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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default So I joined the military!

    Hello! I've been trying to join the military since... December or so, and I just got my ship date for basic. (This is United States military, by the way.)

    September 25, for Air Traffic Control in the USAF. I'm excited! It sounds demanding, but it should be interesting.

    In the few months I have to wait, I've resolved to get in shape and quit the whole smoking thing. Typically not a good thing to do when trying to do endurance training.

    So, I figured I'd try to get into this community a bit more, since you all seem like decent people. :) Been a lurker for the most part, but aside from a few people, a good community. So if anyone has any advice, tips, pointers on any of the above, I would definitely appreciate it.

    At the moment, my 1.5 mile time is 14:30. Minimum pass time is 11:58 I believe. I have to cut at least a minute off each month. I try to go on two runs a day. One in the morning with my wife and child, where I push my daughter in the stroller. About 1.2 miles. One at night, just me, getting to cut loose more. About 2.5 miles.

    Pushups and sit ups are good, but I will be working until then. After all, passing is good, not having to try to pass is better. 42 pushups and 47 sit ups in one minute.

    Smoking... Been working myself down to half a pack a day for the last few months. Tomorrow marks the big step, from 10 to 0. I've got a huge bag of dumdums to ease the transition hopefully.

    Like I said, any advice on any of this would be appreciated. Too much running, not enough, your experiences with basic training, a good luck to quit smoking... All input is appreciated. Thanks!

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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    As far as getting in shape, you're doing a great job. Make sure you eat proteins after working out. I would recommend switching to the E-cigs to help ween yourself off of cigarettes. All they are is nicotine (which by itself is no more harmful than caffene) and water vapor. For most the habit is usually harder to break than the addiction. Good luck in your new career.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Thank you! Just got done with my morning run. Gotta love how excited my daughter gets when we start moving.

    Thankfully, I found my old vapor pen this morning. If I have to, I know it's there at least.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    What worked for me was switching up run distance and speed. Intersperse long, slow runs with shorter, faster runs. Also do interval training (jog, run, jog, run).
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    As a former Airman myself, welcome to the Air Force!

    I wish you luck with ATC training. It is a very high stress job, and while I was in tech training for my job, I met quite a few folks who washed out. Some of them during their last weeks of training.

    As for training, I was never really fit. I scored well enough after tech school to pass the evals. All I can say is good luck.
    We don't know how many the Collectors have stolen. Thousands, hundreds of thousands. It's not important. What matters is this: Not. One. More. That's what we can do here, today. It ends with us. They want to know what we're made of? I say we show them, on our terms. Let's bring our people home.

    Mass Effect: Scars.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Thank you! That's what I hear. Very stressful tech school, the first 6 months on base is even worse, but if you can pull through all that, you've got a good career ahead of you. As long as I can take care of my wife and kid, I'm happy.

    Just gotta remember... One hour studying for every hour in class. If I can keep on top of it, it'll go a lot smoother.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilehus View Post
    snip
    Wait..how old are you? You mention having a wife and a child, so unless you started really early(which is quite possible) I'm guessing 21 or older? If so, there might be a different standard for your PT tests, I know in the Regular Army, It was like 18-23, 23-29, and then 30+, each tier had their own requirements for what they needed to be able to do in terms of physical prowess.

    Definitely quit smoking, that was a big one for me, it took until the very end of basic and then some(I actually had to do 2 weeks extra because I couldn't pass my run time ><) before I was able to keep my breathing under control enough to keep a steady pace to pass my run time.

    Push-ups and stuff aren't nearly as difficult, I was capable of passing that by week 3, and I had no physical prowess to speak of before the army, the most exercise I got was on weekends when my best friend would come up and we'd go out and explore the mountain. I never lifted weights or anything. Sit-Ups are the same, just even easier, I passed the req for them the first PT test we had, my guess is stomach muscles are the first to start to develop or something. It's really just the run that's the hardest, especially if you're a smoker.

