Wow. Today has been the longest day. But, I’m currently listening to Adele and drinking tea, so it must not be so bad.
(Total side note: The man sitting next to me on the plane had PAINTED toe-nails. I’m not kidding. Red and green alternating colors. I’m really hoping his grandkids painted them for him… I seriously laughed OUT LOUD when I saw them. At first I thought his big toe was just dark and infected or something. But then I slowly leaned over… NOPE! Painted toe-nails on a elderly man. Now that’s a definite first for me.)
Last night I landed in Tuscon, AZ. Grabbed my luggage and picked up my rental car. I got a silly Nissan Versa. But it has four doors and a really big trunk and that’s all I asked for. I skipped through radio stations while I drove the one hour to Sierra Vista. Interesting radio selection… 90% of the stations were spanish speaking, the other 10% were country. I stopped at a travel stop to get a green Naked juice, power bar and a bag of popcorn.
Of course it was pitch black outside when I finally got to the base gates so I couldn’t see anything except for dirt and a few bushes. Welcome to the desert!
I got on base and asked for directions to Army lodging. I was given something along the lines of, “Go straight for about 4 miles and you’ll see it.” (As he hands me a map the size of my new Nissan.) Um… Great. So I pulled over to figure out this huge map. Luckily an MP (military police man) taps on my window, “Ma’am, I understand you need some directions? Follow me and I’ll help you out. I don’t want you getting pulled over for looking suspicious.” Dude… I’m in a Versa, but score!! Yes… I’ll follow you!
I make it to the hotel and up to my room. I was surprisingly winded from carrying my bags up only one flight of stairs. Later I remembered it’s because of the elevation change. It’s very small room but I have my own CLOSET!!! I’m most excited about that. And a dresser, desk, tv, bed, small kitchen (fridge, microwave and sink) and teeny bathroom. I don’t have to make my bed, wash my bedding or towels — housekeeping!! Hell, I don’t even have a broom or vacuum!
I pretty much threw all my stuff in my room and fell into bed because it was 1:00am by the time I went to sleep.
0500: Alarm goes off. Snooze.
0510: Alarm goes off. Shower goes on.
0525: Make up, PT’s and shoes on.
0535: I’m racing out the door. I get into my car and realize I forgot my water and naked juice. Shit. No time to go back.
0550: I somehow managed to find the building I’m supposed to be at. I really don’t know how because it was so dark and confusing. There were about 8 other LT’s standing outside the building. We chat for a few minutes and then make our way inside. Immediately we’re told to get into alphabetical order so we could do height and weight.
As I was waiting in line I had my shoes off. First Sergeant says, “LT, were you a dancer!? We got ourselves a ballerina!” I whip around, go to parade rest, “NO First Sergeant!” “Are you nervous LT?” “Yes.” “Why?” …
I don’t know why I said NO! Haha… I was a dancer for 13 years, what was I thinking? It’s like I thought I was going to get into trouble for being a dancer or something! Hayley, calm down.
0700-1700: Briefings, briefings, more briefings. Did I mention briefings? It was brutal.
The only thing I ate was the little power bar and the rest of my popcorn from last night. We didn’t get any time to go get lunch so I just had to sit there, stomach growling for hours. Only four hours of sleep and no food. My energy was completely gone. The guy sitting next to me kept asking me if I was ok because I was so zoned out. Total zombie.
The First Sergent’s brief was the most entertaining. He doesn’t smile. He said, “I’m First Sergeant and I don’t smile. I don’t like people. It doesn’t mean I’m an asshole though.”
The best was when he started telling us a story about his daughters and how they’re like us Lieutenant’s in the “childish” ways. “I have two girls, 4 and 5 years old, I tell them all the time, ‘don’t do that. don’t do that. don’t do that’ and sure as shit, I turn around and they’re doing it again!” I don’t know if I was loopy from lack of sleep and food — but, I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. He is hilarious. I love that he’s serious and doesn’t smile. When he says a joke, he doesn’t laugh at himself which makes it so much better.
Another story was about a previous LT who tried to chase after a giant rabbit: “If you see one of your peers trying to stalk a rabbit, correct him.”
Then he was trying to tell us that blonde/racial/gender jokes aren’t funny and we aren’t to say them around our peers. So he said, “Go home tonight, go look in your mirror and tell all those stupid jokes to yourself. Laugh, drink a beer, laugh, drink a beer. I don’t care if you drink a six pack!”
We were finally released and a group of us met for dinner up at Chipotle. My classmates are all really friendly and nice. I can tell it’s going to be a fun four months. We’ve already started talking about taking a trip to see the Grand Canyon and Vegas. Also, a few of them like to hike so I may take advantage of the Arizona mountains. It’ll be a good time… if we can ever get past all these awful briefs.
One guy in my class has been doing CrossFit since 2005. He’s level 2 certified. We talked about that for a while. I’m happy there’s someone who I can talk CrossFit with. He said that he’d help program some workouts for me.
I learn a lot from situations that aren’t favorable. For example, when I’m in command of soldiers — I will keep my briefs short and sweet. No one likes to listen to you talk on an on for hours about yourself and all your stories. I know that they like HEARING themselves, but it gets so tiring after 8 hours of the same stories over and over again. Lesson learned after my back and butt were screaming at me from all that sitting.
Arizona scenery is different than California, but it’s surprisingly pretty. There are beautiful mountains and there was an amazing sunset tonight. I’ll post pictures soon, my phone doesn’t have internet right now… Gotta love AT&T!
Tomorrow is going to be a repeat of today — but at least I’ll have more sleep and FOOD!