Run, run, run

 

Alright, I hate running. But being in the military- it’s kind of essential. Especially since the way the military is now, you fail a PT test and you’re probably getting discharged. So it’s pretty imperative to stay in shape, and be able to run- since 50% of your PT score is your run. 

In Basic Training I got a 90% on my PT test by a hair. I think if I had run a few seconds slower it would’ve dropped my score. So lucky me, that meant I only had to PT test once a year, so my next one isn’t until the end of March. 

Since there’s a giant ass gym at my disposal, I decided it would probably be smart to use it- because I definitely don’t want to be a PT fail, but I also want to get back in shape. Trust me, Tech School will kill your weight and PT scores. I promise. 

So last night while sitting in the community room someone came up to me and recognized me as “that girl that’s always in the gym” hah. But yes, we happened to run into each other at the gym almost every day. Their compliment? I always looked like I was working my ass off. Ok. Sometimes I cut my run a little short, and sometimes I’m too lazy to do that extra rep. But that got me thinking, other people are noticing- they think I’m giving 100%. So why aren’t I?

Oh motivation, how rare you are. 

So this morning, despite being a Saturday, I woke up got breakfast, got dressed, and headed to the gym. While sitting in the parking lot doing my mental prep of – you’re already here so just go work out you lazy ass – I made a workout playlist on my phone. Holy shit. I mean, I always listen to music when I work out, but this playlist was pretty much perfect. 

I ran two miles, maxed out on situps, then lifted for around 20 minutes. And I ws pumped the whole time. Music really is the key to motivation.

So in honor of my new found go-to playlist, I’ll post the songs that kept me running and giving it my all.

1. Alone Together- Fall Out Boy

2. Bugatti – Ace Hoods

3. Hello – Karmin

4. I Need Your Love – Calvin Harris Ft. Ellie Goulding

5. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

6. Rat  a Tat – Fall Out Boy

7. Ritual – Ellie Goulding

8. Runnin’ – Adam Lambert

9. Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake

10. Low – Flo Rida

11. Sugar – Kerli

12. Supermassive Black Hole – Muse

13. Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch

14. Fuck You Betta – Neon Hitch

15. I’m Gonna Getcha Good – Shania Twain

 

There we go. But if anyone has any other songs they jam out to while they’re working out- post them and let me know!

Climb to Mt. Lemmon

 

So today, I climbed up a mountain. No really, I did. Not the entire 9000ft, obviously, but we climbed up some really awesome places when we stopped to get out. So here’s the recap of the Mt. Lemmon adventure.

And if you haven’t been and are in Tucson- get out there. Now. SO worth it.

So this morning Matthews, Lind, and I set off for Mt. Lemmon around 9am, blasting some music and swapping some stories. It was about a 30 minutes drive to the base of the mountain, I turned onto the Mt. Lemmon highway and we set off on our adventure to the top.

Starting temp: 82 Degrees. Elevation: 3000ft

We started driving through the crazy winding curves, and I was pretty sure I would end up driving off a cliff. I have never driven on a mountain before, and I was trying to look at the scenery and the road at the same time. I failed, so I just focused on the road around the curves.

Our first stop was maybe 10 minutes into the drive, we HAD to get out because we were already blown away by the scenery. It was still desert and cactus, but it was freaking amazing. So here was the first stop:

ImageImageImageImage And onwards we went. We drove for a bit more, watching as the temp kept dropping the higher we drove. We got out again around 5000ft, pulling into a little area with a lot of parking. There was a ledge you could look out and be tourist-y, but we went the scenic route in the opposite direction. We climbed up some rocks and stood on a ledge

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Lind on the ledge

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Checking out the scenery

We kept climbing, higher and higher. Every direction we looked, we saw something cool we wanted to check out- until we ended up way high in the air, far from where we’d parked, with a spectacular view.

ImageBut we had way more to go. So we kept going until we pulled off in Palasades, which had a little store in it. We walked in and looked around, and I found the cutest stuffed raccoon- and anyone that knows me knows that I squealed and hugged it. $8? Yeah. Yeah I’m gonna buy that shit. So the lady at the counter started talking to us and asked if we were military. Why yes. Yes we are. Then we learned that military get free annual passes to any federal park, for free. No cover charges, nothing. Grand Canyon? Free. WHAT. So she gave us passes and told us about some stuff further up the mountain- then off we went.

A while further we stopped in Summer Haven at this restaurant called The Saw Mill. It was like 10:40 and we were starving already. Their food is fantastic, they have an outside deck which we sat in and talked about how much we’d kill to live here. It was in the 70’s now, with an awesome breeze. The air was crisp, the food was awesome, and the nice cars driving by were turning heads.

