Archive for August, 2011

Rucking update

8/16/11: 3.2 out/3.2 back, 5 lbs, not timed. (All of these are hikes, really. I live in a mountainous area with very scenic hiking, therefore, it’s simple to find all types of hikes close to home. However, rucking is also called “road marching” so I’m thinking of transitioning into longer distances on pavement, more weight, and timing my rucks. That way, it would be closer to the “real thing” and I wouldn’t tire so quickly from durastic increases and decreases in elevation and uneven, rocky ground that comes with traditional hiking. I’ll probably keep up my once a week hikes, but use them more for foot and body conditioning and add another one or two days of actual timed road marching.)


Rucking update

8/8/11: 4 miles out/4 miles back, no weight, not timed. Another week and I’ll start adding weight!

Why Do I Torture Myself?

Really. Why do I torture myself? I keep reading only bad news about my future in the military. Troop withdraws in the Middle East means less need to commission 2nd LTs. Cuts in defense spending due to the debt ceiling means less money to train and accept officer candidates. Competition is getting stiff. One writer on the Armyocs forum suggested that commissioning is going to be more competitive than it has been in 10 years! What?! I’m not a superstar. I know I’m just average (no sad puppy dog face, I’m just being real). Continually there is a higher and higher PT score one must aim for, a higher and higher standard for who can and who can’t write letters of recommendation, and a higher and higher emphasis on previous leadership and job specific experience. The bar for being branched Military Intelligence has been raised so high, I doubt I’ll be able to reach it.  The Army is no longer “an employer of last resort” as was once lectured to me by a sociology professor. An average person has a breaking point.

So, what can I do? I want these features to inspire a facilitative anxiety, not a debilitative one. I must improve myself to make my goals a reality. But that means stepping up my training and studying. It might be full throttle for the next 6 months to a year. Can I do that? Do I want to do that? What if I get a 4.0 gpa, reach a 300 on my PT score, find three exemplary individuals to write me letters of recommendation and I end up being a non-select? Will I really want to continue to try for acceptance to OCS? Furthermore, what if I in fact reach those goals, get selected to attend OCS, and then end up recycling out?

I guess this is a realization that I have a long and hard road ahead of me. This is more than putting together and essay and some LORs. This is a long-term striving for goals I may not be humanly able to achieve. This is a long-term risk in terms of time, money and dedication. Why do I torture myself, setting my goals so high? Why can’t I be happy in a cubicle, in a small town, overweight and divorced? For many people, thats A-OK. Maybe this is the path to realize that me, as an average person, is destined for that future even though I may set my sights higher.

I think this boils down to fears. Fears of trying and failing (nay, told I’m a failure). Fears of realizing and having to accept I am average. Fears of working so hard and not being rewarded. Fears of being trapped in a life I don’t want. I have to face them…even if the stakes are high.

Rucking update

8/1/11: 2.1 miles out (uphill)/2.1 miles back (downhill), 4.3 lbs (Camelbak), not timed.

The (waterproof) Goretex booties in my Bellevilles seems to be giving me the most trouble. They fold on my heel and are creating blisters even through wool socks!