Friday, November 22, 2013

Afghanistan, Week 1

Well hello there. I've been meaning to write for a few days but couldn't quite find the time. It's becoming clear to me that this isn't going to be a daily blog but I'll try to post weekly updates at a minimum. Soon it'll be monthly, and then yearly, and then never. We all know how it goes.

We've been busy so far, working on replacing the Medevac company that's here now, learning how things operate over here, getting into a routine. I'm getting into a good workout regimen and eating healthy but haven't been studying much or flying at all. I'm excited for the dust to settle and get in a really good and productive routine.

There's a pretty cool running club here on Bagram that runs a lot of their own races and also shadows a lot of the bigger marathons worldwide. My commander, XO, and a few other people are planning on running the Boston Marathon shadow run in April and I think it's just the motivation I need to get in a lot of miles here. An 18-week training schedule starts on December 16th so I have about a month to get better acclimatized to the elevation. We're at around 5000' and my treadmill running has been pretty slow and short thus far.

Anyway, that's about all for now. It's amazing how healthy and productive I feel without alcohol dragging me down. Hopefully I'll be flying soon and have some fun stories. As the most junior pilot in the entire company, it may be a while but I'm hoping they didn't send me here just to get in shape and learn Japanese.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lazy Days

I didn't do much today other than write this blog and create a two-day streak. I can't remember how many times you have to do something for it to become a habit but 2 is closer to that number than 1. We had a bit of work at the hangar from 9 to 11 then went to Buffalo Wild Wings for a retirement luncheon. Then I went to my buddy Austin's house and played Catan with his wife and Tony, ate pizza for dinner, and roughhoused with his kids until it was their bedtime. Whenever I get too emotional about this deployment, I just need to realize how much worse Austin has it than I do. He has a 5 year-old, a 3 year-old and a pregnant wife that he's leaving behind. I've gotten to know the kids pretty well and it's killing ME to leave them behind. I can only imagine what he's going through. I've known this for a while but his family has really made me realize that I need to make something like that a priority in my life. Even if the only reason is that my body can't take much more single-life punishment. I have plenty of time to think about making this lifestyle change while I'm overseas bettering myself. Tomorrow I have to finish moving out of my Clarksville home, run a load of laundey, and pack for war. I'd hate to show up to war without clean underwear.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Going to War

I like to put it as bluntly as possible. I'm going to war. I'm going to try to blog as much of my experience as I can while being careful not to add details that would compromise operational security. Really, I'm viewing this as a life-altering event and I want to chronicle the ways that my life will be altered over the next 9 months. I hope to come home the same person, just smarter and in better physical condition. Is that too much to ask?

I have some very specific goals that I want to achieve and I think blogging will help me stay on track. Obviously the pushup bet was a failure but I credit the blog for keeping it going as long as it did. It's really my shoulder's fault that I wasn't able to complete the challenge. I don't really anticipate many of my goals failing because of physical reasons(knock on wood) so we're blogging to keep the motivation up. Here is a short list of things I would like to do over the next 9 months:

Learn decent Japanese
Play a few songs on the guitar
Be able to run a 3:29:36 marathon in September 2014
Lift weights/circuit train 6 days a week
Be ready for a Pilot in Command check ride in August 2014

The last one is the most important because it's the key to my main, unwritten goal, of coming home in one piece. We're probably going to have a lot of down time and learning more about safe flying is the number one goal. But you can only read so much about helicopters so I'm going to use the other goals to balance my deployed life.

For now, I'm just going to keep this small. Dookie and Jimmy will probably be the only readers. But I'm hoping that I'll make enough progress over the next few months to advertise the blog a little more and show people how much you can accomplish even in shitty situations. How you can find silver linings in everything. How you can go to war and come home stronger.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


So my previous total was 32895 and I have 650 more blogged. I probably did more but I can't remember. All I remember is 210 the day I went to Vegas and 150 on each of the next two days. When I came home from Vegas, my left arm was tingling like I pinched a nerve and the outer part of my pec hurt like a bitch whenever I did pushups. That's still true today despite giving it plenty of rest. I did random sets throughout the month and did 77 on my PT test two weeks ago. I'm going to call it 300 for the month, a number that I know is low. so 650+210+150+150+300 = 1460 + 32895 = 34355 for an unofficial count. This means I need more than 5k/month for the last 3 months and my shoulders and chest are still sore. I'm going to make one last ditch effort and I've done 200 tonight while on 24-hour staff duty. I'm watching the 2013 WSOP on YouTube and doing random little sets. My sets tonight were 40-25-25-30-30-25-25. It's pretty embarrassing but even that many makes it feel like I'm straining my chest muscles. We'll see how I feel tomorrow but I'm going to try to do another 200. It's just going to be an ultra grind if I can only do sets of 25-30. I'm pretty sure the dream is done though.

I'm also supposed to run a marathon on Sunday and I haven't run in 3 weeks, other than the 2-mile PT Test 2 weeks ago. I was still drunk and ran a 14:31 while all of my organs screamed at me. That's the other's not just that I haven't been running, I've been eating like crap and drinking my face off. All I do these days is work, eat, booze, and sleep. And sleep is definitely last on that list. I blame pre-deployment stress and I actually don't feel horribly guilty about it. I'm going to be gone for 9 months without pizza or beer so why not eat and drink as much as I can while I can. Anyway, I want to bail on the run but I'll probably do it just to see how much pain I can put myself through. I already have my tickets to MSP, may as well do something while I'm there.

Anyway, I'm going on some pretty sweet travels over the next few weeks and I'm hoping to have some good pics and photos for the blog. Let's hope my tendons magically repair themselves but I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Doing some great Army training here. I have some sweet pics and video that I'll post when I get home. Unfortunately I only did 270 pushups today and it felt like a million. 60 in the AM and 60 before bed and then a few sets of 50 during the day. I really need to use some card games or ripdeck to get the numbers up there.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I suck at life

Mostly I just suck at doing a lot of pushups. I did 210 on Monday, 60 on Tuesday, and 110 on Wednesday. The days have been busier than expected and I've been lazier than expected. I have 110 done this morning but I need more than 400/day to get my 2k. Let's try to start with 400 for one day, shall we?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

DC Weekend

Had a great weekend with the family. Knocked out 300 on Friday and 210 on Saturday but only managed 110 today. Should have been higher, just got lazy and now I'm too tired. I'm getting back to the point where each morning set is 60 and each set after that should be 60 soon. Those extra couple of pushups help a lot in the long run.

This week 8 of the pilots in my company are flying 2 Blackhawks down to Texas for some training. It should be fun and I should get a lot of pushups done. Making 2k my goal, really no reason not to get there.

Weekend: 620 Total-32895