The Long Awaited Trip Home

My car spent some time in the shop.

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And then she spent some time at the shower.

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Why? Because my time in Arizona had come to an end. And I will no longer be driving the rental car… which I’ll dearly miss. Seriously… the new 2012 ford focus is an awesome car. I retract all negative statements I’ve made in regards to Ford… they stepped up their game this year.

On January 2nd, I boarded a plane that brought me to the sunny state of Arizona.

On May 3rd, I boarded a plane that brought me back to the (currently raining) state of California.

Before I could do that though, us Lieutenants had to clean all our gear.

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We turned it in, processed our paperwork, graduated and off we went.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of graduation. Let’s just say I wanted to get the hell out of there as fast as possible. Pictures were the last thing on my mind.

I pretty much despised 90% of my classmates, therefore making memories was also not a priority of mine.

Steph and I… Tucson bound!! One last trip to Wilko was a necessity before I could leave my love, Tucson.

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A big plate of cheese!

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We got to bed early and prepared to reunite with the most important people in our lives.

I was so excited when that plane finally hit ground in Sacramento.

I told you I’d be able to fit all my crap back into my bags… Barely.

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Today I’ll get to see my family for a few hours and then it’s right back to Army land… only California style this time!

I’m home. She’s baaaaaaaaack!!

XO

California Paisley 😀

One of the BEST

This week is going to be one of the best weeks. BECAUSE I’M GOING HOME!!! I’m smiling to tears at writing this. I’m so excited that it’s becoming emotional.

This morning I danced in front of a mirror. I was like a little kid. It finally hit me. I’m done!

I’m continually packing. Packing is a time of transition for me. I can’t help but think of all the many more experiences I’ve yet to experience. I wonder… where will I travel to next? Where will the Army take me over the next 5 years? Who/what will I be in 2 years? It’s accomplishing goals that spurs these thoughts.

BOLC is my last hurdle in my 6 year plan that I set up for myself when I was 16 years old. I decided roughly what I wanted my life to look like and it’s been such a blessing to experience the highs and lows of it all.

For those of you who don’t know… My life has looked a little like this:

16 years — graduate high school

17 years — start Jr. college

18 years — Enlist in the Army

19 years — graduate with my AA, graduate basic & AIT (boot camp), move out of my parents, start at UC Davis

20 years — Start OCS

21 years — graduate college, commission to become an officer, complete basic officer leadership course

What’s next? Big girl job. Interview is on Tuesday. This girl doesn’t waste any time.

Thinking: “You must make your choices one at a time, since each is contingent upon the decision that precedes it. Instead of trying to create a mental map of your path through this day, focus on My loving presence with you. I will equip you as you go, so that you can handle whatever comes your way. Trust Me to supply what you need when you need it.”

My word is a lamp to your feet and a light for your path.”

XO

Paisley

Warrior Dash 2012

Saturday AM = CrossFit Works in Tucson

Um hi sexy coach Chris. And hi bad ass gym. Why didn’t I come here sooner!?!? ugggggg! It was so much fun! I was there for 2 hours. “Okaaaay. Now we’re going to do cleans. Okay now we’re going to do a ‘test’. Okay now go run 800 meters. Tired yet?”

I’m beyond sore. But I think I’m just weak because I seem to ALWAYS be sore these days.

But yah, CrossFit Works is fantastic. And it’d definitely be my box if I lived in Tucson. But I don’t, so at least I got to enjoy it ONCE while I was here. A great way to finish off my glorious Tucson weekends.

After CrossFit I checked into my hotel, showered and went out to do what I do best… shop. I needed to make a special trip to Trader Joe’s for Ryan. I mean, the guy is fighting a war in Afghanistan. It’s the least I could do.

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I’m still LOVING my hair. And finally got to wear my new yellow shirt that I got in Phoenix with my mom.

I also saw Safe House, the movie. With Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Um… hello sexy man!

Yes. Please.

Sunday Morning = Warrior Dash!!

As every good morning does, it started with a coffee.

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And running clothes. I stuck with black. It tends to do better in the mud… ha.

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If you look really close, you can see my “CrossFit hickey’s” from the barbell. OUCH.

After some minor navigation issues, Philip and I made it to the race. Barely!

The run was a blast. There was a TON of obstacles. And everyone around us was having a really great time. I loved the energy and motivation. The costumes were fun too!

