Tag Archive | Marines

Run Smidge Run!

IMG_20160121_200920 Let’s get one thing straight from the onset; I am not a fan of pounding pavement (don’t let the smiles fool ya!). There are times when I’ve enjoyed it, such as running tank trails on Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Then it was just me, the dusty road, the tall trees and birdsong. Peaceful. Most other times I used loathe running, especially the platoon or company death runs when the senior enlisted or the officer was being maniacal (which was often). I am a slow to start and a slow and steady runner, not made for Marine Corps, “lo right ah left right”, start fast and finish faster physical training (PT) sessions. I survived them, pulled hamstrings, countless turned ankles and an iliotibial (IT) band that thinks tightness is it’s de rigueur state.

IMG_20160124_150632 I didn’t start running until my mid twenties, when my recruiter disabused me of the notion that boot camp was going to get me in shape. I think he might have laughed at me when I shared that misguided idea with him. So the summer of 2003 saw me strapping on a pair of brand new running shoes, powered up my trusty old disc-man (y’all remember those), slipped in a Disturbed’s The Sickness CD and got to running. I didn’t like it then and still don’t like it now but running is now part of my life. I even tried to run away from running but the fact it, putting feet to road is good for me. It improves my fitness, gives me focus, heck I even am writing again because in the minutes I’m on the road I start crafting essays. In fact the beginnings of this post came to me while participating in my first 5K in a long time.

IMG_20160126_194549 As I was running, I started talking to myself (What? You don’t talk to yourself? How strange) saying, “You’ve been training for this, keep one foot in front the other, don’t stop, don’t walk, keep going, you got this. Run, girl, run.” Somewhere in that moment I thought it would be nice to get my friends and family involved in this particular journey (yes, a smaller journey within the larger journey of my life). I thought of how encouraging many of you have been in the past 2 very difficult years of my life on and off line. That’s when I thought to make my own words of encouragement a mantra for myself but also a hashtag which I can share it with you all to use online. As I continued to run, the aches started and my breathing got ragged, and I kept on, telling myself “Don’t stop, keep running, you got this. Run, girl, run.” I and especially liked the “run, girl, run” part and thought it would be a great hashtag. In the age of social media and the hashtag it was inevitable that I’d so there. I also use a few for various things, the main one being #littlefootsjourney. I thought #rungirlrun would be great, but figured it would already be in use (I checked it is) and I wanted something more specific to me.

Now while running, I flashed back to my first year on active duty and my peaceful runs under the trees, but I also remembered the Marines I served with. One Staff Sergeant (SSgt) in particular had his own nickname for me that nobody else was allowed to use. One day we were discussing something (I don’t recall what) but it led to us discussing about whether smidge or smidgen were correct words (the both are). Later, he rolled into our office and announced he was going to call me smidge. If you’ve ever stood next to me you’d understand why that was fitting. (not exactly like below but close enough).

I had a great rapport and working relationship with him so I was okay with HIM calling me that but that’s it. Part of the culture of the military is giving each other sobriquets, some good, some bad, many questionable (such as Mooseknuckle for a female Harrier pilot) so SSgt H having his own diminutive for me was no big, thing and this one I liked. It was unusual (smidge is not a word you hear often) and I thought it described me neatly, but back to running. With these reminisces I heard SSgt saying, “run, smidge, run” and thus the title of this post and the hashtag was brought to life.

So I kept running and made it across the finish line. I didn’t make my goal of 30 minutes but that was a bit ambitious considering I strapped on my sneakers on January 9th and the 5K was January 30th. I finished the race in the middle of the pack, with a time of 34:08. I was 45 out of 83 in my age group and 339 out of 638 women overall. I am proud of me. Of setting a goal and doing the work to accomplish said goal. I want to give a big thank you to my girl Yolande (sheblog on at http://runbigmommarun.com/) for inspiring and encouraging me to get up off the ever widening ass and get moving. I may not like running, but as she pointed it out, it’s good for my health and it gets me out the house to meet others who’re about that fitness life as well.

Here’s us crossing the finish line at the Matanzas 5K, she came back and ran me in and having that support was awesome. download_20160130_174019

So when you see my posts about putting the miles in you can cheer me on and add #RunSmidgeRun to your comment(s). Tell me your fitness stories in the comments or shout out a friend who got you doing something to improve your health and fitness, whether it’s a simple as giving up soda (don’t tell me you still drink a teaspoon of sugar) or walking around your office building at lunch time.

