I went for a run today. Of course it was in the middle of the muggy heat. As I stretched on the back porch, my wife commented about how 'crazy' I was for running at the worst time of day.
It got me thinking.
Why, as current and former members of the military, do we push the red line? Why does it seem like we have a couple screws loose?
We Love A Good Challenge
You don't go into the military for something easy. We each look for a challenge. The great thing about being in the Marine Corps, Navy, etc...is that the Services give us plenty of challenges. One day it's a grueling hump, the next it's a pissy Major looking for the proper request form. We learn to live with the challenges and exceed our own expectations.
When we leave the military we don't change. The world wants us to assimilate, but we resist. I don't know about you, but I'm not about to turn into a lazy lump.
What makes us climb the last rung, hump the last mile or chug the next beer? It's that 'Screw It' mentality. As I was sweating my ass off on my run, I had a flashback of one of the many times I said "Screw It" much to the disgust of others.
It was the night before a 20-mile hike. My roommate and I had been designated Tail-End Charlies (you know, the guys in the back of the formation that kick the others in the ass and pickup any stragglers) since the beginning of training. At the time we really liked to push ourselves. This go-around we decided it would be fun to head down to the bar and drink a few pitchers of beer. You know. "Screw it!" As the night wore on our peers walked by asking,
"What are you guys doing?"
"Are you crazy?"
"What is wrong with you?"
We just laughed and said, "Just wait. We'll still kick your asses."
I have no idea how much we drank, but neither wanted to back down.
The next morning we formed up with the rest of our class and headed off. I'm pretty sure we smelled like a Coors brewery for the first five miles.
We obviously didn't feel one hundred percent, but we'd be damned if we were going to show it. Word got around and we just kept on smiling and pushed those in front of us.
It may not have been the smartest thing, but we didn't care. We were Marines. We were tough. We could do things harder and better than the others.
Today I just look back and laugh. Now I use my 'Screw It' attitude to do things that other people told me I shouldn't do. Here's a short list:
- You shouldn't be writing books.
- You shouldn't waste time helping others learn how to write.
- You should go get a real job.
- Why do you spend so much time with your family?
Sometimes you have to grab a pair and give the world the finger. Show it who's boss. I know you've all been there.
I'm proud to call you my friends. Know that I'm always here to push you like others have pushed me. You push me to write better and better stories. I thank you for that.
Now it's your turn.
What's your story?
When did someone say you couldn't do something?
Leave your tale in the comments section below.
photo credit: CherryPoint via photopin cc