30. Fitness Test

The Air Force fitness test (PT test) has four main components. First, there is the abdominal measurement. Basically, for males under 30 years of age, a waist less than 35 inches is considered the healthiest and will earn you the most number of points on your test. For every half-inch above 35, you lose points and must make them up on the remaining components.

Which brings us to push-ups. Push-ups have never been an issue for me, and I have never failed the push-ups portion of my fitness test. For my age group, the minimum is 33 in one minute or less. Not a big deal.

Sit-ups are a different story. Until last year, I had never failed the sit-ups portion of my test. Unfortunately, just before I deployed, I missed my minimum requirement of 42 in one minute or less by four, achieving 38. You wouldn’t typically think of 38 sit-ups as being a negative thing, but the Air Force requires that you meet not only the overall minimum score for all components combined (75 out of 100), but you must also pass all individual components by meeting their respective minimums. In other words, even if you achieve an 85 out of 100 on the overall test, but fail sit-ups, you still fail the entire test. Fair? The jury is still out on that one. Needless to say, since I failed last year, it wasn’t the best of times for me.

This year, though, seems to be a different story. I had another fitness test today, and just like years past, I still get nervous, even if I know I will be fine. It’s just something that has always bothered me and I’m not sure why. After completing my abdominal measurement, I looked at the scoring charts and realized I needed 41 push-ups and 50 sit-ups in order to pass. I would have calculated in the 1.5 mile run, but I was exempt from completing it today due to a recurring shoulder injury that seems to be iffy at the moment. Anyway, my nerves started acting up again after seeing this, because I’ve never had to achieve such high numbers in these components before. I usually hold back on my push-ups and sit-ups to save energy for the run, which is always the last component, but this time I had no excuse and no reason to hold back – I had to go for it if I wanted to pass.

I eventually made it to the testing area. After waiting for a good 15 minutes, the instructors showed up and the test began. We did push-ups first, and I was in the third group, so I had a while to wait. When it was my turn, I really didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know my own confidence level, and I didn’t know if I felt good enough to knock out 41 push-ups. You see, that’s the thing – you can train every single day, but sometimes test day is just awkward, and that training hasn’t mattered at all. Still though, I had to try my hardest. I got into position, the instructor began the timer, and that was it…no turning back. I push out about 35 at first, then took a short rest. I kept going and sure enough, I passed 41 on my second wind. I had a good 30 seconds remaining, so I was able to get a few more in and finish up with 49 total. What? 49?! Yes! Go me. That took a huge weight off my shoulders. But I still had to do sit-ups.

I waited around some more, because again I was in the third group to complete mine. When it came time to do them, I realized that I no longer had to do 50, since I had scored some extra points on my push-ups by doing 49 instead of 41. I was going to aim now for 45 instead, which at the time seemed more realistic.

Down on the floor I went, waiting for the timer to start. And then it started. I seemed to feel good – better than I had even training for the test. I did about 40 in my first round, rested for a few seconds, and then kept going until I hit 58. Wait, what? 58? Again…yes! How did I manage that? Who knows, but damn I felt amazing after! I knew I had passed with flying colors. But, the best part was that I scored a full 10 out of 10 points for that component by achieving my maximum of at least 57 for my age group. Unbelievable. It’s the first time in my life I have accomplished that, and it feels good.

My next fitness test will be in September, and the minimum requirements will be different since I’ll then be in the 30-39 age group. Bring it on.

29. Grouplove – Ways to Go

I didn’t ask for this
You give me heart attack
I didn’t want to care
And then I saw you there
Been working like a dog
I turned all my dreams off
I didn’t know my name, I didn’t know my name

I got a little bit longer, I got a ways to go
I got a little bit longer, I got a ways to go
I got a little bit longer, I got a ways to go
Whoa oh oh (I got a ways to go)

Even when I can’t see my rearview
Even if I call just to hear you
Even when I sleep all day (Even when I sleep all day)
Even if I work it like I’m times two
Living in the back of the bunk just like we do
Even when I dream all day

Don’t wanna sleep tonight
You’ve got me feeling right
I didn’t know my name, I didn’t know my name

I got a little bit longer, I got a ways to go
I got a little bit longer, I got a ways to go
I got a little bit longer, I got a ways to go
Whoa oh oh (I got a ways to go)

Even when I can’t see my rearview
Even if I call just to hear you
Even when I sleep all day (Even when I sleep all day)
Even if I work it like I’m times two
Living in the back of the bunk just like we do
Even when I dream all day
Even when I dream all day

Oh I got a little bit longer, I got a ways to go oh oh
Whoa oh oh

Even if I smoke in the back room
Even if I go right to meet you
Even when I sleep all day, even when I sleep all day
Even if I work it like I’m times two
Waiting for the day just to end so I see you
Even when I dream all day, even when I dream all day

28. You’re not cute if you try too hard to be cute

I have a very interesting female friend. By ‘interesting’, I mean scatterbrained.