False Outrage, Real Hate

Over the past week I’ve come across a controversy, or as the media calls it a scandal associated with the Commander-in-Chief (CINC), President of the United States (POTUS), Barack Hussein Obama. This particular controversy which I’ll call Umbrella Gate baffles me. Let’s go to the photo.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoga & POTUS Barack H. Obama

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoga & POTUS Barack H. Obama

Look at it. What do you see? What do you think about what you see? Take a moment to ponder. Now, I’ll tell you what I see when I look at this image.

I see two heads of state, President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoga, holding some sort of briefing in front of the White House, the POTUS’s home and work space. I see them being bracketed by two members of the armed forces and being shielded from inclement weather. When I first saw the photo I thought, those are some fine Marine specimens (her I’m a gal who likes a man in uniform). I remember being proud that my Marine brothers were representing the Corps so well. There uniform was dazzling and their form ripped from the pages of a drill manual, so precise. I also wondered who was responsible for selecting two Marines so alike in appearance that combined with the uniform and precise bearing they were mirrors of each other. I kept wondering of there is a video of them walking out and unfurling their umbrellas. I bet it would look like something the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon does in their performances (see here for clip).

Those were and are my thoughts about this photo. Alas, my thoughts seem to be in the minority if the vitriol being spewed by Americans is to be believed. The saddest part for me is the hate and disrespect directed towards President Obama even by members of the military, especially Marines. Marines who take offence at a male Marine holding an umbrella for our CINC, as a task beneath them but would not dare tell a commander that, cleaning a toilet, picking up cigarette Butts or stirring shit in a burn barrel, is beneath them. These individuals who are ranting and raving about Mr. Obama tarnishing the office of the president are themselves tarnish the image of brotherhood and adherence to good order and discipline espoused by the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

There is no order in Marine Corps MCO P1020.34G that prohibits a male Marine from carrying an umbrella to shield another. And where women, children and dignitaries are concerned it’s a point of pride to render assistance. Another Marine said it best “The specific rule in the Marine Corps Uniform Regulation authorizes females to utilize umbrellas in service or dress uniform. It does not prohibit male Marines from touching or holding umbrellas in uniform. However, they are not to be carried by males for PERSONAL USE. The intent is that male Marines do not walk around using umbrellas for THEMSELVES when it rains.” So all these folks up in arms about the Marines holding an umbrella for the president are being disingenuous. They have their knickers in a bunch because a black man, the leader of our country and of the free world is being sheltered and treated like the dignitary that he is by a white man. Politics plays a role in those because there was no umbrage when Presidents Reagan, G.W. Bush or G.H.W. Bush had umbrellas held for them by members of the armed forces. It’s an honourable duty to serve a president in this capacity. Certainly a more favourable one than stirring shit in a burn barrel in some far-flung desert land.

What did you make of the photo and resulting controversy? For comparison the internet has provided the following.

4 Presidents 4 Umbrellas

4 Presidents 4 Umbrellas

Viewing this second photo, the outrage expressed by some is just false to cover the real hate they feel for Barack H. Obama because of the color of his skin.

Lady Littlefoot

Picture Day 06: Sets in the West

Sunset Camp Lejeune 2006

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Sunrise, sunset (x2),
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness, and tears

Lady Littlefoot

Happy Birthday Teufelhunden

Today is the most important day in a Marine’s life. It’s her birthday. The day the United States Marine Corps was founded in tavern in colonial America. On 10 November 1775 two battalions of Continental Marines were raised. And so began our illustrious history. From Chapultepec to Tripoli, Iwo Jima to Inchon, beach landings to trench warfare, Marines have done it all. As our hymn says “we have fought in every clime and place where we could take a gun.”

Marines at Marine Corps Marathon

Today marks the 237th anniversary of the founding of the USMC. I may have hung up combat boots (man those were comfortable) and said good-bye to the Corps, but I will always remember my brothers and sisters who are still giving all they’ve got in defense of God, Corps and Country.

Semper Fidelis and Happy Birthday Marines.
I raise my glass to Dan and to Smedley, to Hathcock and to Chesty; to those who fought in trenches and those fighting in mountains; to the old breed and the new breed.

To us all

Semper Fi and OOOO – freaking – RAH

Sergeant of Marines

Lady Leathernecks 2010