    Start getting up early and going to bed early as well, in basic it was lights out at 8:30, and up at 3:30 most mornings, at least in the beginning. Eventually moved to 9:00 and 4:30 near the end, but they will switch it back when you're doing qualifying for riflemanship. Oh, make sure you buy a pair of shower sandals, otherwise you're going to get a horrible foot infection(I knew several guys who did). If you have issues with showering in front of others(I did), you SHOULD be able to sacrifice a bit of sleep time and sign out with whoever is on night watch of the barracks and go take a shower by yourself, that's what I did every night. Showering IS A MUST. You will get a blanket party if you don't, my unit gave out two to separate guys who refused to shower regularly and stunk the whole barracks up. Don't listen the Drill Sergeants who say "Blanket Parties no longer happen in the military, we do not allow or condone that kind of behavior", my Drill Sergeants gave the same crap speech, but they certainly never did a thing about it when it happened to those two guys, and one of the Drill Sergeants had even subtly suggested it when he got a whiff of the one dude.

    Final thing: Military food IS AWESOME. Don't let people tell you otherwise. I heard so many different stories of how bad it was from so many different people(all people who had never been in), but it was quite good. Only thing is, you really need to get used to eating fast, at least for the first few weeks of basic. First 3 weeks of basic we had 2 minutes from the time we sat down with our tray, to be done and formed up outside of the mess hall. It'll go up to 5 minutes after that, if you're lucky, but it won't increase past that.
    Avatar is Chaos Devil Dragon from Puzzle & Dragons!

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Starwulf View Post
    Final thing: Military food IS AWESOME. Don't let people tell you otherwise.
    Pffft. In America maybe.

    Also, I thought the OP said he was joining the military. Chair force doesn't count! (seriously though, be prepared for inter-service "banter").
    Only an animal does useful things. An animal gets food, finds a place to sleep, tries to keep comfortable. But I wanted to do something that was not useful, not like an animal at all. Something only a human being would do.
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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Those buttons don't push themselves, you know.
    We don't know how many the Collectors have stolen. Thousands, hundreds of thousands. It's not important. What matters is this: Not. One. More. That's what we can do here, today. It ends with us. They want to know what we're made of? I say we show them, on our terms. Let's bring our people home.

    Mass Effect: Scars.

    Returning 2015.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Liffguard View Post
    Pffft. In America maybe.
    In Finland, the food you get in garrisons is pretty great.

    The food you get at camps... not so much. Everything's just carbohydrates with undisclosed source of protein (=stew). Iron rations are an improvement over that. At least they taste like preservatives, which is better than tasting like nothing.

    On the other hand - considering how increasing amounts of young people live with energy drinks and microwave foods, it's hard for military food to not be an improvement over that.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Liffguard View Post
    Pffft. In America maybe.

    Also, I thought the OP said he was joining the military. Chair force doesn't count! (seriously though, be prepared for inter-service "banter").
    Quote Originally Posted by Lentrax View Post
    Those buttons don't push themselves, you know.
    Pfft. Better Chair Force than one of the Misguided Children, or the wannabe marines. Or the Navy.

    My brother-in-law gave me some great advice for basic! Always respond when the DI speaks, be alpha as hell, and let them know I'm not taking any of their crap. He's always looking out for me.

    Starwulf: Good to know. Thank you! Lots of little things I wouldn't have thought of there... I'm not too worried about basic, it's more the adjustment period away from my wife and kid that'll suck. Still, I'm a little more prepared now.
    Last edited by Nilehus; 2014-06-14 at 11:23 AM.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    You want to get them used to the fact you may have to come home, just to leave without even really saying goodbye?.

    Leave a bag near the door where you stow gear.

    Tell your family, "This is my go bag. If I come home and grab this I won't be home tonight.' As time goes on, different bags will show up in the same location. Just make sure everyone knows it is your 'go bag spot.)

    In your bag, you can cram in the small bag your family will fill up there.

    And always. Always have a "home bag" a list of stuff youre gonna do when you get home. Things you will do with the kids, with the wife.

