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.