In a food coma, we trudged back to the car and continued on. We reached 8000ft and saw a mini waterfall coming down the side of some rocks. LETS GO. So we pulled off to the little parking area and after a failed attempt at parallel parking, Lind took over and got us parked.

We set off following this little stream that was running down the rocks. We crossed it, and I slipped and got my feet soaking. The water was freezing, but it was awesome.

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We found a makeshift hut

 

ImageI found some crazy crystallized rocks and pocketed them. Then we found a pretty sweet ledge with breath-taking scenery. Though we were already out of breath from the climb.

ImageWe found a cave. A freaking cave. Yeah, we sat in that shit.

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Cavemen!

 

We noticed some water trickling down the side of the walk and decided we were determined to find it’s source. This is when we became badass rock climbers and worked together to get to the top of this giant rock. I got a few cuts and scrapes, but it was badass when we got to the top.

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Made it!

 

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fWe’d been going for awhile so we decided it was time to head back towards the car and keep climbing. On the way down I found a used condom (ew) but decided that is going on a bucketlist. Sex at 8000ft? WHY THE FUCK NOT.

We got back to the car and backtracked a bit, stopped at the general store, stopped to use the bathrooms, then went to the road that led to Ski Valley- apparently in the winter you get to ski like a mother fucker down the mountain.

We passed some signs that cautioned for bears- I wish! Sadly they did not make an appearance on our trip, but the thought that they were around was pretty cool.

At last we got to the very top at the mountain- you could drive no further. We parked and set off to get to the top and to the edge. We were gonna find this shit.

As we walked we were blown away, looking through the trees all you saw was white. We were in the clouds.

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Oh, hi cloud

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White stuff? A cloud

We trekked on, going through a path, then veering off it and climbing through ferns, fallen logs, and some rocks. At last it was in sight. We fucking made it to the top of Mt. Lemmon. Not just the top. The edge- looking out at the world. Or rather, the clouds.

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9000ft baby

ImageEnding temp: 62 degrees. Elevation: 9000ft.

After sitting to take in the view, and enjoying our victory, we made our way back to the car. The drive down was SO much fun, I barely hit the gas, we were flying around the curves just from the descent of the mountain. About every mile the temperature jumped a degree and we realized it was going to be hot as hell when we got back down to Tucson.

We wound down the mountain, and as we reached a curve we went from crisp mountain air, pine trees, and greenery- to desert. In an instance. and also 73 degrees.

When we got back down to the desert floor is was 94 degrees and cactus galore- I already miss the mountain top.

All in all it was an amazing experience, and I can now say I climbed up to the top of a mountain. I will definitely be going back, and anyone that’s thinking about going- go. Just start driving.

 

When it rains it pours…

…So I just put on my rain boots and dance in the rain until it stops.

Or at least, that’s what I like to think.

Today threw me a few curve balls, and taught me some lessons.

Yesterday I hadn’t paid attention to my schedule and arrived to the briefing 3 minutes late-when I THOUGHT I was getting there early. (Because as any Airman knows, 15 minutes early is on time). Thankfully I wasn’t the only one to make that mistake, but we were of course held accountable to our fuck up and asked to stay after to get talked to. We were on a one and done deal, late again and they’d talk to our supervisors.

So this morning I set my alarm 10 minutes earlier so I’d be able to accommodate running a little behind and still be on time. So glad I did.

I get my hair in a bun, get my uniform on, grab my bag and head out the door with a growling stomach- because I hadn’t been allowed to eat since 7:30 last night due to labwork I needed to get done- but I’d had a belly dancing class. So really I hadn’t eaten since 5pm and I was HUNGRY.

I’m walking towards my car and hit the clicker- no beep. Hmm, strange. I get closer and hit it again. Still no beep. Okay not good. I get to my car and manually unlock it- thinking maybe my key remote had died. I go to start my car. Nothing. I try again. Still nothing. Okay panic time- I had an appointment in 25 minutes, it would take at least 5 minutes to get there, walking wasn’t an option, and if I was late I’d be in deep shit. I get out of my car and think frantically- Okay obviously I wasn’t about to fix my car just then, my priority was getting to the clinic and getting to my tests. And not crying because I was tired and hungry and extremely overwhelmed.