After crawling though 2 feet of mud… my shoes had seen better days. I was perplexed. To throw away, or not. I decided to chuck them. I added to this monstrous pile! Gross, right?

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And so it was… hot and muddy.

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Warrior Dash was awesome. They might of had me at “free beer” — but the mud was fun too.

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After being pressure washed by fire hoses. Literally. We paid a visit to my favorite, In N Out. And yeah… I ate the WHOLE bun. Kill me.

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Super cool souvenir… a wrist band. It’s like I went to a club.

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And the shirt is awesome!!

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Now I’m putting together the Afghanistan packages.

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And eating copious amounts of cookie butter.

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Because it tastes like cookies. And butter. And my goal is to be 200 lbs. Obviously.

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Because I’ve heard that I’m “0% body fat. And one big muscle with twigs for arms.” Love ya too, bullies!

Mud runs are a blast. But it’s not so fun digging mud out of unspeakable locations. And wringing mud out of your Lululemon shorts… yah I just cringed a little bit too.

XO

Muddy Paisley

Packing?

Today involved too much cuteness.

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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Exhibit C:

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Stephanie and I paid a visit to the pet store and got to play with puppies and kittens. I was in animal heaven.

The cocker spaniel was my favorite. She looks JUST like my childhood dog, “Penny.” My parents got Penny when my mom was pregnant. And she lived for 13 years!

We also got well-deserved pedicures and had lunch at the Greek restaurant. I had a gyro pita. Yum!

It was the best 4 hours of the entire week.

Afterwards I started packing.

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Let me repeat myself… I STARTED PACKING!! It feels like not too long ago I was packing to come here!

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Totally surreal.

It’s looking like I’ll be able to fit everything. Barely. Good thing I lugged a bunch of stuff home 2 weeks ago. I’d have a hefty UPS bill if I hadn’t.

Tonight I’m laying low because this weekend is a fitness extravaganza!!

In the morning I’m going to Tucson’s CrossFit Works… for the first time. I figure it’s fitting. You know, visit a CrossFit gym during my 16th weekend (last) here.

I decided that I NEED one of these:

And so does Dianna.

Because we have a growing collection of traveling CrossFit t-shirts. And I’ve yet to re-pay her the favor. 🙂

Oh. And she’s picking me up from the airport — again. Because she thinks I’m awesome.

I’ll also be doing a sunset run with Steph tomorrow night. We’re thinking Rillito river or Sabino Canyon.

Sunday is the Warrior Dash.

I hear it’s kinda cool? We’ll see… Mud and obstacles… the new fitness craze these days.

Something I love:

XO

Paisley

Hug, please?

Yesterday I needed a hug. Ever have those kind of days?

Pretty sure that if someone hugged me, I would have burst into tears. That’s a girl for ya! This girl needs her mom, a glass of wine and a CrossFit gym.

And then I was also feeling like this…

I can tell that this training is coming to an end. And I’m more than ready for that blessed day.

The filter is broken beyond repair at this point. I think things in my head… and then I say, “Did I just say that out loud?” Yikes!

———-

Today:

PT consisted of a warm up. We started running, with our jackets ON. It’s 70 degrees over here at 6am… Not exactly jacket-running weather. But whatever, we started running. We got to the parking lot and were told, “GO HOME!”

And to think that there’s people who don’t believe in a God…

Today marked the LAST DAY OF INSTRUCTION!!! I have officially met all the BOLC standards. I’ve checked all the “boxes” and I get to go home very soon.

Sushi for lunch. It’s celebration time.

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And frozen greek yogurt for desert. Blueberry Graham… better than the Strawberry shortcake.

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After class I ran 3 very fast miles. There was unusually fantastic eye candy tonight. The cardio room was the coolest place in the gym, temperature wise. So I went back to my room to finish my workout and did this craziness:

I did tricep flys (with water bottles) instead of bicep curls. Yes, I use water bottles as weights when I workout in my room. But hey… if you do like 83,386 reps with them… it actually starts to burn. Swear.

I finished season 1 of Grey’s Anatomy. I’m sad because I don’t have season 2. I know what I’ll be doing when I get to California… Since I don’t have a job yet, I can’t be running around spending money. Great excuse to spend hours in front of a TV, right?

