Rememberance Day Pride — and changes in myself

Several months ago I decided to join the National Guard reserves. There were several reasons for this, really. Most of it is financial — I can’t afford to pay off my school loans with as little as I pay myself here at Insanitek, let alone the now required health care or other essentials of life, such as shelter and food. The Guard doesn’t pay much, but it’s enough to help close the gap so I can afford to survive a little easier. Yes, I could have chosen to work harder in a civilian life, maybe taken on a part time job (because who hires full time any more?) or cut out the pay for people here at Insanitek and paid myself more. However, I found these choices unacceptable — travel to and from a part time job takes out more time than I’m willing to deal with when I can make more money with some freelance ghost writing, and I’m not a cast-iron heated bitch enough to cut people’s wages here at Insanitek. Beyond this, though, joining the Guard or other Armed Forces Reserves is a source of pride. What other job can I do part two weeks a year and a weekend a month that allows me to truly help people and this country? Not a one of them.

However, to gain entry, I’d have to make a lot of changes. My time during school has left me flabby, weak, and, well, extremely unhealthy. At the time of deciding to join, I had to lose 80lbs (from 230 to 150), be able to do 45 sit-ups and 20 push-ups  in 2 minutes and run 2 miles in 20 minutes. My first fitness test I gave myself resulted in 0 push-ups, 3 sit-ups, and “running” 2 miles in 38minutes. This is definitely NOT a good way to start.

Now, I realise that my body is old and I have a few limitations. I have carpel tunnel in my left wrist, plantars faciitis in both feet, and enough sedentary years to kill my knees. These are all setbacks I’ve been working around. I started doing push-ups on the wall, the moved to the counter top, then moved to a low chair back. Soon, I’ll be doing push-ups on the floor. I walk as often as I can to build stamina in my feet and legs. I also maintain fanatical control of what I eat so I can lose weight without starving myself or my body of the nutrients it needs. Food is fuel, after all, and I can’t train without the fuel.

4 months have gone by of slow progress. However, I can say that I’ve lost 10lbs, can do 10 sit-ups, and 20 push-ups on the back of a low chair. I can also walk 4 miles once a week before my feet start tensing up and trying to curl under. I’m getting barely perceptibly closer to my goal of getting into the Guard where I can take my place along others that serve their country, community, and others first before themselves. We might only be “weekend warriors”, but at least we are warriors in some regard. We are also doing what we can to preserve our — and your — way of life.