Gotta Whole Lot of Love


November 16, 2000

The NCO Academy saga continues...
I'm my own worst enemy. We did a warm-up jog for volleyball and I lapped everyone on a 3/4 mile track twice in the run. I don't like to draw attention to myself. School was pressure enough, but I wasn't going to forego a workout just to blend in. After that I was pressured to sign up for the 4-man relay and the mile run for the big event--NCO Academy Sports Day. All ten NCO Academy Flights would compete in sporting events for the title of Sports Day Champions(pictures courtesy of Tyndall Air Force Base NCO Academy Staff).

Just days before Sports Day, in a game of basketball, a large classmate came down on my foot, messing it up and two days later, in volleyball I landed square on my heel, sending pain up my leg. Arghhh...I sat out on training the next week to be sure my ankle was healed for Sports Day. I'd been wearing four pair of socks for three days to heal it. As I watched my mates play kick-ball, Ronald, a classmate, hurt his ankle. He was on our relay team but was out, which put more pressure on me because we'd lost one of our strong runners.

I gave Ronald some Motrin. Yes, I'm distributing drugs.

On Sports Day I was so nervous I was like a dog in heat. I didn't hump anything but I was pacing, babbling, swinging my arms, trying to stay warm. I borrowed James's hat to keep my hair down. He'd volunteered to fill in for Ronald. He was my friend but didn't look like much of a runner.

Rick was our lead runner, Erin second, James third, and me the last. Rick started us off--ran the first 402 meters so hard he had to go lie down because he thought he was having a heart-attack. Erin was impressive. She passed two guys and handed off to James in fourth place. James passed another runner and put his heart into it and did a very impressive run. All the while I was running back and forth, cheering my people and then we came to the last leg. The two lead runners handed off to their men and all I saw were streaks of light out of the corner of my eye. James (background in maroon sweatshirt) was still coming...coming...coming...

Where will you be when your laxative kicks in?>>>
He passed the baton to me and we went to a full sprint. I don't think I've ever run that fast in my life…considering our collective team time was 5 minutes flat for a mile and I was running far faster than my teammates. I gained on second and first place, but was over 30 meters behind at the handoff and only had 402 meters to catch up. We almost caught the winner but we were flying! We got third.
I still had to run the mile. I didn't want to burn out and I was the only one doing the two back-to-back. For 15 minutes I ran around looking for water but couldn't find any. I tasted blood. I found a sink and splashed some water in my mouth. My inner thighs were very tight. I whimpered like a sick dog.
At the start I went off the front, tailgating the leader. At the 1/4-mile I heard a gasp from him and I bolted. I pulled away the entire run while Erin and James were at different points cheering me on. Erin kept yelling, "PUSH IT 'TILL YOU PUKE!" I won by 147 meters. Everyone was shaking my hand. They said I was an animal...hehehe...a Horsey, of coursey.

I walked over to see how our volleyball team was doing just as Ken got kneed in the head and knocked unconscious. We laid him on the court and tried to wake him. I leaned him on me as we waited for the ambulance. (see people in background on volleyball court)

Manufacturing bird-dropping fertilizer>>>
He'd been struck behind the ear and was delirious, with his eyes rolling up a few times. After 15 minutes it looked like no one was coming, so James took over for me and I talked to the instructors. They were like the Keystone Cops running around, asking stupid questions, and no one knew what was going on. They called another ambulance just as the first one showed up. Oh boy--this is not helping my confidence in our emergency services. So we had two ambulances.

Ken was hauled away as Ronald came limping across the field saying they needed someone to replace Ken in the water balloon toss. I told him I couldn't catch to save my life (small hands), don't toss off very well, but I went anyway. We were eliminated in the first round. I hate to say I told you so but…itys...

Then we had the dizzy-bat contest (it wasn't all legitimate sports), where you stand a bat on the ground, press your head against it, spin in circles until you are dizzy and then try to run across a field to your other teammates. You know the drill.

I'd signed up for it at the last minute after Ronald got hurt. It was our big finish. There were six of us. Erin went before I did and it was funny because after I spun the bat I started running, weaving because I was so dizzy, trying to find my teammates and there was Erin kneeling with her arms open screaming,"COME TO MAMA!!!" She's funny and she left a big target to aim for. I ran towards her and just as I started weaving again I took a dive into her. We got 2nd. Then we were killed in the tug-o-war.

Pulling a was the best I could think of...sorry>>>
Out of all the events, we got two first places, three thirds, and one second, and our team won the team competition! They told us to hold our applause when the announcement was made but we started screaming and jumping up and down. Erin was behind me so I lifted her up over the guys and we all went nuts for about 30 seconds. It was very cold so we all huddled to keep warm and kept hugging each other.

After school we piled into four cars and went to the base hospital to find Ken, Mr. Head Trauma. They said he'd gone downtown, so we all drove downtown and found him in the emergency room. He was so surprised we all came to see him, and we gave him the first T-shirt we won that day. We were all a little goofy and for a while I thought they were going to throw us out, that group of middle-aged military professionals who were unable to be let out in public. You'd think we won the Olympics, the way we were carry on. After the doctor released him we went to Hooters (I didn't want to but we were having

so much fun and carpooling, and I don't eat owl but I didn't want to ruin it). We stayed there four hours (I was a designated driver) and watched the guys flirt with the waitresses. Everyone was saying how much they loved the people in our class (there were 16 of us all together and we'd known each other just over two weeks). We were so excited about that day. We were all on a high. I told James afterwards I was feeling too much love in the class and was feeling too uncomfortable. It's true. I'm not used to this, but it does feel good. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Got a whole lot of love and no where to put it.

Our group had a lot of character. Later in the week we gave speeches and our class leader, Steve, told us how he called his son the night after we won Sports Day. He didn't know anyone two weeks ago but now he said there was something cool in everyone. Wow...I just know he was talking about me and didn't want to show up everyone else.