I don’t know how most other guys like their women, but I prefer mine to be on the naturally attractive side when it comes to their personality. Unfortunately, this female friend of mine tends to try too hard to be like me, and it’s obvious. When I talk a certain way, she talks that way. When I do something, she does it too. When I get into a specific mood, she also does. Basically, she thinks that the way to capture my attention and make me think positively of her is to behave and talk like me, and all of the sudden start being interested in the things that I’m interested in.

To me, that’s trying too hard. She in fact makes herself much less attractive by trying too hard to impress me. Not to mention, another way she tries to make me more attracted to her is by trying to be sexy. If she were to just be herself, that would work much better, because when it comes to physical attraction, there is nothing worse than a girl who is already attractive trying to be more attractive and then having it backfire because she’s too ditsy to make it work. Huge turn off.

Moral of the story – if you’ve got it, you’ve got it. If you don’t have it, just don’t even try to get it and spare us guys the awkwardness of trying to tell you that you don’t have it.

27. In the Valley Below – Peaches

I’ve been working on my knees baby it’s alright
Everybody got disease maybe it’s alright
You can steal from me baby that’s just fine
You can say its free baby that’s alright

Working on a feeling
Breaking down the ceiling
Digging up a deep end
Freezing on the beaches
Reaching for the sweetest, sweetest peaches

Baby, oh yeah

We won’t live too long
So let’s love for one song
The lion won’t lay down
When the holy man’s in town

You’ve been drinking all week baby that’s alright
You’ve been stepping on me baby it’s alright
You’ve been tearing me apart in the dead of night
I’ll be raising my hands when the lighting strikes

Chorus x2

Working on a feeling
Breaking down the ceiling
Digging up a deep end
Freezing on the beaches
Reaching for the sweetest, sweetest peaches

26. The American Flag

There’s a whole lot of debate lately about the American Flag and what people choose/choose not to do with it in schools, businesses, and on private property. I think that before anyone debates anything about the flag itself, we first need to get back to basics and refresh ourselves on what the flag means to us and our country again.

Without meaning, it’s just piece of fabric with colors on it. And if people still truly took as much pride in their country as they say they do, there would be no need for debate about the flag, because everyone would instead be coming up with reasons to fly it more rather than take it down and hide it away forever.

25. Bringing someone back into my life

I’ve been in a little bit of a funk tonight, but not because anything is necessarily wrong. In fact, something good happened today, but I think it’s made me somewhat nervous with excitement.

I had a falling out with one of my closest friends a few years ago. It was one of those situations where we knew the consequences of what we had done together, but when the wrong people ended up finding out about it, the shit really hit the fan and caused this person and I to not really be able to speak since then. It was partly because we didn’t want to deal with the fallout, but also because the situation was downright weird in the first place and neither one of really knew how to talk about it.

Long story short, and kind of ironically, my best friend was able to arrange it so that this person and I could talk again soon and be able to sort everything out in order to become friends again and move on. It’s definitely good, because it’s what I’ve wanted to happen for quite some time now. But it still makes me nervous because I don’t know what to expect with everyone else involved. Should I tell them? Should I not? It’s really a tough decision, because I really want things back to normal, and the only way to do that is by everyone knowing and accepting us being friends again. But still…it might bring a lot of hassle that we don’t need if we do plan on moving forward. Of course, things like this can’t stay hidden forever, so one way or another people will have to find out anyway.

This situation and a few others have left me a little disoriented tonight trying to process them all. Everything always sorts out in the end, but you can’t help but wonder while in the middle of it all how exactly it WILL sort out.

But I do know one thing – my best friend is the best of them all.

24. Did you get my e-mail?

A WordPress Daily Prompt from March 1, 2015 asked:

What question do you hate to be asked? Why?


I don’t know whether or not other professions have this same problem, but being in the military, the question I absolutely dread, is;

Did you get my e-mail?

