Muddy Expectations

Standard

It’s great to have a few talents to be able to show off and earn the admiration and respect of others from time to time.  Do you know what else is great, though?  Guarding some unexpected talents that might only be best employed in an emergency, or when true necessity arises.  I work on a computer all day doing programming and such, and so naturally family and friends would ask me all the time for help with their computers and such.  Except for those who know me well and those I’ve allowed into the, well… trustmany folks necessarily don’t know the extent of my various other hobbies or talents (congratulations on being in the semi-circle of trust).  For example, from the moment I was able to swing a hammer or carry materials I was helping my dad on minor construction jobs, to the point where I became very good at it and worked construction well into my twenties.  It was a steady paycheck and honest work, but eventually I knew it was not how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.  Despite having eventually moved on to one of my real passions of working with computers, though, I am still thankful for all that I learned during that time of my life.  Specifically, it’s great to be able to fix up and improve my own house, something I’ve been doing a whole lot of lately with seeking to sell our current home and pursuing a new abode.  These types of skills can also be extremely helpful in a post-SHTF (S…tuff Hits The Fan) situation, where skills in construction and engineering can be at a premium.  Do a little blending of the two (construction and skill with electronics) and you just might find yourself to be indispensable when troubles arise.  My advice is to at least know your way around basic, non-electric or -rechargeable-battery-powered tools, that can be useful in a multitude of situations.  This is the kind of stuff you can scavenge from department stores, garages, or even kitchens if the situation is dire enough (only when the big S has hit the fan of course) that may very well save your life.  Better yet, attend to your EDC (Every Day Carry) items now and ensure that you are including a multi-tool and a tactical flashlight at minimum.  Here’s a shot of my EDC for reference:

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  • J5 Tactical V1 Pro Flashlight – purchased from Amazon
  • Folding pocket knife – I’m really sorry, there’s no brand listed on it, I think I got it at a gun/knife show a while back 😦
  • Gerber Suspension multitool – purchased at Walmart
  • Plain trifold wallet with snap button closure and chain attachment eyelet – purchased at Kohls
  • Pocket comb – purchased in multi-pack from Dollar Tree
  • Chapstick – available anywhere 🙂
  • (Not pictured) Space pen – recently I’ve started including a pen with sturdy construction and pressurized ink cartridge that writes in any conditions, very handy

Trust me when I say it’s normal to feel a little bit silly at first with some new items strapped to your belt every day, but it becomes normal very quickly when you realize just how much use you get our of them.  My wife questioned me about the flashlight more than anything since, why?  …”everybody has a flashlight on their phone these days. Why do you need a regular one?”  While this is true in general, I was never willing to admit just how inconvenient using the phone for this purpose was prior to just keeping a compact tactical flashlight on my belt everyday.  Simply put, screw my phone, I will never rely on it again for a light except in some strange situation where I have nothing else at my disposal, which I hope to avoid with my trusty tactical flashlight…  It is far brighter, starts up infinitely faster, and this model has run off a single AA battery for over a month with no diminishing of the light.  Can the phone say any of that?  …no, but I have gotten off track a bit here, though.

To put it simply, it is prudent to not get too complacent with whatever your standard routine is, and mix it up with some useful training that can both help you have a more healthy lifestyle and protect you if things don’t go as planned.

Wait, you meant physical mud??

A big part of being healthy is something I’ve mentioned in passing before, and that is staying in shape.  I will admit it has been increasingly difficult to allot time and energy for my physical well-being as of late, with the house-hunt and repairs/improvements taking up most of my non-work time.  I am doing my best, though, to retain at least some semblance of my previous level of physical commitment, and I hope it showed in the fact that this past weekend I was able to complete the Rugged Maniac 5k & Obstacle Race with some friends.

It was my first mud run/obstacle course, and I definitely feel like I’m hooked.  Being out there in the crowds, getting amazing exercise, and being more filthy than you ever thought possible is fantastic in its own right, but on top of that you get a tiny feeling of what the military personnel might have to go through out there everyday.  By the time I finished the race, I felt like a warrior for having done so, but there was something else much more striking.  We were in awe to have seen a group of members from Operation Enduring Warrior participating in the race alongside us, assisting wounded veterans in completing the obstacles and challenges along the way.  God bless all of them for their amazing commitment, it was incredible to witness.

We finished the race and so did thousands of others throughout the day, including the brave men and women involved with Operation Enduring Warrior, and nothing can take that from any of us.  Completing this gave me my second race medal, as I’ve really just begun exploring this hobby, but it holds a particularly special meaning to me, seeing these warriors who were unwilling to give up despite impossible odds.  Not only that, but we are the temple of the Lord, and we are called to be available for His service.  Hence I, and we, need to get our there and keep our strength and determination ready, be it for a cause at the moment or just in preparation for something to come; it is crucial to be prepared.  This was my first mud run event, but it will definitely not be my last.

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