I’ll also be doing a lot of this…

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Enjoying CA sunsets with my parents. And a glass of wine, of course.

Thinking About: Friendship

Be the best friend that you would want for yourself.

When I was little I had a best friend. We used to talk about being in each others weddings. We use to sing to Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain and Spice Girls. We played with baby dolls. And fought like sisters.

And then we grew up. We grew apart. And changed.

Now she’s getting married.

Be good to those that have been with you through thick and thin. Call them back when they call you. Send them cards. Invest in them. Be the friend that you would want for yourself.

XO ~ AP

Gettin’ A lil’ Cray Cray

Complete and total randomness… It’s a wild one today.

———-

I have some kind words for the commissary.

I pretty much hate the commissary which is why I’ll drive an extra 15 minutes to the grocery store in Sierra Vista. OR… Shop in bulk on the weekends at Trader Joe’s/Sunflower Market in Tucson. The other day, desperate times called for a lunch visit to the commissary.

It wasn’t crowded like it usually is. And I was like a bandit and got out of there for under $50! For me, that NEVER happens. Partly because almost everything I buy has to be refrigerated. Therefore, I buy lot’s of produce which tends to be on the pricey side. I couldn’t believe it when the clerk told me my total.

My list included:

Greek yogurt, greek yogurt ice cream, huge plate of sushi, granola, mango!!!, kale (getting wild over here), asparagus, grapes…

Commissary may be a pain in my rear end, but it’s cheap. Cheap is a good place to be when it comes to food. Sometimes. I’m still went to Trader Joes’s last weekend… Because it’s my favorite.

———-

Buzz Bee is my middle name, well… according to my Dad. My Dad used to say, “BZZZZZZZZZ” to me whenever I was working away on something “busy.” Usually this was some kind of craft: scrap booking, painting, coloring, crafting, beading, sewing. Get it? Now that I’m older I’ve channeled this business to other things: riding, running, reading, cooking, and so on.

I hardly ever veg out and watch TV. And in the Army when I’m given free time, I use to to my advantage. If there’s a computer around, you’ll never see me chattin’ it up with other soldiers. Judge away, I just don’t find it very fun to shoot the shit for 3 hours when I could be reading, or in this case refining my resume.

It’s April which means it’s time to start looking for a big girl job. I have 3 different resumes. And they’re all ready for dispersal. Big girl job is in my very near future. I hope.

Today’s devotion: “Even though you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, you can be absolutely sure of your ultimate destination. I hold you by your right hand, and afterward I will take you into Glory.”

Fitting.

———-

Friday morning my class did the “MI Mile” it’s a one-mile obstacle course. It was cool the first time through. I did ALL of the monkey bars and almost got to the top of the rope climb. The rope was NOT a climbing rope considering I’m still pulling splinters out of my hand.

Here’s some pictures:

– Monkey bars, splits, anyone?

– Rope climb

– Really awesome “soldier” picture

– Army girls

– Two of my battle buddies are in Afghanistan right now. One of which is a fellow Army Barbie: “Rocky”

“Rocky” (not her real name, but I totally made it up for her) and I met a few years ago in my first unit. She and I both lived in Sacramento so we started carpooling to drill on the weekends. We instantly fell in love and lived happily every after…

Which included frequent wine nights, pep talks and yoga sessions. She’s adorable, kind, sane and girly.

She’s totally a bad ass:

Who’s stuck in Afghanistan:

And doing a fabulous job of turning lemons:

Into Lemonade:

And God how I do love her for it.

My other battle is Ryan:

Ryan and I met at phase 1 of OCS in South Dakota. We were in the same squad together and instantly bonded over our immaturity and ability to laugh when ‘black hats’ (officer-style drill sergeants) got a little crazy with yelling and being mad. I’m sorry, but it’s funny when their angry vein starts popping out on their forehead and they’re spitting on you. But I’m not sorry.

He posts pictures like this:

And writes “Oh I can’t wait baby…” as the caption.

Or this:

But then has a softer side, and posts this:

Well rounded, I’m telling you.

He’s also a supporter of Army Barbies:

Botton line, I’d marry him in an instant. No questions asked.

