Thursday, April 14, 2022
Monday, December 27, 2021
Shoot Move and Communicate- Fitness was a general failure this year. There were some high points like consistent BJJ training but otherwise I need to do better in 2022
Goal 700 miles run,bike or hike- Actual just over 320 miles. Not the best I have ever done. I just lost interest this year.
Goal 36 30 minute dryfire or range sessions- Actual 36. I met this goal so that's good. But this is also counting some 8 hour classes.
Goal 208 workouts of over 30 minutes- Actual 210. Just barely made it
Goal 104 yoga sessions- Actual 5. LOL not even close. My doctor says I need to do this to help my sore back. So I need to do this.
Goal 2500 PU,10000SU,10000PU- Actual unsure the amount as I lost the total sometime around September in an app crash. But I was well under the goal. Also lost interest
Goal 104 hours BJJ and 24 Hours No Gi BJJ- Actual 134 hours total with 26 hours of No Gi. Yes met my goal.
Classes attended- 10 pretty eclectic mix of medical, survival, shooting and fighting
Knife Control Concepts ID-Aaron Janetti
EWO- Craig Douglas
EMS Instructor Update
GST1 Recertification- Gracie University
Webinar Grappling in a Weapons' Based Environment- Cecil Burch
Two Person Armed Defense-Rob Pincus
Pathfinder School Basic Survival Course- Dave Canterbury
Glock Armorer- Glock Staff
Next Level Pistol- Mike Anderson
266 EMS calls
170 hours Reserve PD
68 individual courses taught- Subjects ranging from 2 hours seminars on how to clean a firearm to 16 weeks Emergency Medical Technician curriculum. Including Pistol, Rifle, Medical, Knife defense, Grappling, Managing Unknown Contacts and Permit to Carry
Goal- Read 20 books. Only managed to finish 15 this year
Goal- Listen to 10 audiobooks. Crushed this one with 14
Goal- Write 12 blogposts and/or 2 articles. Although I have well over 12 blogposts. I didn't really "write" any. Mostly pictures posted with a few lines. Definitely not as prolific as I was a few years ago. Ill try to put pen to paper this year.
That's a wrap I guess. I lost a lot of my statistics in that app crash. I downloaded a new one to keep track of things in 2022. Love you Mom hope you enjoyed it.
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Colonel John Boyd was famous for being a legendary fighter pilot and for popularizing his famous OODA loop theory of human cognition. Colonel Boyd was also famous for other things, like his questioning of authority and the fact he never made General. He once challenged us to Be or to Do.
Boyd said "To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?
What did he mean by this? Boyd was trying to say that we can be somebody, gain recognition and be a big shot or we can do something and make positive change. They are not mutually exclusive but they are not the same thing. Many of us, myself included, will fall into a trap of trying to chase that next promotion or the next best thing. we will worry about what others think of us and try to impress them.
The famous Roman Emperor and Stoic Marcus Aurelius' said " It never ceases to amaze me: we love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinions than our own." We often agonize over what people think of us when really they are not thinking of us at all. We can continue to try and impress those that barely notice or we can do.
We can do by effecting positive change. The US Army Special Forces call themselves "The Quiet Professionals." USASF conducts hundreds of missions globally in support of the National Command Authority objectives and they consider it mission success if no one even knows they were there.
So are we to be about impressing others or are we to devote our life to leaving things better than we found them? Are we to spend our time accumulating wealth and accolades or strengthening our bodies, minds and families?
On this, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks choose to do, be a quiet professional.
Friday, July 30, 2021
Sharron McElmeel Great Grand-Grandmother, Grand-Mother, Mother, Wife, and Literary Warrior 13 Sep 1942- 26 July 2021
Buried my Mother today. Here is the Eulogy I read. So many nice things were said. I can't even begin to encapsulate what she meant to me.
“You will give yourself relief, if you do every act of your life
as if it was your last-”Marcus Aurelius Meditations Book II
My Mother lived a life worth living. She touched so many lives
you would be hard pressed to find them all. Through her many activities
as an Educator, Literacy advocate, Champion of those that couldn’t
champion for themselves,Wife, Mother, Grand-Mother and Great-Grandmother.
She was always trying to gently nudge people to be a better
version of themselves.
I remember when I was 4 or 5 years old and she brought home
discarded Dick and Jane Books and started teaching me to read.
I remember when I was in elementary school and she took
me to Pizza Hut to get my very own personal pan pizza for finishing
the Book It Summer reading challenge. I was so excited!
I remember not being able to get away with anything in
High School because she was the head Media Specialist
at that High School.
I remember her showing me the albums in that same library.
The music I listened to then has colored my musical tastes to this day.
I remember how angry she was when I joined the Army.
We argued. She wanted me to get an education and
she thought I was making a mistake.
I also remember how proud she was of my career
and all the questions she had about places I lived.
I remember how proud she was of me when I finally got that education.
When I received my Masters Degree she had my diplomas,
all my diplomas matted in a huge display at what must have
been a significant expense.