Then I remember I’m not a civilian anymore. I’m not by myself, I’m not screwed, I’m not ‘lucky’ if someone stops to help me. So I whip out my phone and call a fellow FTAC Airman that I’d eaten lunch with the first day, and met at the gym to learn some pointers 2 days before. I call him, and woke the poor guy up- then tell him my car wont start and I have an appointment in, now, 20 minutes. He was on it. I called my sister, whom had helped me buy the car, and told her what was up. She offered me some suggestions to get the car going but to no avail. Alas, it would have to wait until later.

Said fellow Airman pulled up within a few minutes, fully dressed in uniform and ready to go. I got to my appointment in time and he went in with me and just waited anyway- even though his appointment wasn’t for another hour after mine.

I’ll save the play by play of the appointment, and fast forward to what really sealed the deal for me. I’d got a ride back with another guy to my dorm and the guy who’d helped me in the morning texted me seeing if I needed a ride back since he’d just gotten out of his appointment. Well no, but I offered to buy us brunch (since we hadn’t eaten since last night) if he’d be willing to try jumpstarting my car, but first take me to go buy jumper cables (something I regret not having already purchased). So we went to Denny’s, along with another guy from my FTAC class, then got some jumper cables and headed back to base.

I, knowing nothing about cars, stood buy and let the guys do their thing. They tried jumping my car to no avail. So guy #1 suggests we go to the auto hobby shop on base and see if they could help. He drives us there. Bring us the battery- they said. WHAT. I don’t know how to remove a fucking battery. Okay, I didn’t even know which black part the battery was in my car. Guy #2 happens to know how to remove and re-install them. Damn my day is being saved.

Long story short? We go back to my dorm and remove the battery, we bring the battery back to the auto shop. Come back in an hour they said. We go to guy #1’s dorm and get something to drink and play xbox for a bit, then go back to the auto hobby shop, pick up the battery and go back to my dorm. Guy #2 reinstalls my battery and the moment of truth came. My car started and all was well in the world again.

I couldn’t have been more grateful for being in the Air Force and having such awesome wingmen. I’d known them a few days, and already they had dedicated their entire afternoon helping me out and fixing my car for me- just for the sake of helping me. Even with the best of friends, I wouldn’t find this level of helpfulness anywhere else but right here where I’m at. In this group of people that would willingly lay down their lives for their country, their families, and each other. And I would do the same.

Motto for this post? Just help someone out. Even if you’re getting nothing in return materially, you are getting everything in return in reality. And I assure you, whoever you help will be eternally grateful.

Status of crisis: defeated

Status of my car: Getting checked out Saturday

Status of my day: Long, tiring, taxing, and rewarding.

 

Today I had my first day of FTAC- which is a week long of 9 hour days full of briefings and power points and networking. The joy. Just one more step to get through before I get to my job training and work towards getting my rating- which will no doubt be the hardest part of my career, since statistically half of us wash out (from the half of us that made it this far) and at my base there’s been an 80% washout rating. So I have my work cut out for me.

But right now as I’m sitting in Crave waiting out the storm and sipping my chai, I’m feeling pretty good. Later on I’m going to go shoot hoops with some of the guys from FTAC- or rather – they’re going to teach me how the fuck to not look like an idiot on the court. Then it’s shower bed and do it again for the next 4 days.

Tomorrow I have a belly dancing class I’m going to try to go to.

Things are looking up, even though it’s currently shit storming outside do to the monsoon that happened out of nowhere. Seriously I’m driving under crystal blue skies and BAM.

This shit

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Then 5 seconds after this pic it was twice as bad. Damn weather.

 

Anyway the point of this blog was to say thing are getting better, and I feel like I’m really starting to settle in. I’m meeting people, joking around, I have something to keep me busy every day, things to look forward to through the week- and this fantastic little cafe I’ve been coming to every day where the owner already recognizes me.

Life is looking up

– and just in time, because the rain is letting up and the sun is peaking back out

Exploration

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This morning I decided it was time to explore. I have the weekend off, my own car, a full tank of gas, and some money in the bank. So it was time to discover the new place I call home. I started the day with some good old Orange Juice, and coffee, because hey- I needed to be fueled. I went to the gym for half an hour and went to town on the treadmill, only because I learned the indoor pool is closed on weekend. Little things.

I came back to my dorm and showered, because holy shit I was sweating. Then I took my time dressing up. You never know what kind of situation you’ll run into and I did not want to be in a t-shirt and sweatpants for this adventure.

I was ready, and I was going.

I drove down Craycroft road, which was familiar to me from my half-assed explorations the day before. Then I kept going. And going. I drove towards the mountains, I followed signs, I made mental notes of the little shops I saw. I stopped in a park, Udell I believe, or something of the sort. I drove around it a bit and watched some lizards chase each other beneath a giant cactus. Literally, giant. It was like 3 of me combined.

