Thursday, March 5, 2009

Running Till There's Nothing Left

Tonight is just one of those semi-lonely nights. With the roommate out at the library and no pressing academic requirements I know where I could go hang out, but I don't want to go there. It's difficult having a cadet ex-boyfriend. I decided to keep this to a minimum, discussing relationships at all, but on a night like tonight it's the just the elephant in the corner I'm trying to ignore. The problem is in the organization of my time. I just haven't been wanting to go to his room to hang out and I don't want him around my room because most of my friends think he is stand-offish and, well, he is. He's stand-offish and he monopolizes my attention and still acts like we're lovebirds, which is awkward for friends. My roommate has been around since the beginning of the relationship and so she takes it in stride whether he is hanging out, stopping by, or has that mopey look on his face that says I am mad at him. I don't like that this alienates my other friends though, and it's a major source of tension between him and I.

Yesterday we had a work out by one of the plebes on the team we call him 'Baumer' and he called his work-out the "Dirty Joe". One of his favorite phrases is "It's all for the Joes." and he is a very funny plebe. I am happy to be on the team and meet these good, strong individuals. It's eye-opening and every day I learn a little more and not just about military related stuff. I am finding a new and different niche here at West Point. I love my roommate, but our social circles are mostly different, so I really appreciate Sandhurst for that reason. After the lift yesterday we went to EST the simulated shooting and we shot scenarios that were mostly fun except for the stress shoot which was really stressful for me because "Little Ben" was standing behind me telling me the wrong color to shoot at and distracting me in general and I was accidentally forgetting that in a stress shoot you face the target and go to the 'low and ready' position between targets. It was in good fun though, not malice and I enjoy EST. I also enjoy swimming which not everybody does. My biggest weakness (and I've never denied this) has been running.

Today we were running in gear and pushing our pace toward Lee Gate. One of my teammates was pushing me and said, "Come on [my name], we're not even a quarter of a way through." I felt horrible after that sentence. I know I shouldn't have, but I felt like doing something childish like throwing down my rifle and stopping running and just yelling, "Look, I'm not in good enough shape for you!" but I pushed until we got to the gate and told the SL (Squad Leader) I could push no more and my knee was tight. He told me to take an easy jog back. I felt... unsettled. I knew I could run further, but at that pace it would be impossible. So I ended up doing intervals back to the barracks. I also didn't go straight back. I ran and walked up to Washington Gate then jogged all the way down that hill to the cemetery. I alternately walked and jogged back to the corner of the Catholic Chapel hill and then I ran, walked, ran, walked, ran up the hill to the Cadet Chapel turn off and took the stairs down to cadet area and walked back to Pershing, my barracks. I knew it wasn't the same work-out as the team, but I felt a little better about myself. I am still going to ask ortho to check out my knee and I am still going to ask the SL to give me a work-out I can do in addition to the scheduled work-outs. I was hesitant about the last thing, but I obviously lack the core running muscles that everyone else seems to have. It's true that I've never done long distance running at faster than a 7:30 per mile pace, and wrestling is less endurance running than short bursts of energy combined with generally high cardio endurance. This is light endurance though and this is basically strength running with the gear and the rifle.

It's not about being the one competing on game day to me, it's about giving the SL the best I've got and about being at least a viable option. I want to be a good alternate. I want them to know that if push came to shove they could rely on me to step up and on a good day perform for them. I want to be a valuable member of the team and I want to be able to run five miles in gear for the team and maybe one day for my platoon. I want to be capable of this, not only ask people to do this for me.

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