Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Why I Ruck?

Why I Ruck?
A few years ago I heard a few people talk about GORUCK events. I tucked the idea away in my head and left it there for a bit. In November 2013 I signed up for my first event that would take place in Santa Fe, NM in January 2014.  After examining the different levels of events I signed up for the Light.  I knew there was no way in heck I would be able to do a challenge. The week before my scheduled event I received an email from the GORUCK HQ telling me that that the Light was being cancelled and that my credit could be transferred to another event. The Santa Fe Challenge had not been cancelled. The gentleman on the phone said that if I could do a light there is no reason why I could not do a challenge, it is the same principles just a little longer. I fell for it and signed up. I had no idea what to really expect and I packed and prepared. I drove up a little early and had lunch with one my favorite people in the worked. I took this as sign of good luck and world’s aligning as our inability to see each other in person is maddening. Hours later I found myself in the middle of the Santa Fe square at 9pm with a dozen other weirdo’s many have having the same skeptical look in their eyes. Bear crawls, crab walks, Red Solo cup relay races, burpee’s, and squats. This is what they call the welcome party. Depending which cadre does the welcoming – they are all a little different.   I had heard about Cadre Joel through mutual friends and just hoped if I could make it through the damn welcoming party; I could make it through the remaining 11 hours.  Although my equipment did not fail, I definitely had the wrong equipment.  I had an awesome Marmot bag that was just a little too big and I could not cinch it up tight enough. Imagine the bag sliding dramatically left or right the entire night as you are carrying heavy crap, crawling, and attempting to do the perfect monkey f$%ker.  Within an hour or so we became a team. It was like science class when you studied the transformation of the cocoon to the butterfly. Ok maybe not that eloquent or magically but it was transformation. We learned a lot and I discovered that I love a challenge and it is even sweeter when you can accomplish it as a team.
These events test me every single time. Sometimes I feel I am too old to be out there. I am almost 45.  Or that my upper body strength is not nearly competitive enough for this group.  Or I just go with the idea I have no business being out there to begin with. I am not a cross fitter and no I do not really lift or squat.
I am proud that we pay attention to details and teach others respect. The American Flag is at the front of the team and out of honor and respect, we never let the flag touch the ground. Believe me, I have witnessed the catastrophic event happen – paying for it in kind is never good.
I am often asked why I do it – well because I can and because I need to be challenged. There is an enormous amount of goodness that come from taking 15-20 complete strangers – accomplishing tasks, encouraging and becoming better Americans. We need more of this actually.  That is why I ruck.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Go Fund Campaign - Attack the Demand

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Author Michael Pitre discusses his novel FIVES & TWENTY-FIVES

If you are looking for something to add to your reading list for 2015 - I would add this to the top. Breathtaking.

Well, well 2015

I welcome 2015 and say goodbye to 2014.
It was a good year all things considering. The Ups were amazing and the Downs sucked. Much like any other year. I am grateful for the opportunities, experiences, challenges, and look forward to more the same.

I am three days late making the good luck cabbage. I am not even sure it is luck that I need in 2015.

Things for 2015. These are not even goals  = just things that will happen

Sell my home. Which includes all the prep that needs to happen beforehand. I will not be intimidated.
Take a few risks and wallow in known comfort.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pikes Peak Area
Zonta Foundation

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My thoughts for Veteran's Day 2014

My blog from My Colorado View

I am often asked by friends, family, and coworkers, how they can support the military. But, before I share with those interested how they can support the military, as a member of the armed services, I first want to thank every American citizen for giving me the opportunity to serve my country.

As I approach 26 years of service my heart continues to swell, race, and break for all of the amazing men and women I have served with over the years. Not sure I can put all of that into real tangible words but my heart has grown to a capacity that I cannot even explain.

So, what about you? What can you do to support he military? In the coming week I just encourage you to say, “thank you”. Words matter. And look for opportunities to serve.

Personally, I am putting some extra homeless Ziploc bags in my car and I will consciously look for individuals to give them to and say thanks. Typically, I give granola bars, Kleenex, pretzels, crackers, or dried fruit. One in every five homeless persons is a veteran. According to a recent report, there are about 750 homeless veterans statewide in Colorado and on any given night, with about 325 of those in Denver. Throughout the entire year I look for opportunities to support veterans. You do not have to look very far in Colorado to find real needs.

I think this is a great time of year to reconnect. Call someone that you know has served and just check in. Leave a treat on a co-workers desk or celebrate this Tuesday by bringing a carton of half and half to the coffee station with a note thanking vets. (Nothing says true love like half and half) Small things have big impacts.

I get nostalgic during this time of the year. I watch the movie Jarhead.   It is a family tradition, I know most moms and daughters have different time honored traditions – but this is ours. Forest Gump is another great movie and it is typically on several times throughout the week. This next week is a perfect learning opportunity for families, as there are countless documentaries and movies to watch ranging from WWI, WWII, Vietnam, or current conflicts.

I also caution you about the post and email that gets sent around each year to send cards to “Recovering Soldiers” at Walter Reed. This program is no longer up and running. You can still send cards but I suggest sending them to USO or Fisher House. Better yet, next time you are going through DIA take a few minutes and drop in at the Denver USO in Concourse A. I drop off my magazines, newspapers, or books I have finished on the plane when passing through. Or stop by the Fisher House in Denver near the VA Hospital. The Fisher House provides a place for service member’s families to stay when they have extended treatments at VA hospitals. I liken this the “Ronald McDonald House” for military families, but they provide so much more.

So, fly your flags high this next week. Think about the veteran’s that have served in past, those currently in harm’s way and those that will lead in the future.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Soldier Girls

Just started this - looking forward to the read!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Ruby's Story" Anti - Human Trafficking PSA

This might be a little painful to watch - but this is reality every day for so many.