I proceeded to stop at a dollar store because, oh shit, my dads birthday is coming up and I needed to buy a card.

Pit stop over I continued, following signs that read “Down Town Centro.” Pretty sure that’s the worst Spanglish sign, ever, but whatever. I followed it until I found myself speeding down a hill with some really bad concrete. Then bam. I was in downtown Tucson, or at least a part of it. The first thing I noticed? All the art on the walls. I wished I’d been able to stop and snap some pictures like a tourist, but alas I was going 40 and wasn’t sure where I was going, let alone where I could park. So I kept driving. Roadwork took me on a detour through a less than appealing neighborhood which I promptly exited, and then I was driving again. Taking mental notes of where things were.

I looked at the time. I’d been driving around for almost an hour. Holy shit.

So I took some wrong turns and then ended up on Stone st. Which I crossed my fingers would take me back to another street I was actually familiar with. I was fully equip with a GPS…just in case. But I wanted to figure this shit out on my own.

So I drove. And drove. And drove. I was basing my direction off a certain mountain….because it’s not like I was surrounded in mountains or anything. Heavy sarcasm, by the way.

Finally I saw a familiar street- Grant. Bam, turned onto that shit. And then I drove forever.

Somehow I found myself on Broadway again, which is the Mecca of all roads to me, simply because I know exactly how to get back to base from it. And also I use that as my point of reference when trying to find something. Hmmm…how close to broadway is it?

Back on base, I bought some groceries at the commissary like an adult and then ate the fuck out of a bagel back in my dorm. Because now it was noon, and I hadn’t eaten since 7am.

Then I napped.

When I woke up I remembered that tonight is the 2nd Saturday Downtown…which apparently is some cool event in downtown Tucson. Live shows, street vendors, food, the good stuff. So I said hell yeah I’m going.

So I change out of my dress and slipped into some leopard print shorts- because I don’t wear pants, and jean shorts are too plain. Dilema- it doesn’t start til 5:30.

So here I find myself, sitting in Crave, which is a fantastic coffee bar, sipping on a White and Dark mocha, and booking myself a bellydancing class for this Tuesday. That’s right.

So as I’m doing this, I’m thinking to myself

Maybe this isn’t so bad, after all…

And the road splits

Taken from my journal earlier today.

   “I should be in New York right now. In central park. Or in Brooklyn. Or hopping subways. I should be with friends right now. But I’m not.
I’m in Arizona.
And I’m alone.”

I was bitter, sad, and I just wanted to get the hell out out of the desert. Things haven’t gone the way I pictured they would last year. And I’m ok with it, I know I have to roll with it and keep going.

I know that what I’m doing is important.

And right now it has to be more important than the other things I want to be doing.

It has to be.

Being smacked with the realization that somewhere down the road my path and the path of all my friends split and we went down opposite directions….well it sucks. But I paved this road with the months of training, work, and perseverance I’ve had to have. So if I can do that, I know somewhere down the line I can make these roads meet back up again.

I just need to find a way to live both the life I want to live, and the life I have to live.

Is that even possible? Can I be two people at once? Can I turn them into the same person?

Arizona Bound

 

Wow, it’s been real. This time tomorrow I will be on my way to Arizona to officially begin my career. Of course, there’s still hurdles to jump through like all the On the Job training I have to get through- but I know I’ll be okay.

It’s terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I can literally take any path I want for myself to make myself into something. There’s so much I want to do, so much to accomplish. So many options. I’ll have my own suite, my own car (which I just bought. 10pts for being a financially stable adult), my job, and my own life. I’ll be alone- for the most part except a few people I met in tech school- and I’ll be on my own two feet.

So as a pre-Arizona post I figured I’d lay out some goals for myself – short term mainly

First off, I want to get my budget figured out. See how much I have to spend for me after car payments, insurance, savings, food, phone bills, retirement, and shit like that.

When I figure it out, I need to go get my safety briefing so I can do unnecessarily dangerous things

Once that’s done, I’m going to start going to the fire spinning/dance classes nearby. I scoped it out. Tucson has a huge fire dancing community

I’m going to fucking rock that shit and buy my own fans. Maybe even a staff.

I’m going to build myself some roots in Arizona, make friends, find places, make it a place I want to be. A place I’m happy to be.

I’m going to rock my OJT and become a rated Controller

I’m going to work out and lose my tech-school weight

And I’m going to be a fucking boss.

Yes. That covers it.

Arizona here I come