Saturday, October 27, 2007

There's always running

First, I have to say Go Sox! I'm a Bostonian stuck out of my state for the 2nd World Series in my 9 year old's life and he has no clue how 86 years is a long time for a win. To be in the World Series again is nothing short of a miracle.

Today I was reminiscing about my time in the Army. First let me be clear that I am a lawyer, joined the Army to live in Germany and still be able to practice law and then we invaded Panama and had Desert Storm and we've been deploying ever since. I'm now an Army wife and raise kids.

The first thing that happened after I signed the paperwork was a big packet comes in the mail that says "Your APFT" I cautiously opened it and saw some stick figures doing full sit-ups, push-ups, and a 2 mile run. At that time I really did not know how far two miles was though I've always been athletic and enjoy sports. I read for a while and then put it away. Flash foward to January 1990, Fort Lee VA and I arrive in my Fisherman's sweater and jeans and sign-in. Within a day they had us line up to take the APFT. I laced up my tennis shoes-- who knew if they were running shoes or not? I ran the 2 miles and passed all sorts of people. I had to go around the track 8 times. I was really surprised at how good it felt, how easy it actually seemed. I finished in 19 minutes 38 seconds. I think I could have gone faster, but I was afraid to do too much too fast. That started my first day as a runner and I've been loving it ever since. From there we went to UVA in Charlottesille, VA and I met some real runners. My classmates who ran at lunch, after class, on the weekend-- wow! It opened up a whole world to me. There was the rabbit looking guy who took me out for an 8 mile run and I was just floored that my body could do that.

Next came Airborne School. I signed up to jump out of airplanes and had to do rigorous runs to get ready for it. I arrived at Fort Benning GA with only 10 weeks of military training and I was a First Lieutenant JAG. They had a good time making fun of us lawyers and putting us through hell (sort of like Basic Training, but the goal is to leave a perfectly good aircraft at 2000 feet-- feet and knees in the breeze). If you fall out of a run- you're done. My trainer (called a Black Hat) was a great guy. He was mean and yelled a lot, but really just playing the role. He did however pull me aside and threaten me that if I fell out of a run there would be hell to pay. I assured him that I may not be able to do any of the Army stuff, but run I could do. It was so empowering. In a world of very unfamiliar everything-running saved me. It was the only thing I could confidently do. The Army is very judgmental about running. Falling out is sort of like treason. I enjoyed my time in the air,but more than that I was proud to finish the runs strong.


S. Kimzey Daniels said...

How cool. Tell us more.

crumbs said...

Wow - I, in general, have little fondness for either the military or lawyers, but you tell a good story. You, I like. ;)