Swamp Romp 2011

The Marines over at KBay have a program called Semper Fit and each year, they put together a 5 mile course through the mud on the much on KBay. I'm pretty sure there is some pig slop and horse manure thrown in there for good measure.

And then people like me pay good money to come and slog through it in teams of 6. Yes, what the Marines get paid to do on a regular basis, I rolled my sorry butt out of bed at 4am, paid $25, and suffered through mud and rocks in places that should not HAVE mud and rocks, voluntarily - all in the name of "fun".

And it WAS. I went last year but wasn't on a team so I spectated and HATED.IT. I should have just tucked in with my friends' team after the start last year and it would have been fine. But I didn't. So I held out hope that I would still be on island when the 2011 event rolled around and I was! With MacGyver off island for training, it was just me and the kids. I rolled them out of bed at 0430 and loaded us all in the car to head over to the Windward side of the island. I duct taped my shoes on (you will be automatically disqualified if you lose a shoe), put my hair up in a cap, and lined up. We started off at a run...


I might run if I'm being chased. It depends on several factors:

a.) who is chasing me
b.) WHY they are chasing me
c.) whether they are armed

I am not a runner. Swimming? Sure. Biking? Yep. Walking? Yep. Not fast but I can do them. I can't run. But we ran the first 1/4 mile and then I thought I was dying. And then we came to the first mud obstacle and I really thought I was dying. I am short and the mud was up to my crotch in some places. I got dirty early and it kind of went downhill from there. That first slog was the worst and I was able to trudge through the rest. But I was the weakest link in my team in terms of speed so I felt badly about that. But we finished! And that's all that I was after. Here is the "after" picture. I'm still waiting on the "before" picture.

I'd love to say I'd do it again next year but so help me, if we are still ON this god-forsaken island next year, I might be in a padded room somewhere.

Swamp Romp 2011: been there, done that, got the T shirt!


- hfs


Update on mom

I talked to her briefly today - she came through the surgery fine and is recovering. Hopefully they can spring her out of there in a few days. She has help at home so it doesn't look like there is an immediate need for me to get out there. Which is a blessing - it's just not possible right now. Thanks for all of the well-wishes and support.

I"m still wallowing. I'll give it a little while longer but, honestly, I'm actually a little surprised at how stinking hard this has been. I didn't expect such a visceral reaction - I literally hurt. It's not like my friend died. She just moved. Eesh. Get a grip already!

I think it's just a combination of things and I think this little mini-breakdown has been coming for a while. I'd say I "deserve" it but, really, who deserves a breakdown?? That is just silly. But I'll be the first to admit that I am a mess right now. I am. But I managed to get myself and my children through the day so that's a start. It will get better. It has to. If it doesn't, I'm hosed.

The exhaustion is what surprises me. I didn't expect that. Which is why I think this is more than just "I'm sad because my friend left" or "I"m worried about my mom.". I think this is a result of the past 20 months of life and the toll it has taken on me. I think the only other time I have ever felt this tired was after The Boy was born and we were dealing with his HORRIBLE colic and my post-partum depression. That was the last time I felt this tired. And I'm sure that the fact that MacGyver has been gone through all of this recent mess and I'm dealing with it alone doesn't help.

So it will get better. Tomorrow, we might even leave the house! Good grief, that sounds pathetic. *sigh*

It will get better.


- hfs


I was right

February is kicking my ass. And I knew it was going to do so but the intensity of said butt-kicking is surprising even me.

MacGyver finally managed to get off the island after 2.5 years but it was for an Army field trip and he only got to fly a desk. And I swear, if I didn't know better, I'd say that they planned it so that the 2 weeks that he was gone were the most inconvenient 14 days to be gone out of the entire calendar year. He managed to miss The Boy's birthday party, his actual birth DAY, a farewell to some really good friends, several important events at church that he was to be involved in, and several other personal things. Eesh.