So… this I’m doing my “good soldier deed” and sending off packages to the two of them. This is the first time that I’ve had actual friends away at war. Rocky tells me she’s in a safe area, but it’s still Afghanistan. It’s still very far away from home. And it’s still hard. The power of a care package is indescribable. I would know.

I’m proud of both of them. I know what it’s like to be in the military. But I have no idea what it’s like to be fighting a war.

***I stole ALL of these pictures from them. I’m thinking they won’t mind. I’m replacing the photos with a box of goodness.***

XO – AP

Love me some Tucson

I’m ALMOST recovered from my 24 hour staff duty shift, so here’s an update…

Friday morning started with the “MI Mile”… It’s basically a 1-mile obstacle course. I wasn’t really a fan, but when am I ever a fan of things people force me to do? I was (I think) the only female to go across ALL the monkey bars. And made it the farthest up the rope climb. Got about 49 splinters in my hands from the rope though. It was fun. I’m just done-zo with this place.

Stephanie and I:

Yay for no make up and 7am!!!

Saturday morning I tried squeezing my eyes shut for as long as possible. But got tired of laying there at 7am. #ArmyBarbieProblems

I got dressed in the essentials: running garb.

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And headed to Starbucks for my necessary injection of caffeine.

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And food helps too.

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Steph came and met me in Tucson. We decided on Sabino Canyon. She had never been. Look, there’s water!! It was in the 100’s… running was a bit too much for us. So we did a lot of jogging/walking and stopped several times to dunk in the water.

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As we were walking back to the car, I decided that I needed my hair cut… Immediately. Remember I posted this picture a few days ago?

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Well… it needed to be on my head. And so it happened:

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I LOOOOOOVE it. One guy in my class told me, “You were hot, now you’re SUPER hot.” It’s funny cause all the guys love it, but the girls won’t say anything. haha… Except for one super bitch. She said, “I can’t believe you cut your hair. What were you thinking?” I kid you not. Those were her exact words. Then the next day a guy said, “You look like a different person!” And this same girl said, “Yeah… remember we had a conversation about this?”

I don’t even know how to respond to that.  I just don’t really say anything. Ignore it and kill them with kindness, I guess. Today I said, “How does MY hair affect you? It doesn’t.” And then we all stopped talking about “the hair”…

After getting my hair COPPED… Steph and I got sushi!!

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All week I had been craving. Probably because it’s been so hot lately. Cold, fresh fish is the perfect lunch.

And then of course a trip to Trader Joe’s. Clearly I had been missing that store… Cause I went a little crazy with the whole basket filling nonsense.

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Staff duty was OK. It wasn’t “fun”, but I survived… Completed all my security courses online.

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And ate a lot of snacks.

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Today my class got to pick up trash throughout the base… it was so much fun, right Ryan? Yeah right…

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Almost as fun as this kid is having at the park… How diva is she!?! Love little K.

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At lunch I grabbed some essentials: Green Tea

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And new “short” hair accessories!

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So. much. fun.

Me and my short hair are going to try the workout hair fashions tonight… This is new to me.

Happy last full week of BOLC!

XO

Paisley

Counting My Lasts

Last weekend I was talking to my family about my Arizona life. Courtney told me that I’ve done an amazing job of making poop sparkle. The rest agreed. Geee… thanks.

I hadn’t thought of it that way until then. But they’re right. And I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve been able to turn a some-what (actually, very) crappy situation into a good time. Overall I’ve had a blast here. I’ve been able to explore several cities. Take a few trips home and to San Diego. I’ve met new friends. Bought some awesome stuff/clothes. Learned how to adjust my fitness goals. And practiced writing.

As my time here comes to an end, I’m starting to count my “lasts”…

1. My last box of Keurig k-pots

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During one of my first weekend Costco trips, I decided that in order to ensure happiness at BOLC — I NEEDED a Kuerig. I was concerned about dropping so much money on a coffee maker. But decided it was worth it because it ensured flawless coffee for the next 4 months. And oh my gosh, I was right on the money with this one.

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I love my Keurig and I totally support spending money on good, FAST coffee — the kind that doesn’t involve driving to and waiting in a line to pay $4 for… ahem, Starbucks. I can make it hot or iced. I can pick the size/strength. I can make tea. And all I have to do is push a few buttons. No grinds or crazy cleaning hassles to deal with. I love it. And the 60 k-pots that came with it was pretty much the exact amount that I needed. If it could brew beer, I’d probably marry it. The only problem is that I’m going to have to lug or ship this sucker home! I can see it now… To the southwest customer service: “Please be careful with that suitcase, because it has my Keurig in it!”

