Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Goruck Event #2 Around the Corner and Scared

My next Goruck event is around the corner. It has been 6 months since my last one. I am in better shape and lost a bit more weight yet..............

I am scared.

The group will be huge as it is a memorial event for September 11th and I am very sure I can hide pretty well in a group (kind of like I did at my first one). There is a posibility that a mission buddy and a family member will be there with me with another friend shadowing the group. I know I can do it. I have done it before yet........

I am scared.

I hate the unknown. New cadre means different experience. New location means different challenges. Different people means different group chemistry. Different means I don't know what to expect. I literally wish I had the ability to turn off my brain, the doubt, the scared, the doubt and just do what I need to do. No ones life depends on how well I do. All I need is the ability to walk away from the event knowing I did my best and not being hurt. Yet.....

I am scared.

I guess it doesn't really matter honestly. I am going to do it anyways. I may just pee my pants in the process.

Expect me to be more scared in November. 12 hour event is harder than a 5-7 hour event.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LDS Church Makes a Decision and Message to all LDS Bishops

The LDS Church finally made a decision about the staying or leaving the BSA. Like it, love it or hate it your opinion doesn't matter fair weather, fence sitting Mormon Scouters.

So here is my advice to all Bishops:
If your current Scout leaders don't believe in the program or this decision, release them here and now and call men who love the program and will accept the fact that the Church and our Prophet has made a decision. There are going to be a ton of members who disagree with this decision and we need them as far away from our Scouts and Young Men as possible. We don't need the boys second guessing the program being used because adults are trying to undermine the program semi-quietly from within or at the polar opposite extremely vocally.
And you can quote me on that.

Everything from this point is speculation. Who cares if the Church is secretly working on a program to replace Scouting. Who cares if this "gossip" about the Church has been around since the day I entered Scouting in 1984. Who cares what people say?

It is time to put molding young men first and foremost again without distraction or drama!!

Amen and amen.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Best Man

Yesterday and Saturday I spent some time with one of my favorite Scouts. He and I talked about a lot of things: girls, school, Senior year, work, finishing his Eagle, etc. He brought up my impending single-dom and asked me how I felt about dating. Told him I wasn't exactly looking forward to it because dating has changed over the last 10 years. I told him I was going to have to bump into my next wife after a VERY, VERY, VERY long courtship because I am not going looking for her (SA for you Mormons is for the birds). We then joked about making sure Taylor Swift wrote a song about me after she became my ex wife.

The conversation died after some laughter and then he said "I would love to be your best man."

That is how you know your Scout loves you.....

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Things I have learned while sub'ing in Nursery

Since about February I have been substituting in Nursery. I am glad the Bishopric have taken their time to call another teacher. MF and I have had a blast in there!! I have served in the Nursery once before and loved it then. I still love it!! Here is what I have learned so far.
  1. My white shirt makes an awesome tissue for buggers.
  2. My black Docker pants makes an awesome tissue for buggers.
  3. My white shirt and pants usually get washed every week at least twice to make sure they are bugger-free.
  4. Dodgeball and Nursery do mix.
  5. Some kids you can hit harder than others. It only takes one session of dodgeball to learn who is who.
  6. Kids listen to their teachers.
  7. Kids don't listen to their teachers.
  8. Army crawling with 4-5 Nursery kids on your back is harder than it appears.
  9. You look like a bum when you do Army crawls in a white shirt and pants in Nursery.
  10. Kid bench presses are a good way to keep them happy.
  11. Those kids in Nursery have sweet spirits. They can be temperamental and disobedient at times but I love them all and am sad I won't get to serve with them every Sunday when they call a new teacher.
I know my time is short in Nursery. I have had a blast and am grateful I was asked to fill in!! I don't look forward to going back to the adult classes because they don't play dodgeball.

Friday, August 21, 2015

4:30 AM is still last night

I still take off my clothes and don't exactly love what I see. My belly looks much smaller, at least to me, when I have a shirt on. It looks huge with my shirt off.  I am still 295 which I actually see as a good sign as I have not gained the 67 pounds back. I still see all the stretch marks and a fat butt. My body is gross. Maybe it is my age, maybe it is me, maybe it is because I am overweight or maybe a combination of the 3.

