Now the real fun began.

They kept us awake for most 48 hours to keep us a bit unbalanced.

What I remember the most was breakfast that first day. Everyone was yelling at us but it all soon disappeared. It was like I couldn’t hear the noise all I could see was the food. Three kids of meats. Pancakes, waffles and french toast. Milks, juice and coffee. The list just goes on.

This was something I had signed up for. Three meals a day. A safe place to sleep. Both things that had been missing in my life.

Looking down the line that day I really thought I had it all figured out.

As with most things in the Corps joy lasts but a second. Once we we’re outside we had to drink an entire canteen of water. One quart of water in one go. I can still feel how uncomfortable I was. Not everyone was able to retain thier breakfast.

The reason was a piss test. This was the first of many drug tests we would endure over the next few years. They never caught that many people, it was more about fear and intimidation.

28 years ago.


Some days I miss the Corps.

Some days I wish I never joined.

Some days I wish I could talk like a Marine all day. It helps with the stress. They have talk like a pirate, why not like a Marine? Marines are kinda pirates.

Some days I miss the transparency. You knew where you stood with everyone all the time. It isn’t like that in the civilian world. Seem like things are hidden, veiled or full of agendas.

Some days I miss being called on the carpet right away.

Some days I miss skating. Not roller or ice, true terminal Lance skating.

Some days I miss the Lance Corporal underground. I still have an underground but it isn’t as nutty.



I noticed.

I’m at a huge conference this week. I’m here with 22,999 other people. That means there is no quiet time or down time, it is all go time.

There were a bunch of sessions that I was shut out of due to too many people. That is rAther frustrating. It is just as frustrating S trying to type on this iPad keyboard, not very comfortable.

I opted to sit outside the keynote at a little spot with a screen so I could still watch but I didn’t have to be in the big room. To my right is a window overlooking some of the city. I happened to notice some trees and bushes growing on the roof of a building. This isn’t some green initiative but just some rebel greenery that decided the roof was ten best place to take root.

I wish the windows were cleaner so I could get a better shot. What I am seeing is exactly what I needed to see.

These plants are like ideas. Maybe they are they are secretly growing to test out some new root system. Maybe they are a wee bit shy. Maybe they are just sick of the regular old ideas they decided to grow their own way.

Keep your eyes searching. The ideas are out there but maybe not in the places we are always looking.

The world used to be flat but one radical changed that.

Just take a second now and then.


There was a rainbow. A simple little rainbow in the sky.

How many times have we had the chance to just stop and take in the world around us?

Most of the time we let it pass on by. We don’t take any time to let the beauty of a bunch of organized colors arcing across the sky.

I wonder when other things started to take over, like Netflix or Fortnite, that drew our attention away from the wonders that surround us.

I started to look for smiling faces in the things, not people, that I see every day. It is interesting that I can see them all over the place.

The world is a pretty good place if you look for it.

One tiny turn.


I was driving home the other day from the gym with a million things on my mind. Out the window I notice that the sky was getting darker by the second. Rain started to fall and you could feel the rumbling thunder.

This scene kinda reflected how I was feeling. There was doom on the horizon. Many pending storms coming and I wasn’t sure how the heck I would make it to the other side.

Sometimes I power through it and emerge victorious on the other side. Sometimes I come out the other side damaged.

That is how I saw seeing these challenges on the horizon. I was too locked into what was in front of me to realize the obvious. So many times we only see one way, the path that is directly ahead.


I turned 90 degrees to mostly sunny and clear skies.

There is always an option. It might be a little obscured behind something but there is always another way. There are always options.

It is never as dark as it seems.

Find the joy.

I have a choice. I can stay in the storm or find a way through.

Advantages for paying full price.


I never buy running gear at full price. My method is checking the racks at Marshalls and buying whatever fits. Most of my buys are a season or two out of style and some of the worst colors ever invented. I really don’t care, the stuff is cheap!

The other day I started investigating compression socks after seeing so many people run with them. I took a leap and paid full price, a shock $60 a pair.

I think I have turned a corner.

I bought a new running jacket at full price. The old one was brought in 1998. What a difference in tech and fabrics. Why have I waited so long?

Today I ran the most miles in a very long time and I can say I will be buying more of these socks. I was susceptible but I am now a believer.


Pushing yourself.

I decided to give myself a big push to do something that would physically challenge me.

I have been feeling a little stuck so I thought maybe that adding a little pressure, pain and discomfort was really all I needed.

I got a little nudge from the family and a random dude at a sandwich shop. It really wasn’t¬†anything he said, it was his jacket. His jacket was from the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon. I checked my phone and saw I could enter a lottery to get a spot. Some sites online said it was only a 15-18% chance of getting in. I got in.

It is odd to think I will spend more money than I wish to admit flying the family to DC to watch me suffer for 26.2 miles.

Right now the best part is running at about 4AM most days. It is dark and I’m completely alone. Each day that I run I feel like it is a mini vacation.

Other days, longer runs on Saturday, totally suck.

Maybe this was the little push I needed.

Don’t mistake the push as a personal issue, it is 100% work related.