Friday, December 9, 2011


I haven't been updating much lately, so I suppose now is as good time as any :)

There's actually quite a bit going on right now.  I've been getting settled into my job, which has been a slightly interesting experience.  I'm in a Captain's position as a brand new 2nd Lieutenant, so I'm having to learn quite a bit of stuff with very little experience.  Fortunately I was prior service, but UNfortunately this is my first time deploying, and, again, I'm new to the unit, so I'm still learning how it all works.  Fun stuff.  Fortunately I have lots of people that are helping me to learn the new job.  I guess West Point taught me at least one good thing: don't act like you know everything, and don't be afraid to ask questions and take advice.

On another different (but slightly similar note), I am taking my Graduate Record Exams (GREs) tomorrow afternoon.  I must say I am NERVOUS.  I have been practicing for awhile; however, the initial book I used wasn't very difficult.  It wasn't until I took the test on the actual ETS (the test-maker's) site that I started worrying, so I ordered THEIR book, and have been practicing since I got it, which unfortunately, has only been for a week.  I still don't feel confident in a lot of the math portions, and unfortunately, because my college GPA was only okay, I would really like to do well on this exam for grad school (not that I'm sure when exactly I'm going to go, but I know it will be within the next five years, which is how long the GREs are good for).

 And on ANOTHER slightly related note, I am ALSO taking my test during the Army-Navy football game!  Ahhhhh!  I am so disappointed I won't be able to watch it.  Those of you who know me know that I absolutely do not care about football.  Except for Army football (or rather, West Point football), and ESPECIALLY this one particular game.   The Naval Academy is West Point's number one sports rival, and this game is huge.  For those who don't know, EVERY cadet and midshipmen (Naval Academy cadet) travels to watch the game.  It's a huge deal.  And Army hasn't won one of these games in nine years.  :(  So, EVERY year everyone gets all excited for the game.  I sure was looking forward to watching the game sitting down, nice and warm, probably drinking a beer (Cadets have to stand the entire game, our uniforms weren't particularly warm, and we couldn't drink during football games, so these were all novelties).  Sadly, I will be sitting, nice and warm, taking a 3.5 hour test.

Finally, I suppose I will talk a little about upcoming months.  First, I am very excited for the next few weeks.  I will be seeing one of my best friend's West Point graduation (she's graduating a semester late because she had to take a semester off our sophomore year), which means I get to head back to West Point for a couple of days :)  Following that, I get to head down South for some French Quarter and some beach goodness :)  Well, I don't know how warm it will be for the beach, but I'm still excited.  And THEN my sister will be visiting before we head up to Canada to go skiing for her birthday and New Year's Eve.  Um, rockin' good time me thinks!

Following my amazing period of leave, I'll be training extensively for a 50-mile race when I deploy.  I've never run a marathon much less fifty miles, but I think fifty miles would just be a completely different type of setting.  Unlike in a marathon where I would think you would try to keep running the whole time (I know I would be trying to run the whole time), it's pretty acceptable to walk during ultra marathons.  As a matter of fact, it's pretty much EXPECTED.  And we get 24 hours to finish.  That's like, barely over two miles per hour to finish (though I really hope that I do NOT ACTUALLY take 24 hours to finish...)  Anyways, I'm excited for it, but nervous at the same time because of my tendency to get injured.  I am combating this as much as possible by lifting more regularly again.  I want to build strength in my hips/legs so that they are better able to handle the stresses of running AND stabilize my body more so I don't end up with all these weird injuries because my hips are weak (what my physical therapist always told me at West Point when I'd walk in with yet another overuse injury).  I will also try VERY hard to slow my long runs down, and add some walking breaks in once I hit higher mileage, that way I actually recover better.  I have a very difficult time running long distances as slowly as I should be when I'm just training.  A 9:30 minute mile is pretty slow for me, but when I think when I start doing longer distances, I should probably be going slightly SLOWER than that.  Not because I'm not capable of running faster, because I very much am (most of my long runs last time I was training for a marathon were around 9-9:15 minute miles, and I wasn't trying to pick up speed), but I think to get the kind of endurance I want for this type of distance, I need to slow it down so I don't hurt myself.  I need to save speed for the speed days I guess :)

Alas, I suppose I have written quite a bit for now.  Those are the big things going on now though that I've been thinking about.  And we all know I like to share my thoughts :)


Friday, December 2, 2011

True Friends

As I was sitting here procrastinating on studying (feels like college.. except it's not), I started thinking about what being a true friend is.  In the past year or so I had a person who I had considered a very close friend for a long time just stop talking to me.  She never told me why, and I'm not sure why because as far as I'm aware, I don't think I ever did anything to her (some of you probably know what I'm talking about right now), but it made me think... What is a true friend?  Here are my thoughts.  

A true friend is someone who has seen you at your best and your worst, but they are still there for you.  I'm not talking about taking abuse from you because nobody deserves to be treated like crap - there's a difference between being a friend and a doormat.  No, a true friend has seen you on your bad days, and maybe has had to deal with you when you're feeling irritable, but ultimately knows who you are, and is willing to deal with a few bad days because that friend knows you'll always be there for them during their bad days.  They watch you grow and change and are still there for you to help support you.  A good test of a true friend?  If you can live with each other and remain good friends (hi, Vanessa!), or you end up being good friends BECAUSE you lived together (hi, Amber!)  You can have occasional arguments, but you can get over it because you know it's just that - an argument - and it happens sometimes.  

A true friend knows both the good and the ugly, and is okay with both.  The friend might give you advice or tell you that what you're doing isn't the smartest idea, and you might not even want to hear someone tell you what to do, but you know the advice is because he or she cares about you, not because he or she thinks that they are better than you.  There are some people who will give you advice just because they think they always know what's best, but a true friend does it because they really CARE about YOU.  

A true friend is someone who you can trust.  You know you can tell them secrets, and they won't go telling everyone else just so they have a good story.  

A true friend might not even be someone you speak to frequently.  I have a few of them from my high school days.  Even though we don't talk often, when we do talk, it's like we haven't spent something like ten years away from each other.  We can still tell each other things.  

A true friend is NOT someone who abandons you because they meet someone "better" or a significant other (this is the worst).  To sort of contradict that, a true friend will understand if you have your slip-ups, because after all, nobody is perfect.  They also won't only talk to you when they want something from you.  

I know this was a little cliche, but those are my thoughts on what a true friend is or is not.  I've been fortunate to meet quite a few people in my life who I consider true friends, and I'm so thankful for them!