Our good friends - who left today (which is a sob story in and of itself) - were in a really bad car wreck late last week. Their car is totaled. They are pretty beaten up but they are ok. Thankfully their children were not in the car. But scary nonetheless. Saying goodbye to them today at the airport was just a notch easier than saying goodbye to MacGyver during the last deployment. I managed to hold it together until we were out of their sight. And then I cried all the way home.

And I'm not one of those people that can manage to still look good when crying. I'm a snot-slinging mess when I cry - a blotchy, puffy, snot-slinging mess. And seeing my children upset just compounds my sadness. Actually, it kills me.

And then today - as if there wasn't enough drama going on around me, my mother called me to tell me she was in the hospital. She passed out, fell, and broke her hip. And I'm stuck here on this god-forsaken island and cannot go to her. We have neither the money or the logistics to make that happen at the moment and I.HATE.IT.

I want this month to be OVER. I am heartbroken, beat up, and tired. This day has sucked. This week has sucked. And this month has sucked and I want a refund. Right now, I hate the Army and would like it to kindly kiss my butt. Hopefully my perspective and my attitude will change but right now, I'm quite bitter and resentful. And it's not pretty.


- hfs


Dear Army...seriously?

Macgyver has not been off this island since late 2008, due to everything that's been going on. And last week (as noted below) the board decided to discharge him honorably from the Army.

We just found out today that he gets to accompany the Battalion on a 10-day training exercise to the Big Island, during which he will miss The Boy's birthday (and birthday party) as well as The Swamp Romp and a few other things.


You gotta love the Army!

At least I'll get the bed to myself for a bit. But seriously?


- hfs


Career Watch 2011 - UPDATE

The board's decision was to discharge MacGyver honorably. Not what we were hoping for but still a blessing. The honorable characterization opens up so many doors for him that would have been closed with any other kind of discharge - National Guard, civilian employment, etc.

There are a few things that have to happen now:
1. the board's decision will have to be forwarded on to the Commanding General (who is downrange) who will either agree or override the decision
2. after the CG makes his decision (we will be informed as to what he decides) it will have to be forwarded on to Human Resources Command (HRC).
3. HRC will look at everything, weighing it all against the "needs of the Army" (i.e. how short are we on Chinook pilots/MTPs?) and make a final determination. This make take several weeks.
4. Even AFTER all of this is said and done, MacGyver can petition to be allowed back into the Army but that process can take up to (and beyond) a year.

So now he starts making phone calls and putting in applications. Tomorrow he's going to talk to the National Guard people here in addition to calling a few other contacts in other Guard units. And civilian employers. The sky is the limit, it seems.

It will be several weeks before we get final word from HRC and have to consider leaving/moving. In the meantime, we'll start exploring options.

Personally speaking, I see it as a blessing. Given the alternatives he was facing, this is a HUGE blessing. There are a lot of factors that are at play behind the scenes that don't need to be discussed here but the bottom line is that this is good news.

MacGyver is still in shock. He's disappointed that his Army career is over but relieved at the characterization of the discharge. It will take him a while to get excited about anything else - he doesn't quite know what to do if he's not in the Army as this is all he's really ever known. But he'll be ok. In the meantime, I'm excited enough for the both of us.

So it's now time to start a new adventure. Big Army's loss might very well be the Guard's gain. Or the civilian world. Who knows? In the meantime, I'm still breathing (yoga breathing, for those that are interested!).


- hfs


Career Watch 2011

Sorry - just a bit of dark humor there. Deliberation has commenced. I have no idea when they will be done, how the "hearing" part of it went, how long they will deliberate (what is acceptable when deciding the fate of someone's career? Is there a protocol to this?), or what happens next. These are all questions I've received today.

I swear, when this is done, I am SO writing a book.

I'll post when I know more. In the meant time, I am breathing.


- hfs

So today is the day

MacGyver's career hangs in the balance today. He goes before a board whose job it is to produce a recommendation as to whether or not MacGyver should be allowed to remain in the United States Army.

If you're the praying type, I'd ask that you pray. If you're not, I ask that you would simply sacrifice a small animal of your choice in the hopes that the board recommends that MacGyver be allowed to remain in the Army.

I'll keep you posted.


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...