But I was gross-er* 67 pounds ago. I can still see my toes. I am a guy. I am not supposed to really care what my body looks like.

4:30 am workout is freaking early. Most days I still get up even though I sleep only between 4-5 hours. My body seems to hate sleep though it loves naps. My daily goal is to walk 9 miles - 7 through exercise and 2 through every day stuff.

I see a lot of people working out as I work out. Most appear in better shape than me. I often wonder what they think as they see this guy the size of a refrigerator running or walking past them. I am jealous of them because most are in much better shape than me.

4 weeks from tomorrow I prove passing a Goruck event wasn't a fluke (pictures). I am nervous. I have done it before but to expect that it will be the same even though there will be a different cadre would be unrealistic. The event has 3 cadre listed. This scares me. I know about 60+ people are signed up. This is a September 11th memorial event. I have a feeling they are going to try and waste us physically. I think I am ready.....or I should say more ready than last time (try holding 50 pounds over your head for 5 minutes--it will blow your mind). I will get smoked either way. I paid half price for the event. Some how I have convinced myself that will make the pain less....  I may actually have friends and family doing the event with me. Lets all get physically smoked together by the cadre. Some how we will lift each other up!

This article is a good read. I think some could find it offensive but I think when I read I am reminded of the day I truly started working out and began to change my life. The reason some mind find this offensive is because the "fat girl" is actually a fat guy. I know the author was trying to hide his friends identity. You can read a follow up here. Another pretty good read. 

* Call the grammar police.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Mom and a Rescheduled Eagle Board of Review

There are a lot of things I am embarrassed that I did as a kid. One of them is the way I treated my Mom. I was horrible to her especially as my Dad was away on assignments for the military. She broke a handful of wooden spoons on my behind. I deserved it plus more. I even punched my Mom in the arm once. Not my most shining moment. It wasn't premeditated but that in no way excuses my behavior at all. You don't ever, ever hit your Mom. I yelled at her constantly and raised my voice often. Often my Mom would call my Dad and then hand the phone to me so he could "talk to me" in a very loud tone. Never fun. 

Recently I climbed out of my car to do an Eagle Board of Review. In the parking lot a boy was yelling at his mother. My gut reaction was "If this is my Eagle Board, we need to reschedule so he can think about what he did." This boy was my candidate. I called my boss, I talked to Mom and Dad and I talked to the Scout. I explained I was concerned about his actions. He took no accountability for his actions and explained it was his Mom's fault. Either way I asked Mom and Dad multiple times if rescheduling would hurt or help this boy. Both said help.

6 days later I met this boy again with Mom and Dad to hold his Eagle Board of Review. This boy was totally different. I met with Mom and Dad again ahead of time and explained some of the things I had done to my Mom and just wanted to get their son's attention. His Mom and Dad started crying thanking me for trying to help. Both explained that this has been a wake up call for their son. I hope the lesson sticks. I also hope I continue to get those gut feelings to help others.

After talking with Mom and Dad I went to talk to the Scout to tell him we was going to get a fair Eagle Board of Review. And he did. His Scout Spirit was different on try #2. He is a good kid. Hopefully he changes for good.

I know I have.

My Mom, a wood spoon and I!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 13th, 1997 and August 15, 1997

13th -

I went tracting with Iuta and Eddington in a trio tonight. I maced a freaking goose. It chased all three of us so I put a stream right over it's head. It started choking and went away. All three of us went away laughing.

15th -

Goals for the rest of my mission:
  1. Be patient and don't stress out.
  2. Be positive in all I do!
  3. Alma 26:22
  4. Don't be like D&C 121:39
  5. Magnify my calling.
  6. Don't complain!
  7. Repent.
  8. Smile more.
  9. Stay happy.
  10. Stay motivated.
  11. Stay focused.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

War is Hell

War is hell. There is no two ways about it.

Some of my favorite war films are:
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Blackhawk Down
  • Band of Brothers
  • Dirty Dozen
  • Patton
  • Lone Survivor
  • American Sniper
Netflix now knows I love war movies!

