I’m trying to get back into shape. When I was young, I was very athletic, and I think it’s a little unfair to my wife (who never knew me back then) and myself that I’m not anymore. I know what happened (sort of)– After High School, I stopped playing sports and started working in an office, and after 14 years, I woke up fat! Anyways, I started going to the gym with my wife a few months ago. As a reward for actually GOING to the gym, we bought ourselves some pretty cool mp3 players and downloaded a bunch of music to work out with.
I’ve found that when I’m doing the cardio portion of my workouts, listening to military cadence helps to make the workout better. I can go faster, farther, and it makes me feel like I’m a little tougher because I keep up with the cadence of Army Rangers and Navy Seals(in the real world, if I tried to keep up with Army Rangers, my heart would claw its way out of my throat, flip me off, and I would die!). Since I work alone in my office unless I’m with a client, I like to have a little music playing to cut the silence, so I play my player. Every once in a while, one of the running songs came on before I could stop it. That got me thinking.
When we (my brothers and I) were young, there was a lot of us, and not a lot of money to go around. Our parents made decent money, but with kids, decent isn’t always enough. Some of my brothers joined the military right after school. I will say right now that I didn’t. At that period in my life, I wouldn’t have been a good fit for service. One of my brothers did his tour, saw the world, got free housing, and a paycheck. He lives in Germany now, and is pretty happy with life. Another one stayed in for 20 years, got a degree, saw the world, bought a house, got a pretty decent paycheck, lots of awards and medals, gets a healthy retirement check for the rest of his life, and now lives in Southern California and is pretty happy with life. He’s working as a teacher now, and will be collecting a second, very healthy retirement check in about 15 years.
Armed service isn’t for everybody (like me), but for those who are a good fit, it can be a really good way to get a jump on a good life. Right now, it’s a little scary, but every active military person I know now thinks the benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks. If you are getting out of high school soon, or if you are in college, and you want to have the government pay for your continuing education, it is something to consider.