2. Last few ruck marches

This one I’m not going to miss. I’ve never been a fan of lugging around a bunch of weight on my back. I have a hard time breathing and my legs are short. Enough said. Every time I think about my short legs I instantly think of my Dad. He thinks this attribute of mine is very comical considering he’s the one who gave them to me. Thanks a lot, stubs!

Also, rucking a backpack instead of a ruck is not normal. Nor is in comfortable or logical. And 2ish miles really doesn’t deliver any fitness benefits. Therefore, Wednesday morning is a wash. I only have one more and I’m not sad to see them go.

This morning was one of those legendary ruck marches. I kept moving my legs. And with every step I thought, “I only have to do this one more time.”

3. Last few weekends

I only have two of them left. It’s bitter sweet. My weekends here have been my Heaven. I look forward to them and put a lot of thought and planning into them. I usually spend them alone which is peaceful and enjoyable for someone who spends most of her weekdays surrounded by people and constant talking.

This weekend I only get one day due to my dreaded staff duty. I asked Stephanie to join me in a Tucson day trip. I’m looking forward to enjoying Tucson for one last (maybe) time before I jet back home. There will be running, pedicures, lunch, grocery shopping and exploring involved… all key ingredients to an Army Paisley weekend.

4. Last few “I love you, Auntie” picture text messages from MommaG

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Every Wednesday my Mom watches Kenzlee and I get to join in on the fun through pictures. They usually involve two amazing things: my niece and my horse.

I’m looking forward to being able to physically join the fun. But they are definitely a sparkle in my week. 🙂

Tonight:

I planned on going grocery shopping, again. I made the list and planned it all out. I only have one egg left and no greek yogurt. Translated, that means breakfast is kind of non-existent. I live for breakfast so this is a problem.

I was cruising around and found this recipe and decided that I really didn’t want to get in my car after all. And I have “enough” of the ingredients to get by one more day.

And then I saw this in my refrigerator:

There’s only 2 left. And since I’m in the spirit of counting my lasts, I decided to celebrate. Celebrate what? Counting my lasts, duh.

And then grocery shopping was canceled.

Thanks to Jillian Michaels, I can barely walk. James told me that I was walking as if I needed to go to the bathroom — except in slightly more visual terms. Sore on so many levels it’s embarrassing.

Jillian Michaels kicked my ass. And I’m a CrossFitter (ex-CrossFitter these days). And I’m well aware of how this makes me look: lame. 

So I grabbed the beer, put my PJ’s on, bought a new book on my Kindle and I’m calling it a night.

Although this chapter at BOLC is ending, I’m happy to say goodbye. I’ll miss the gorgeous Arizona mountains. I’ll miss my rental car. And I’ll miss my weekend get-away’s. But that’s the way things go. All good (and bad) things must come to an end.

As I count my “last’s,” I’m keeping a positive outlook. I feel that I was blessed with the opportunity to become an intel officer. And I feel happy that I was able to train in Arizona over the winter. As many bad things have happened within my class (mostly frustrations), I’m thankful for the opportunity and the experiences.

And… Jillian Michaels, I’ll be back at it tomorrow, but for now…thank goodness for ibuprofen.

XO – Paisley

Army Thoughts

Today is proof that working out makes everything better in my life. Fact.

Mood. Energy. Happiness. All good stuff.

Today’s Army PT workout:

5 rounds:

  • 5 pull ups
  • 10 tricep dips
  • Run 1/3 mile

It was awesome. Except for the fact that I can barely do pull ups nowadays. But I’ll get them back in a few weeks when I start doing CrossFit regularly again. (EEEEE!!! 🙂 ) No worries over here!

Today:

My computer in class refused to allow me to access anything (powerpoint/Microsoft word) so there was a lot of hanging around for me. The techy-experts were in trying to figure it out which took roughly 3 hours. awesome. I love sitting around with nothing to do.

Frustration city.

Lunch:

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Crock pot pork and brussels 😀 with tomatoes, goat cheese, olive mix (MommaG would be proud), arugula and goddess dressing. Couldn’t finish it. Couldn’t finish my oats this morning either. Food is uninteresting lately. (Not to mention, I’m so sick of these hideous plates/bowls. 2. more. weeks.)

