them with dignity and tenacity. I will set the example. Love you children....Good Night and until next time...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Semper Fidelis

Tuesday January 19:
Who knew when I agreed to go on the Marine Corps Educators Workshops that I would have so much fun. I could not have anticipated the trip with a crystal ball if I had tried. From the moment I was picked up on Tuesday, at 2:50am might I add, it was an adventure. We arrived at the recruiting sub-station in Frederick, and waited for the last member of our local group. We then proceed down to the Marriott in Dulles where we linked up with the rest of our RSS Frederick group. They provided breakfast, coffee and juice...and best of all eye candy. From this point on we were part of a group that was destined to learn about the ins and outs of the Corps. So we got our tickets and our rides to the actual aiport... and we were off and running. Funny thing is, it was about this time when I realized we were headed to Parris Island, South Carolina!! Up, Up and away.....
So we boarded our plane to Savannah, and it was smooth sailing! Wait....that almost makes it seem like Dulles was an easy airport... BAH! Ok so we had a few minor hiccups, oh like when we had to pay for 35-40 peoples bags with one man's government credit card. Talk about a difficult task. Needless to say we all got our bags taken care of and the flight was easy breezy. We arrived in Savannah/Hilton Head and went to lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. Now you are thinking here are two busses worth of educators that don't really know each other or know what to expect from this experience, arriving in an unknown city, well is this going to work? Well the logistics ran so smoothly it was remarkable. We ate at Ruby's, bused to Beaufort, S.C. and checked in with ease. I was fortunate enough to wait until the last minute to check in and I fanagled a room to myself. WOOHOO!  After that nights dinner, and the intro movie to our next few days, I was finally able to shower and relax. Wait did I really just say relax??? Ok I showered and went back downstairs to meet those going out for a drink.
So there I am.... no poo... waiting for others to arrive, and they do...but they are all Marines, male Marines. So I am the only female educator heading out to the bar with 5 male Marines. And thus began the next four days of the Marine Corps Educators Workshop.

Wednesday, January 20:
So I arrive back to my hotel at what seemed like a decent hour....but that didn't mean we were done. Another 12 pack between 2 people, and a botched attempt at Copenhagen, I arrive in my sometime around 2:00am?? I think... that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was waking up at 6:10am and thinking "Crap, I slept through the 5:45 alarm!!!" Nevermind the fact that I had to be downstairs by 6:30am. I made it, albeit not incredibly sober, but it wasn't required. I did have my required gear, and I was on time.  As I boarded the bus, I was so friggin excited because today was the day we would get to fire the M16A2s. WOOHOO!!! So...we were briefed about the Corps, and the benefits and educational opportunities offered to the recruits, as well as the training and expectations of all Marines. This concept of family was beginning to unfold. After our brief we proceeded to the famous or infamous YELLOW FOOTPRINTS! We even got to go fall into a formation on the yellow footsteps!
I can only imagine how the young recruits feel arriving there at Parris Island. What a thrill of excitement, fear and the unknown! The rest of the briefing went in a blur, partly because I was taking in all the different surroundings and sights a new recruit would be....and the other part was because my head was still foggy from the rewards of the previous evening. (Which for the purposes of keeping my blog healthy and sanitary...I will refrain from disclosing.) We proceeded to the indoor training range for the M16A2. After a quick brief, we were able to handle the air pressured gun and learn the "two to the chest, one to the head" manuever. I did awesome! If I might brag about myself. The first time I scored 115, and the second and third time (yes, I fired it more than once) I scored 120. So I felt like a pro! Gimme the real thing...and they did! After an intense safety briefing, we walked out to the live fire range. One magazine later, 30 rounds, I was loving the M16! It couldn't get better!(but it does!)
After the training, we had the honor of eating lunch with a recruit! By favor that was one of the most memorable experiences. She was young 19 year old girl, who was in college and wanted something more fulfilling, and so she became a Marine. How different than what we are used to hearing...about the teen with no direction in life. I know the recruits to happy to have some adult conversation, because she thanked us for being there and talking to her because since we were from the MD/VA area she felt less homesick. I choked down those Mommy tears and told her that we were proud of her and that she could do it!
The afternoon went well and we proceeded to a brief and dinner at the Officers Club on the Marine Corps Air Station. The best part of this evening..... chucking empty bottles at a wall of terrorists!!! Totally unexpected and way too much friggin fun!
The night should have ended there, but that would have been too silly. So I showered, got ready and headed back out to Rosie's for what should have been Karaoke, but turned into my first meeting with Patron. Well the rest of the evening will be summarized as "holy shit". Home bound by 2:30 or so.....

Thursday, January 21
So I missed formation this morning. What exactly is that? Well the DI tells you to be somewhere at a certain time, and you are a no show. So I over slept....but that wasn't the worst part. I was called, cell-phoned, had someone at the door...and still didn't budge. Genos, God love him, stood knocking on the door until I managed to get myself up. So I got up, showered, and managed to get downstairs.....not entirely coherent.
But it was pouring and I could tell today was gonna be tough. The long and short of it was today included martial arts combat training, The Crucible, and other things.....all in the POURING down rain! What fun! Did I mention we were wet??? It was all in good fun!
That evening we all got showered and warm and headed to Dock Side restaurant for a wonderful seafood dinner. Of course after dinner, it was finally the Office. Not to mention $2 for 24oz Margaritas. It was an awesome time and I know for sure I arrived sometime after 3:30am. The days were long and nights longer! But it was an unforgettable time......

Friday January 21
Time to go home...but not before some tear jerking ceremonies. From the flag raising to the band playing, it was an emotional morning. We also had the privilege of seeing the graduation ceremony and that was equally emotional. It was amazing to see what a healthy dose of discipline can do for individuals. I was amazed and awed! I have never experienced something so powerful as this graduation. The honor grads were amazing and the best part was watching them run towards family members and all the hugs and kisses! I wanted to cry like a baby! But that went well....but now it was time for one of our last formations, and then off to the airport. Our time at Parris Island had come and gone and I was sad that it didn't last longer.

In closing, I was amazed at the discipline, work ethic, and most of all sense of family that all Marines seem to share, and not just in the recruit ranks but throughout all Marines. It was the most interesting professional development I have been to yet!