Words cannot express how much I despise these words coming out of the mouths of my coworkers.

What makes it worse is the fact that sometimes they ask this question literally seconds after sending the e-mail to me, and often times the message hasn’t even made it to my computer yet before they ask.

did-you-get-my-email-email-comic-phd-comics

So, the answer is: No. I have not received your e-mail. And when I do, I probably won’t open it for at least another hour just so you can wait in suspense. But please…don’t ask me again, otherwise your e-mail will fall victim to the Ctrl+D monster.

23. No Time, No Patience

Time

Upon waking up first thing in the morning, I allow myself exactly 25 minutes to go to the bathroom, shave, brush my teeth, take my vitamins, and otherwise prepare for my work day which begins precisely at 8:00 AM. I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to sit around and do nothing when I could be doing something to help move my day forward.

If I am listening to the radio and a commercial begins playing, I will change the station. Furthermore, if any station starts playing a song I don’t care for, I will also change the station. I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to willingly sit through commercials or music that doesn’t bring me joy.

If I am reading a book and the book isn’t intriguing enough by the one-quarter mark, I will stop reading the book. I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to read useless material.

If I am on the phone with you and there comes a moment of dead air, I will most likely be the one to hang up. I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to listen to silence.

If you are someone in my life whom I consider to be a friend or an acquaintance, and you can’t prove to me that you are worth my time and my patience, I will discard you in the same manner as I discard trash into a dumpster. Some people are perfectly accepting of others who may not value their time, and this is probably because they are too ignorant to be aware of such a thing. But I am not one of those people. Each and every person I choose to keep in my “circle” must compliment me in one way or another. In other words, they must help to progress my life forward, fit into my lifestyle and understand the choices I may make, and work to constantly better themselves so I can better myself because of them.

I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to constantly remind those close to me what it means to be motivated and determined to become better every single day. And if you can’t help me to achieve my goals in life, then I won’t make the effort for you, either. I will essentially have absolutely, positively, no use for you.

22. Children are NOT Anchors

I really can’t wait to get back home to Maine for a visit. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to talk to most of my friends on a somewhat regular basis over the years since I left, but nothing compares to being able to see them in person. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about this evening – but honestly I think about it every single day at some point or another.

Sometimes I expect too much from my friends, and I know that. I get upset because with the exception of my best friend, Jeff, and a former friend, Tia, no one has really ever made an attempt to visit me out-of-state. I’ve been home numerous times and have made an attempt to see all of them, whether or not they have come down to see me or not. But then I start to realize that not everyone feasibly can. In my “perfect world,” everyone would be rich and be able to afford plane tickets to see their friends and family. Of course, that isn’t realistic. I’m guilty of always assuming that just because someone isn’t well-off that they’re lazy and choose not to go out and make good money. That isn’t always the case, and I need to find some sort of a way to overcome that stigma associated with them. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I am a believer in the notion that everyone has the opportunity to make money and be comfortable. Everyone does.

But that said, even when I offer to fly someone down or help them out with travel, they still tend to refuse. “I can’t get time off from work” or “I have kids.” That’s cool – bring the kids too! “They’re mom/dad won’t like that!” Well, what the fuck then? Seems to me like there are other reasons that you just aren’t willing to tell me. It seems like a contradiction to get a divorce from a person and then cater to them afterward. That doesn’t seem right. If they were horrible enough for you to be able to leave them, then chances are they’re horrible enough to be able to take the kid from them for a few days, or hell, even for good. I’m not saying ALL divorces or separation happen under bad terms, but I AM saying that most do. If you don’t make an attempt to even ask the other parent whether or not they approve of you visiting someone out-of-state with the child(ren), then that’s your fault and I can’t help you.

21. Slightly Buzzed

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually been “drunk.” I actually can’t remember the last time (no pun intended), but I would guess it’s at least been since October 2013 when I was last home in Maine visiting friends and family. Even still, I can’t be sure that I was technically ever “drunk” during that time…hmm.

It’s been a weekend tradition for me to have a couple of drinks on either Friday or Saturday night, but tonight I must have been feeling really generous to have had more than the normal amount than I’ve been used to having lately. I went to the store and bought some cinnamon infused Irish creme and some mixers for a drink I like to make called the Bay Breeze. Next thing I knew…well…I didn’t know, and that’s the problem!

Therefore, whoops. It looks like I’ll be sleeping well tonight. Cheers!