    It's a small game to play with the children, bit make sure your wife knows what it does for the kids to be able to support dad. Male it missions of their own. Get our set of pictures of the pool party to the go bag without being caught... Things like that.
    We don't know how many the Collectors have stolen. Thousands, hundreds of thousands. It's not important. What matters is this: Not. One. More. That's what we can do here, today. It ends with us. They want to know what we're made of? I say we show them, on our terms. Let's bring our people home.

    Mass Effect: Scars.

    Returning 2015.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilehus View Post
    Or the Navy.
    u wot m8

    Haha, my father's in the Navy and his dad was in the Air Force. I've got no plans to join the service myself, but I have nothing but respect for those who do, especially those who end up deploying away from their families. Good luck!
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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilehus View Post
    My brother-in-law gave me some great advice for basic! Always respond when the DI speaks, be alpha as hell, and let them know I'm not taking any of their crap. He's always looking out for me.
    :
    Hmm, I'll agree with being Alpha and responding immediately and loudly, but don't EVER give the DI the impression that you won't take their crap. They are specifically there to beat any disobedience out of you. If you give them the impression that you are bucking up to them/not willing to take whatever they throw at you, you are in for an absolutely miserable time. Worse comes to worse, they'll give you an article 15 for disobedience, 3 of which results in a dishonorable discharge. The Alpha bit is just for your fellow soldiers, sometimes people get a bit wonky during Basic and will try to force others to do stuff for them(not like that you perverts!).

    Seriously, don't buck up to the DI's unless you want to be out of the military before you even make it in there.
    Avatar is Chaos Devil Dragon from Puzzle & Dragons!

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    That part, I know. He's trying to make sure I do pushups the entire 8.5 weeks I'm there, I think.

    Confident, but not a pain in the ass sound right?

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilehus View Post
    That part, I know. He's trying to make sure I do pushups the entire 8.5 weeks I'm there, I think.

    Confident, but not a pain in the ass sound right?
    Exactly! Don't be a kiss-ass or you'll piss the other recruits off, but being confident, and good at what you're doing, will likely earn you a "fake" promotion as squad leader, or even platoon leader. Not so much fake though, all the platoon leaders in my basic training were given actual promotions to the next rank at the end of basic, and 1/4(so about 5) of the squad leaders were as well. Gotta have leadership capabilities though as well, not just confidence and athleticism.
    Avatar is Chaos Devil Dragon from Puzzle & Dragons!

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Lentrax: That sounds like a good idea... My daughter's a bit young to play that sort of game, but in a couple years, I'm sure she'll love to. Especially with ATC, you can get pulled for temp duty fairly often, I hear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Siosilvar View Post
    u wot m8

    Haha, my father's in the Navy and his dad was in the Air Force. I've got no plans to join the service myself, but I have nothing but respect for those who do, especially those who end up deploying away from their families. Good luck!
    Army parents, Navy friends, Marine brother in law. Felt like I had to round out the collection.

    My brother in law in particular has not stopped giving me crap since he found out. It's all good fun though.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilehus View Post
    Army parents, Navy friends, Marine brother in law. Felt like I had to round out the collection.

    My brother in law in particular has not stopped giving me crap since he found out. It's all good fun though.
    Who'll join the Coast Guard? Your wife?
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    Pass the time in joy with your chosen wife.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Um... Now she has to! Honestly, though, I just forgot. I've lived 1500 miles inland my entire life, the Coast Guard just slipped my mind. And when I went in for processing, there was no one there for Coast Guard. At all. Their office looked deserted.

    Well, now I've gotta make a Coast Guard friend or something. Darn.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilehus View Post
    My brother in law in particular has not stopped giving me crap since he found out. It's all good fun though.
    Get one of your Navy friends to remind your brother in law what Marines stand for:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nilehus View Post
    Um... Now she has to! Honestly, though, I just forgot. I've lived 1500 miles inland my entire life, the Coast Guard just slipped my mind. And when I went in for processing, there was no one there for Coast Guard. At all. Their office looked deserted.
    Everybody forgets the Coasties, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Geez. Using Navy equipment, answering to the Department of the Navy... Next time he gives me crap, I'll just ask him what the difference is.

