Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Where to Begin?

So mid-February.  That's the last time I posted, huh?  Dang.  I've had more to say since then, for sure.  This might get rambly.

Fort Gordon continues to be...well...Fort Gordon.  It's still "Better Than Basic!(tm)" but that only carries a place so far after nearly 12 weeks.  I still haven't passed the run portion of a PT test.  I've had a couple of weeks of no running not helping due to really bad shin splint in my right leg.  That following a week of no PT thanks to my wisdom teeth finally being removed.  It adds up to most of the last month being a no run time.  That has...not...helped my run time.  But them's the breaks.  I took a diag test last week and I know I can crank out the pushups and situps to a passing (or better) standard no problem.  But the run.  Oy the run.  the more things change, the more they stay the same.

I continue to crush my classes.  And I continue to do so with one of the highest grade averages in my graduating class.  We're currently about a week away from the toughest block of instruction here.  And the schoolhouse threw my classroom-class a bit of a curve ball.  My classroom-class (really, there should be less cumbersome means of distinguishing between the soldiers currently in my graduating class and those that share the same classroom) was always kinda small.  And we've shaved off a soldier with each block of instruction so far.  But with this new block, they split us up and shunted us into the other two classes in my graduating class.  We are none too happy about the arrangement.  We had a sort of system running, a level of camaraderie, that kept us up and motivated.  It's not helping that the new block is back in the older schoolhouse with the barely-running AC.  With 19 of us crammed into the room instead of 10.  It makes a difference.  But I'll pass.  With high marks.  Ever on and on.

The PT is an effort and a hurdle, but it's quantifiable and counterable.  I'm slow on my run.  So I need to run more, and push harder when I run.  So I do.  I've started running on weekends now.  Not, y'know, really fast, but a couple of miles or an hour of interval running.  Something.  It'll get there.  The real hurdles are motivation and socialization.  And they're one and the same, really.  Time passes and I miss home.  And I haven't really made a lot of connections here with people.  Shallow circles at best, really.  And due to the nature of TRADOC (soldiers in training, the rules that govern them) I can't go, say, hang out with people I'm better connected to, like Hyde, without a willing battle buddy AND synchronized schedules.  It's a logistical nightmare on a good day.  I'm 29.  I'm responsible.  I want to do nothing to endanger my chances of getting Distinguished Honor Grad.  I just want to go hit the gym or another company's break area for a few hours and be back.  Nope.  And because I'm still struggling with PT, I'm stuck at Phase IV, so I have to do morning details on weekends, when I'd really much rather sleep.  And we have two hour time limits on on-post passes.  Sigh.  Whine.  Etc.  There are things I like.  And I'll count AIT as an enjoyable experience, overall.  Whereas Basic was...not.  But still, it's hard to keep the motivation to excel and exceed.  There are too many examples and opportunities to put for the minimum and lazy my way through.  And I could do it, too.  The system is easily worked, and I've more or less seen and/or figured out exactly how much effort to put forth to look just right and succeed by failing.  It's a temptation.  But I won't give in.  I just miss all you guys and independence.  Game night, the Salty Caper, St. James and Vintage21.  I miss drink and smokes.  I miss waking up on my own without an alarm or disturbance.  I know these things, and more, wait for me to get out of here.  I just gotta get there.

I try not to worry about the mild malaise that's kinda settled in of late.  Worrying overmuch will be a distraction I don't need.  But the mix is just right at the moment for a slip into something like depression.  And really, who needs that?  Not me, not here.  But I see warning signs.  So I work through and around the problems.  Facebook, the tool that lets me stay in touch with everyone back home, and by extension keep me motivated, is a two-edged sword by way of people I still stay in touch with that are friends (or family) with people I...don't want to.  Too much time for introspection and memory here sometimes, I guess.  But I still find myself up at 4AM.  I still push myself.  Sometimes I don't know why, like waking up in the middle of a run and asking myself "When the hell did this happen?  Why on EARTH am I running?  Where is the sun?!"  But the days end and there's mail-call.  Oh right.  That's why I do this.  I wake up to messages from far away left for me on my phone.  Yes.  This.  This makes my day before I even start.  These are my reasons.  You.  Your support.  I can't do this on my own, and I haven't had to.  You've been there with me the whole way.  From day one at Ft. Benning until graduation this June.  Your pictures are taped up in my locker, so every day I see you and I remind myself of why I'm here.  So please, keep on keeping me going.  I'm strong, but I am stronger because of you than I could have ever been by myself or for myself.  The letters and the messages and texts lift me up and keep me smiling.

Thank you.

I'm going to go listen to a lot of Led Zeppelin now.

if the sun refused to shine