It amazes me the dedication that is depicted in these movies. Men willing to take bullets for others. Men purposely getting in harms way to do the things asked of them. Combat medics willing to run with their weapons lowered to quickly assess and care for the wounded are particularly awesome. In another life this is what I would have wanted to be after being a pilot and an astronaut. I don't enjoy blood and guts (though as an EMT right after my mission I saw some but NOTHING like war) but the ability to help in seconds is awesome. I love emergency medicine on every level but especially as the scene unfolds. There is a reason my "small" first aid kit is always rather large.

The character Hoot says in Blackhawk Down when asked why he returned from the Mogadishu Mile* run, quickly reloaded and was returning to fight and find his brothers:
"There’s still men out there. … When I go home people’ll ask me, ‘Hey Hoot, why do you do it, man? Why, you some kinda war junkie?’ I won’t say a word. Why? They won’t understand. They won’t understand why we do it. They won’t understand that it’s about the men next to you, and that’s it. That’s all it is."
What happened surround the The Battle of Mogadishu is a wonderful example of horrible leadership that was out-shown by great servant soldiers. Sometimes leadership just gets in the way. The reason this incident wasn't worst was because of the grunts on the ground were thinking with their heads. They improvised, adapted and overcame. They took their crappy situation and just found a way to succeed even limiting casualties. 19 men lost their lives that day. Men who should never, EVER be forgotten. That being said it could have been a lot worst. There is something inbred into Americans. We don't die easy and we don't die quick. Our soldiers especially.

*Read about the Mogadishu Mile by clicking the link (there is even a Goruck event based off of it). I will withhold most of what I think other than to say men left behind who were using UN vehicles for cover is a gross breach of responsibility by all levels of leadership. You don't leave people behind. EVER!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Friends and Family in Weird Places

A few nights ago after death by ICD-10 seminar I spent a few hours with male friends drafting for this up coming NFL fantasy football season. This is the first time I have done a live draft though I have played fantasy football for years and I LOVE IT! They are all LDS though that hardly matters. All are good men and this year they expanded their draft to include me. I have played flag football with some of them (poorly--me not them), played countless hours of basketball (poorly--me not them), gone to Ranger games with them and ate the Choomungus together and regret it every minute since, spent hours in Church meetings with some of them, some have moved away and have come back in town short term to work, some moved just a town away, some have lived in the same place for years, one was a Bishop who counseled me through a divorce and others have shared some of the same kind of personal grief I have. Some are new friends. One of them I was even his 11 year old Scout leader for like 9 months. I bet he doesn't even remember that.

It was good to be around men who are funny, can cleanly joke, are inclusive of an old man like me (they are all considerably younger than me) and like the same things I do though I just may do them much slower than them.

I am not your typical guy. And definitely not your typical Mormon. I am pretty blunt, pretty bold and pretty honest especially when it comes to my own shortcomings. These men are the same.

I almost venture to say that my personal definition of what family is and who family is has changed. I have never lived very close to my blood family and while that has made me appreciate them that much more, ward family, Nauvoo family, neighborhood family, friends family have become part of who my family is.

I have a non-nuclear family myself so why shouldn't be non-blood family be any different?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Equally Yoked

In every relationship we have, we carry a yoke. It helps tie those we have a relationship with and us together. You have to work together or the relationship usually doesn't work. At times we motivate our friends and at times they motivate us. With the yoke, you can't successfully move in different directions. It becomes a standoff. 

At times in my life, I have felt like this friend or that friend isn't someone I want to be tied/yoked to. I feel like they are purposely slowing me down or just carrying the wrong attitude which causes issues. Sometimes I pull the yoke off and return to it later in life. Occasionally I pull that yoke off and I know I won't be putting it back on. Sometimes this is a painful decision and sometimes it is a relief. I know at times I have been extremely difficult to be yoked to whether in friendship or marriage. In fact, remembering back to who I have been over the past 40 years I am surprised I even had friends at times (especially in my first 30 years of life). Though that has lead me now, I think, to be a better friend and to be a more patient person especially when I look at my issues and the patience/grace that has been shown to me by others.

The LDS Church often uses this analogy to describe marriage. I don't know how I feel about being called an ox. :P  In all honesty though the thought of oxen pulling to get where they are going is pretty awesome. An ox is not a weak animal. In fact, oxen are bests of burden - they are work horses. 

The principal of being yoked together though is right on. Two people working together going in the same direction with the same purpose.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. #goruck