    If I don't come back, just know it was worth it.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Respect.

    No idea if it's right for you, but smoking? Quit cold turkey. Just get it all over and done with. Same with caffeine if you can; not a habit you want there either.

    I don't have any advice on getting better, other than it never gets easier, you get stronger. Don't get discouraged! Doing way more than passing will still be hard – it is exertion after all. But you can rise to the challenge!
    Make strange what is comfortable.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilehus View Post
    Um... Now she has to! Honestly, though, I just forgot. I've lived 1500 miles inland my entire life, the Coast Guard just slipped my mind. And when I went in for processing, there was no one there for Coast Guard. At all. Their office looked deserted.

    Well, now I've gotta make a Coast Guard friend or something. Darn.
    Or you could hope for your daughter.
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    Sing, and dance.
    Eat your fill of warm cooked food and cool jugs of beer.
    Cherish the children your love gave life.
    Bathe away life's dirt in warm drawn waters.
    Pass the time in joy with your chosen wife.

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Lt Col in Air Force here.

    1. Your ATC...you will deploy. Prepare your wife and her family now.
    2. Boot camp will change you, but not be OMFG difficult. Just pay attention to what the TI (Air Force) says.
    3. When you get out of Tech School, get ready...you have at least another year of on the job training to accomplish....then you will deploy.
    4. When you get to your first base your going to want to spend all the them NOT at work with your family...PLEASE PLEASE volunteer some with your squadron. You'll be in OSS which is run by pilots/aircrew. They've have BBQs, fundraisers and such. Volunteer at least once a quarter...I was commander and those Airmen are easy to spot and generally are a cut above (of course this assumes your actually good at your job, that is first...the other stuff is just a way to seperate you from the other Airmen who sits in the dorm on the XBOX after work.
    5. If you want to work ATC in civilian world, be ready to leave the Air Force after a while....there is an age limit for new controllers the FAA has to follow...sounds like your a bit older than normal so this might be a problem if you want to stay 20 and retire THEN go work civilian ATC.

    Good Luck. Its worthwhile
    I''ll stop now as I'm getting an itch in that black hole I call a conscious

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    I'd like to add on to what the colonel said, from the pov of an enlisted airman.

    Basically what he said about volunteering. It is a good way to let your squadronmates get to know you. And you don't have to overdo it either. If you can grill pretty well, offer to help out with that. If you play a mean game of ultimate frisbee, organize it. No one will say you can't, and you'll usually get more people turning out than you figured. Heck, I was invited to a patio party at the apartment of one of my flightmates. Turned into a backyard barbecue with half the squadron. I was one of the guys that went home after my shift ended. (Though having a disabled child meant they didn't look too harshly on not volunteering much.)

    I am sure for you it was vastly different, but for me, the life I had before I joined... I am glad I served.

    The job I did. The planes I've kept in the air, the bombs my work was able to get on target.

    My flight was the family I never had. They stood up for me when my in-laws family was trying to get me disgraced. They pulled me up. Kept me going. Not sure where you are going to end up, but I hope it's a good bunch of people who look out for each other. The right group of people, can make even a crap job worth it.

    And Colonel, you sound like one of the few officers I have had the pleasure of meeting who seem to actually give a crap about those under them. Thank you for that, sir. My experience led me to believe they were few and far between.
    We don't know how many the Collectors have stolen. Thousands, hundreds of thousands. It's not important. What matters is this: Not. One. More. That's what we can do here, today. It ends with us. They want to know what we're made of? I say we show them, on our terms. Let's bring our people home.

    Mass Effect: Scars.

    Returning 2015.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonzac View Post
    Lt Col in Air Force here.

