Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fitness Week 4 (Pre-Basic Training) 65 Days until Basic

Week 4: Weight = 188.8
Sun: Chair dips (3 sets of 25) and some flutter kicks (very light day)
Mon: Weight lifting (chest & arms) with a two-mile run on treadmill: 17:40*
Tue: 1 set of crunches (another light day)
Wed: Weight lifting (core) with a two-mile run on treadmill: 16:45
Thurs: A day of rest
Fri: Weight lifting (shoulders & core) with a two-mile run on treadmill: 16:41
Sat: A day of rest

*Note: What a crappy run! For whatever reason I just did not have the energy and to top it off I had to slow way down to take a call from work (I happen to be on call Monday – Wednesday). I then had to stop again for a few seconds to tie my shoe… D’oh! Hopefully the next runs will work out better. It's also tough when I am not a runner, have never enjoyed running, and have to force myself to do it. I'm hoping running will get easier...or maybe I should just hope that it gets more tolerable.

This week I took it a little easy in preparation for my month 1 assessment to see how I’m progressing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fitness Week 3 (Pre-Basic Training) 70 Days until Basic

Week 3: Weight = 187.8
Sun: Pushups & sit-ups 3 sets of 25 with 100 second rest between sets
Mon: Weight lifting (arms) with a two-mile run on treadmill: 16:09
Tue: A day of rest *
Wed: Weight lifting (back) with a two-mile run on treadmill: 16:45
Thurs: Pushups & sit-ups 3 sets of 25 with 100 second rest between sets
Fri: Two mile run on treadmill: 16:51
Sat: A day of rest

*Note – Tuesday’s day of rest was unplanned. After announcing I was leaving my boss said we needed to have a drink after work. My wife and I shared a bottle of wine with dinner and then I topped that off with some Häagen-Dazs Rocky Road ice cream...which is the best by the way, don't let anyone tell you otherwise! Can’t have too many days like this or I will not make any progress!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Recruiter Check In (Pre-Basic Training) 73 Days until Basic

I forgot to mention the first time I checked in with the recruiter, so I’ll combine it with this post. After I swore in at MEPS I found out that I am supposed to check in with my recruiter twice a month. This works out fine since I have Fridays off and it seems that they are not very busy on Fridays.

My first visit was two weeks ago. During this visit they gave me my direct deposit slip to fill out as well as some items to start memorizing. This included the rank structure, general orders, the phonetic alphabet, and the soldier’s creed. They also showed me how to access AKO or The Army Knowledge Online website. The recruiter described it as a facebook for army recruits. The whole process was not that long and took about a half hour.
My second visit was today. I arrived and the recruiter asked how the memorizing was going on the sheet he gave me last time. I have the phonetic alphabet down, now I need to get all the rest memorized. I gave him my direct deposit form and then we went over how to read and navigate a map. He let me know that an army map consists of 5 major terrain features and they can be remembered by using the phrase Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing, which equals Hill, Valley, Ridge, Saddle, & Draw. We went over how to find each of these features on a map and also how to find coordinates and how to state coordinates. That was about it this time around. I will continue working out, studying, and see him again in two weeks.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The House is For Sale (Pre-Basic Training) 74 Days until Basic

"Im Gorgeous Inside"

After cleaning, organizing, donating, and trashing every night for the past week, the house is now officially on the market. We already met with the realtor and the sign actually went up last Tuesday (when we made the announcement). The house was 100 years old when we bought it almost 2 years ago. We loved the house and the area quite a bit. Even though it's 100 years old, it has been remodeled quite a bit and is very comfortable to live in. It's also walking distance to downtown, we hardly ever used our car while living here! Unfortunately the market hasn’t bounced back yet and it’s still January so we’ll have to see how it goes. We are basically only asking what we paid for it. I’m just hoping that it sells before I get stationed somewhere. It would be financially difficult to make a mortgage payment and rent another place as well. It's a little stressful to deal with getting ready for the army and selling a house at the same time!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Announcement Day (Pre-Basic Training) 76 Days until Basic

Today I took my boss out for coffee for our weekly meeting. At the end of the meeting I let him know that we needed to get all our projects done by April 1st because that would be my last day….I’m joining the Army. A look of shock and disbelief came across his face. I wanted to give the company as much advanced notice as possible. This way they will have time to find a replacement and the transition should be a lot easier. After answering his questions, we then returned back to work and he had to immediately inform the owner and general manager. I then submitted my official resignation. It will be very hard and sad leaving this place. The company is great and the people here are good people. I made a post on Facebook and it had an overwhelming response. The official company announcement went out later on in the day. I have been stopped many times throughout the day with people wishing me luck and giving me encouragement.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Big Announcement Looming (Pre-Basic Training) 77 Days until Basic

The big announcement is looming. This past weekend we let the rest of the family know our plans about joining the army. For the most part it was a non-event. A few questions here and there, but nothing major. We visited my grandma who has not been thrilled about the idea of her grandson joining the army while there are two wars going on. I let her know that I would only be doing computer work, similar to what I am doing now. After easing her fears I think she is now OK with the idea.

