Boot Camp - 8-20-09

It was the last official day of Boot Camp for the summer. I was expecting a fun morning of dodge ball or maybe even some relay races, but the Marines had different plans.

We started with a quick stretch and then went right into a box formation. At this point I was still hoping the dodge balls would be coming out...

For the next thirty minutes we went through so many exercises that I can not even remember them all. I know I worked my abs more than I have in a few weeks and I did more squats than I can count. Still no dodge balls...

As we were finishing, I saw that our Boot Camp shirts were being brought out to the gym. Now if you have never done the MUSC Boot Camp you may not realize how big of a deal this is, but it is big. I missed getting a shirt last time because I had to miss too many sessions while I was training for my first marathon. I was not a happy camper. I still look with resentment at the people wearing the "red" Boot Camp shirts...

We finally finished our workout and were called in for the "shirt ceremony". We also gave some gifts to the two Marines who were graduating and being commissioned. This is always my favorite part of Boot Camp.

One of those Marines is a guy named Bradford Parr and his graduation has even more importance for me. About two years ago he made me really think about what I was doing to myself. He was talking about the fact that you just can't come to Boot Camp and then go out and eat at Hardees (that was a little freaky, because that's exactly what I was doing). He talked about eating right and fueling your body. For whatever reason, something clicked inside of me and I made a huge change.
For the next six months Parr made a point of checking on me to see how I was doing. Around Christmas of that year and after I had lost about twenty pounds he gave me a Citadel Marine shirt. The shirt was nice, but it was a medium so I said thanks and figured I would just put it away. Ninety pounds later I put that shirt on and I still wear it. In fact, its the red shirt I am wearing in my "after" picture on my blog site.

I am honored to be invited to their commissioning ceremony and tomorrow at noon I plan on walking from my office to join the rest of the Boot Campers who will be in attendance.


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