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Clean eats all over the place. Miss Jillian must be inspiring me. Or something? Or… Maybe that cute new bathing suit I got a few weeks ago?

Tonight:

Calves = tight, firey knots. Therefore, 6 miles was out of the question. Jillian took care of me. I was a sweaty mess after her little 20 minute workout. No wonder those ‘big loosers’ lose so much weight. She’s fantastic. I’m definitely a fan considering after the workout was done, I turned it off and flipped Glee on! At-home workouts may be a new thing for me. Me likey.

My Dad is cool. Like this is news to anyone. He sent me this picture:

I got those for him for Christmas. 54-years-old, does CrossFit AND stylish? Abso-freakin-lutely. Mom wears TOMS. And they wonder why I’m a shoe-addict. weird.

I want to cut my hair. Like, real bad… and be blonde again, like this:

But I don’t have the balls to do it. It’s taken me 3 years to grow out my hair. Then again… it’s super thin and damaged so why is it long, anyways?

Dancing at the wedding last weekend:

Darren and I are top left… I kinda love this picture.

Something to do/read:

Grocery lists of WHOLE FOOD and a workout you can do on a bench or chair!

XO

AP

There’s a reason…

Why would someone spend over $20 on a pair of workout pants? You’re just going to sweat in them.

Why would someone spend over $60 on a pair of workout pants? Because they motivate me.

Last night, I was just going to unpack my bag (yes, still packed from the weekend) and go to bed… But then I saw all my Lululemon. And then I really wanted to put it on. And then I wanted to go running. And so I did.

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There’s a reason people set the bar high. There’s a reason they push you. That reason is to see you succeed, learn and do better than you thought possible. That pushy-ness has been happening this week. I’ve been pushed farther than I feel comfortable with. Mentally.

For all you incoming or current BOLC students… MOD D is no joke. For me, that is. I don’t even feel like going to the gym when I get out of class. That is so not me. All I feel like doing is going home and staring at a wall. Almost. It is so draining.

But… there’s a reason I’m such a positive person. I’m hunting the good stuff tonight. I’m grateful for this week because I’ve been able to see my potential. I’m able to see all that I’ve learned over the last few months go into effect. My class is at the “run” phase and it feels great looking back at what we’ve accomplished.

Yes I only get about 10 minutes to shovel food down at lunch time. And yes I’m exhausted. And yes I can. not. wait. for the weekend to be here. But isn’t the whole point of me being here to learn and train? Well, Army, you sure got your money’s worth this week cause this soldier is trained to the MAX!!

Last year, right after I became a Lieutenant, I went through a leadership course. It was challenging. I didn’t feel comfortable speaking in front of my peers. Each day I was forced to present and/or talk about something in front of them. I, along with the rest of my classmates had to do this every day. By the end of the week I had even sung SCREAMED Happy Birthday … to MYSELF in front of them. It was mortifying. My last obstacle included presenting my leadership philosophy. I had to deliver it with excitement, motivation and a sense of dedication, etc. It was a challenge.

After everyone gave their philosophies, I was presented with the award for “most improved” — yes, it was a shake-a-weight, but still. The point is, there’s a reason people set the bar high. They see potential and want us to learn, improve and overall: succeed.

I’m fortunate to have people in my life who see the potential in me. They see the possibilities and my desire to learn.

This week has taught me a lot about myself. And for that I am grateful. Even though I hate being in a classroom for 10+ hours — it doesn’t last forever. I say this all the time, “I can do anything for 5 minutes, 5 hours and/or 5 days.” This time it was 5 days. I got this.

Tonight:

I did laundry and packing. I got the “OK” from my instructor to leave on time tomorrow. I’ll be sure to catch my 7pm flight. I can’t wait to dance the night away and celebrate Dianna and Shane getting married! I love weddings… don’t you!?!?!

XO – AP

PS: I’m so happy to be back at morning PT (no more combatives). This morning we did CrossFit inspired buddy workouts… of which involved squats. Oh my, those legs are already feelin’ it. Just wait until I’m back home… it’s going to be a very steep climb getting back to where I was. Ouch! — insert LOTS of ibuprofen!