Tomorrow is the day our house will go on the market and also the day I plan on letting my boss and the owner know that I am going to join the army. My last day of work will be April 1st (April Fools Day). Is that a sign? Am I a fool for leaving the newspaper industry, or would I be a fool to stay? I guess time will tell. 

Fitness Week 2 (Pre-Basic Training) 77 Days until Basic

Weight = 186.6
Sun: Pushups & sit-ups 3 sets of 25 with 110 second rest between sets
Mon: Weight lifting (core & arms) with a two-mile run on treadmill: 17:08
Tue: Pushups & sit-ups 3 sets of 25 with 110 second rest between sets
Wed: Weight lifting (minor core) with a two mile run on treadmill: 16:08
Thurs: Pushups & sit-ups 3 sets of 25 with 110 second rest between sets
Friday: Two-mile run on treadmill: 17:13
Sat: Day of rest


I am having fun tracking your 2mile run times :) good job bro! reminds me when we were 19 and i was a running nut yet it was you who had a subscription to runner's world first...  hehe..keep it up!

Monday, January 18, 2010 - 09:29 PM

Friday, January 15, 2010

Salvation Army Day (Pre-Basic Training) 81 Days until Basic

Today The Salvation Army came to pick up a pile of stuff that we started to make when we were cleaning. It still amazes me how much stuff we have accumulated in just two years of living in our house. We moved the car out of the garage and started a pile in the middle of it. It started with bags of old clothes from the kids and us. The pile grew... accumulating used books, a small dresser and some lamps that are no longer used. The pile ended up with all sorts of odds and ends that we knew we would not use and did not want to pack. By the time we finished the entire middle area of the garage was full of items to donate.
I called the Salvation Army yesterday and they came by today with their truck and an inmate helper. Once they had the truck backed up, they loaded everything up very quickly and were not picky at all about what they took. What a great service!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Week of Cleaning (Pre-Basic Training) 83 Days until Basic

We met with the realtors last week so we can sell our house. The plan is to put it on the market next Tuesday to coincide with when I inform my work that I will be joining the army. That has left us a week to clean and stage the house to sell. We have a plan to clean a portion of the house each night and so far we are on schedule. It’s crazy how much we have accumulated just living here two years. We have filled the entire garbage can (which is quite huge) and have an extra sack next to it for garbage pickup today. I have a feeling this will be the norm for a while as we remove clutter and keep cleaning.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fitness Week 1 (Pre-Basic Training) 84 Days until Basic

Week 1:
Weight = 188.4
Sun: Full court basketball for two hours (cardio)
Mon: Weight lifting at the gym including a two-mile run on treadmill: 18:38
Tue: Pushups & crunches 3 sets of 25 with 2 minute rest between sets
Wed: Weight lifting at the gym including a two-mile run on treadmill: 19:12
Thurs: A day of rest
Fri: Full court basketball for two hours (cardio)
Sat: A day of rest
*Notes: I do not think this schedule gives me enough training for running, which is probably my weakest area. I am going to officially retire from basketball and concentrate more on running. This is huge decision for me, I absolutely love basketball and have been playing since I was a young kid. It is great cardio, but I really want to make sure my run time is decent before basic training. I don't want to be the guy who is lagging behind everyone having to stop and throw up! I can just imagine what the drill serge would think about that. Basketball was starting to take it’s toll on my knees anyway.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Success (Pre-Basic Training) 95 Days until Basic

I have successfully done the 3 sets of 25 pushups with a 2 minute break in between sets. I will use this as a starting point and since I have 13 full weeks before basic, I plan to shave off 10 seconds each week from the break in between sets. I also plan to do the push-ups and sit-ups at least 5 times a week. About 6 months ago I weighed 197 pounds. I started to eat better and work out a little more. I got down to 185.8 pounds before the holidays and right now I’m at 187 pounds. I will keep track of my weight as well during the next 13 weeks and throughout basic.