Friday, August 13, 2010

It's amazing.  One week I am bubbling over with lots to say and can't type the words fast enough.  Another week (this week), I'm just out of words.  I guess you can say it was and it is not a "blogging kind of week."  But anyway, it's Friday yet again.  This day gets here so fast anymore and the calendar trips over to the next month faster, too.  I just can't believe it is August already.  For me in my hometown, it is marked by the Randolph Fair.  The Randolph Fair is old-school to the core.  Since I was a kid, nothing has changed.  The vendors are still in the same spot, the animal barns have the same 4-H clubs in them with the same kind of animals, and the same events happen in the grandstands, highlighted by the demolition derby and truck/tractor pulls.  I have never been to a better fair...ever.  The Ohio State Fair doesn't even come close.  There is just SO much to see and do.  Barns upon barns of kids' animals, crafts, lots of rides, and plenty of Amish-style funnel cakes.  It also unofficially marks the end of the summer and the beginning of the school-year.  Our school system starts immediately thereafter and one year, tried to start early.  That didn't go over too well and it was changed...immediately.  Around go to the fair...period.  Tradition for us as kids...tradition for us as adults and for our kids, too.  By the way, for you Fair fans...the parking stakes are in the ground and activity is bustling on the fairgrounds...I look everyday on my way home from work.  :-)

The pool.  Hmmm....  It has gone well, I suppose.  I am finding that I'm in it twice a week.  The opposite days, I stay home so Marjie can walk or run.  On Wednesday, I got up to 53 laps for 1.5 miles in 62 minutes.  I am doing better and better with few breaks at all and am getting faster and more efficient.  I've also got that floating buoy positioned perfectly to not move or float away without crossing my legs.  I simply imagine my legs as a raft behind me and use them zero!  Occasionally, I feel them tightened up and stressed which transmits into my adductor muscle group and I just relax.  But in all reality...I'm no swimmer and I don't like being in the pool vs. on the trails or the roads in my Brooks.  I miss running in a painful kind of way.  I've always said that running doesn't define me but I no longer think that's entirely true.  I think it does a bit.  That's what I's my thing.  I have such a burning desire to find and sign up for a 100-miler, I can barely stand it!  I know, I know...when I CAN will be a very slow, gradual buildup but rest assured, that is the goal.  Thinking about the cool fall breezes on the way, the colors changing, and the unbelievably gorgeous trails...hmmm...I just can't find the words to convey how badly I want to be out there.  It is a deep, burning passion.  

Work has peaked at a whole new level of stress for me.  It is over-the-top and learning to survive has become key.  Jokes told, goofiness infused, and every reach for fun during the day have become my coping mechanisms.  Ironically, my "part-time" job in the Navy, although it is causing long stretches of no-days-off, provides somewhat of a stress-relief.  I feel like I'm morphing from one person into a completely different an on/off switch.  My new role in leadership also has caused a tidal wave of e-mails and new conference calls in the evenings...even had one this past week that STARTED at 9pm.  Forget the "weekend warrior" assumption by the civilian population.  Not a day goes by where time is not devoted to the Navy...and I'm OK with that.  It IS for love of country that I do it and that makes it all "all right!"  I was also selected as a representative for the whole junior officer population in the midwest region on a committee with several senior officers.  To be on a committee, giving myself and my peers a voice to better join us together is a wonderful opportunity.  I was very gracious for the invite and even though it just "one more thing" on the plate, it is a great one and worth it.  It is certainly a spot where I can make a difference.  (plus, another trip to Chicago in September to meet with the other members including a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony capped off by a fly-by right over my head doesn't hurt either, right?!?)

Have a great weekend, everyone.  I know I will.  Another weekend to remember is on tap and I'll certainly have some things to talk about come Monday morning.

Happy Trails, everyone!

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