Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Rucking and New Bellevilles

I have had a crazy couple of terms at school therefore I felt it would be better to focus my energy on getting good grades rather than writing new posts on Armyocs. However, things have slowed down and though I am still taking classes through the summer I feel I am able to continue updating my progress. So, I apologize for those of you who have been following me…. sometimes life gets in the way and you have to prioritize!

I have to admit that I’ve stopped working out. Yikes. That’s probably the worst thing I could do especially knowing that my fitness is in a dismal state as of current. So, I invested $130 in new Belleville 790s to encourage myself to start working out again and get the move on with toughening my feet and breaking in some boots. I chose 790s because I live in a rainy city and I knew that the waterproof goretex bootie on the inside would definitly be worth the $30 extra. I’ve hiked in them twice… not very far though. They don’t rise as high up on my shins as I thought they would from seeing the picture, but that’s okay because they still fit really well and so far they don’t hurt my feet.

As far as rucking in my new Bellevilles is concerned, I’ll have to raise my fitness level before I can add any weight to my “walks.” I plan to do a one mile out/one mile back pattern for the next week, then pump it up to two miles out/two miles back and so on until I am comfortable enough with walking in my boots for five or six miles. I estimate that by this time next month I’ll be ready to add weight. I do not have any kind of rucking device but I’m planning on using a small backpack stuffed with towels that are wrapped around a weight. I have free weights at home so I can easily just wrap up a plate in towels and use that to add weight to simulate rucking. I know it may not be a good idea though, knowing that many people can and do hurt themselves doing this style of ghetto rucking. This is more for just getting a feel for hiking and walking with weight in order to know what actual rucking might feel like. My main concerns still rest with actual running as well as muscular strength and endurance.

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Am I a Good Fit for the Army?

As people go through the recruitment process they often realize the truth in JFK’s famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.” Joining the Army is about sacrifice; sacrifice of not being able to choose your living location, working overtime, not being able to choose your jobs, medical coverage, limiting when to have a family just to name a few. Yes, as good of deal the Army seems to me, there is always the other side of the coin and thus a different story behind just what I’m getting into. Joining the Army will take a lot of sacrifice on my part, and this makes me wonder if I am a good fit for the Army–even if I think the Army is a good fit for me.

I’ll be honest: I love sleep. And that will make me a poor fit for the Army. I have had periods of my life where I’ve woken up at 6:00am every morning, and other periods (now) where I’ve woken up at 11:00am every morning. If I am going to be indoctrinated into military style concepts of time, I’ll be rising at 4:30 or 5:00am every morning. Now, I think it is good to eat about an hour before one works out because you need to have calories in your bloodstream. I’ve never worked out in a fasted period (read: skipping eating before my workout) because I feel it’s a stupid thing to do. However, in the Army, after my early wake up, I will be expected to workout for a couple hours before breakfast. There is no buts about this: you will workout before breakfast, no exceptions. Okay, so I can change…I can start getting up earlier and I can (gulp!) workout without any calories in my bloodstream. The more I do to adjust now and changing under my own control will help me when I eventually get to basic training and onwards to officer candidate school.

I am a good rule follower. Although I wasn’t raised Catholic I seem to have about an equal guilt complex of a Catholic. And that will make me a good fit for the Army. I can’t jaywalk without fearing I’ll get a ticket and suddenly it turns into police searching my car and my apartment and then getting sent to jail–all for jaywalking. I know, I know: if I’m innocent I shouldn’t have anything to hide. Well, it’s not that I’m hiding, but I am a private person. I’m an introvert, and while I think that is a good thing and I have the extra talent of being extraverted when needed, I fear I’ll be picked out of the group in basic training for being an introverted O9S. Even though I’m excited to follow the rules and follow them well, I know everyone has a breaking point and they will be looking for mine. They’ll want to assert dominance and control by making everyone watch the female O9S who is submitting to them. Is this an overblown Catholic sized guilt trip or what?!  But, I do think it’s better to fear the worst and go in knowing how you will handle yourself than to try not to think about it and end up being humiliated.

I know myself. And this will make me an…interesting fit for the Army. I think enlisted soldiers are typically young when they enlist and they don’t know themselves very well. This makes them moldable to the Army doctrine and much less likely to question later down the road. Now, I know that’s a generalization; some people enlist when they are older and do know themselves and others enlist when they’re young but they’ve grown up in a military family and are already molded to the doctrine. There are all types. But for me, I think it’s an asset that I have been in the workforce full time for 5 years. And I’ve also gone to school in the civilian world and gotten a Bachelor’s degree. So, I can definitly jump through hoops even if I think it’s dumb and a waste of time. I’m used to the hurry up and wait song and dance.

Lastly, the Army establishment is in the soutern United States. And that makes me a bad fit for the Army. I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and have only left the country once–and hated it! It’s not that I’m against moving… I’m an expert at moving. It’s the fact that I’ve never been to the south and I don’t understand the weather nor do I understand the people. Racial tension is something that one doesn’t run into very much living in the PacNw. So, I guess what I need to do (since I wish to go to OCS in Georgia) is study up on the south and try to understand it. It’s not going to change for me just because I don’t like it. And I think that is the takeaway message here; you must change yourself to fit to the Army because the Army isn’t going to change to fit to you.