    1. Your ATC...you will deploy. Prepare your wife and her family. Boot camp will change you, but not be OMFG difficult. Just pay attention to what the TI (Air Force) says.
    3. When you get out of Tech School, get ready...you have at least another year of on the job training to accomplish....then you will deploy.
    4. When you get to your first base your going to want to spend all the them NOT at work with your family...PLEASE PLEASE volunteer some with your squadron. You'll be in OSS which is run by pilots/aircrew. They've have BBQs, fundraisers and such. Volunteer at least once a quarter...I was commander and those Airmen are easy to spot and generally are a cut above (of course this assumes your actually good at your job, that is first...the other stuff is just a way to seperate you from the other Airmen who sits in the dorm on the XBOX after work.
    5. If you want to work ATC in civilian world, be ready to leave the Air Force after a while....there is an age limit for new controllers the FAA has to follow...sounds like your a bit older than normal so this might be a problem if you want to stay 20 and retire THEN go work civilian ATC.

    Good Luck. Its worthwhile
    Thank you. I've already got my wife taken care of when I leave. She's going to take the second half of a mutual friend's house. $400 a month, all utilities included, she likes living with the friend. One small thing I don't have to worry about, at least.

    I do tend to be more of an introvert, so thanks for telling me all that, sincerely. I do not want to be one of those people that just sinks under the radar. My parents still keep in touch with the people they served with, and that was 20 years ago. That's what I want, that kind of bond.

    I'm looking forward to basic and tech school, honestly. Basic is tough, tech school is hard, and on the job training is even harder from what I hear. I'm going to do a hell of a job, though.

    I'm looking at the civilian requirements, and I'll just make it before the age cutoff, if I serve all 8 years, including reserve. I'm 23, 24 in December, so I will barely squeak by. I'm going to serve my country and give it my all for 6-8 years, then I'll see where it goes from there. After all, I'm not serving just to get the qualifications and all that. I wasn't even expecting ATC, my processors just recommended I put it down based on my scores and all that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nilehus View Post
    Geez. Using Navy equipment, answering to the Department of the Navy... Next time he gives me crap, I'll just ask him what the difference is.

    If I don't come back, just know it was worth it.
    Ask him from me personally what it feels like to be a part of the world's second best corps of marines.
    Only an animal does useful things. An animal gets food, finds a place to sleep, tries to keep comfortable. But I wanted to do something that was not useful, not like an animal at all. Something only a human being would do.
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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Quote Originally Posted by Liffguard View Post
    Ask him from me personally what it feels like to be a part of the world's second best corps of marines.
    Ha! Who should I tell him is asking?

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    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    I just wanted to confirm, air force basic food is freaking awesome. There is a lot of it, plenty of choices, and aside from not being given enough time to really taste it, its all good. Basic training was a snap physically for me personally, though it seemed every day another guy would collapse during the morning workouts and get carted off in an ambulance. But seriously, if you cant handle air force physical training, there isnt much hope for you. Drink lots of water. Seriously, they are really big on that there, and its for a damn good reason. I dont care that you get like three cups of drinks with every meal, if you arent also draining multiple canteens of water during the day, you arent drinking enough. (This may just apply to me since I went to lackland in june during a heat wave, not a single day under 90, freaking yay.) But yeah, drink up me hearties, yo ho!

    *EDIT* About the physical training, I accidentally cut off my post. I had to lose 60 pounds to join the air force. It took me 6 months of diet and exercise, and right off the bat I was able to handle the physical training. So thats why I say, if you cant handle air force pt, serving in the military should be included with other dream jobs like ninja turtle.
    Last edited by Traab; 2014-06-17 at 04:59 PM.
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    "If you don't get those cameras out of my face, I'm gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that'll clear this room."

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    Apr 2013

    Default Re: So I joined the military!

    Running is only a pain for me because of the whole smoking thing. When I was in high school, I could pull a 7 minute mile and not be completely drained afterwards. Just haveto get back to that. Suppose I should get started on the water thing now, huh?

    I do not mind going to Texas in October/November. Hopefully means I skip most of the three digit temperature days.

    Edit: Wait, ninja turtle is an option?!
    Last edited by Nilehus; 2014-06-17 at 05:05 PM.

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