I remember her constantly helping my children navigate through life’s issues.
They would regularly call Grandma for help often before calling me.
I remember her refusing to give any of those same children any
Christmas or Birthday present other than a book.
“Readers are leaders Michael..she would say”
I remember her turning every conversation back to children's literature.
“Hey did you know XYZ author wrote a book about this?
No Mother but why don't you tell me
I remember many political discussions. My mother and I were
opposed to many things politically and sometimes it got heated
but never disrespectful and she always listened to my side
sometimes even changing her mind.
I remember her talking about her trip to Switzerland for years afterward.
For a small town girl from Iowa it must have been an exciting experience.
I remember people asking her “ How can you have 6 only children”
It was obvious she treated us all with her full attention every time.
I remember her excitedly talking about her Grand-children and
Great Grand-Child. It was another chance for her to personally
influence young lives. It was her mission for them to not
accept the boundaries they set for themselves.
I remember talking to her 2 weeks ago. The last time I talked to her
she was in the basement because of a tornado warning. I had called
to see if she was ok. She assured me she was fine,
I told her to stay safe and we hung up. It was a short conversation.
I wish it would have been longer.
I remember this past Wednesday. I was hiking with my dog and
I thought of her every time I saw a butterfly or purple flowers.
Your Mother is always with you! ©
By: Deborah R Culver
She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.
She’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick,
the fragrance of life itself.
She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well.
She’s your breath in the air on a cold winters’ day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow.
She is Christmas morning.
Your mother lives inside your laughter.
She’s the place you come from, your first home.
She’s the map you follow with every step you take.
She’s your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy.
But nothing on Earth can separate you.
Not even death.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
A few weeks ago I was in a very dark place. I don't often let life get to me and outwardly people would say I appear to have my shit together. But internally I allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the totality of my perceived failures.
What are those failures? I felt like I wasn't progressing professionally, intellectually or athletically. I have attended some training classes in the last 6 months where I perceived I didn't met my own standards. I am doing a job I love but maybe there is no where to go from there? My workouts are no less intense, however the volume is waning, as recovery is not only essential but mandatory to maintain the status quo. I have essentially quit running, an activity I used to be obsessed with. Ultimately I felt that at 57 years old I have peaked and things will never progress farther. After a literal lifetime of setting and conquering goals I am struggling to keep from sliding back down the hill. This is very hard to accept.
"The more we value things out of our control the less control we have-Marcus Aurelius"
I became acquainted with Stoic philosophy a few years ago and have read most of the famous texts. I try to apply the tenets to my life the best I can. As happens to all of us while seeking self improvement I tend to do this imperfectly. After moping about for a few days I realized my descent into depression was all due to EGO. I was feeling down because of what I perceived others thought of me and my failings. What I realized is that I cannot control others perceptions of me. Quite honestly the majority of people are too worried about their own life and problems to think about me at all. Those friends and family that reached out to me were kind and uplifting. My entire focus was wrong.
"We suffer more in imagination than reality-Seneca"
Making a conscious effort to control the EGO has been liberating the last few weeks. Trying very hard to no longer care what others think about me but to continue down the path as best I can has lightened my mood and increased my enjoyment of the day to day. A small example, I have always had body image issues. I have not been gifted with the most natural physique or most athletic skills. I have worked hard over the years to maintain fitness and develop skills. But genetics being what they are age and time have blessed me with what most would call a "Dad Bod". Recently I mowed my yard with my shirt off because it was hot. No big deal right? To me that was huge. I can count on my fingers the times in my life when I have been in public without a shirt on after the age of 10. I decided to not care what others thought. I quit worrying about what I couldn't control ( their thoughts) and worried about what I could control ( my comfort). Its a small step further down the path.
I will continue to fail going forward but as Ryan Holiday said in his book Ego is the Enemy, the work is enough.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
In an attempt to contextualize and revitalize my literary output I will be stopping the mission creep here at the Former Action Guy Blog. Going forward this blog will only contain "War Stories and Random Thoughts"
To follow my instructional posts go to www.eighteenzulu.blogspot.com
To see posts on my personal training go to https://formeractionguytraining.blogspot.com/
Thursday, December 31, 2020
2 CPR classes
10 Personal blog entries
106 hours worked as a Reserve Police Officer.
Friday, October 30, 2020
Thursday, July 9, 2020
My Labrador and hiking companion Mel went with me on a short overnight hiking trip this past week.
We took off on Tuesday about 0800 for the 2 hour drive to Yellow River State Forest in Northeast Iowa. Once we showed up we geared up signed in and headed out. This is the same place we did some hiking last year so I was familiar with the area. We decided to do some exploring and go a different route from last year. That lead to our first tactical error. The first mile on the trail we selected was super steep. It took us about 45 minutes and Mel was blowing pretty hard. Being a black Lab she gets overheated quickly and its was over 90 degrees. We rested, ate and I took her pack off for awhile. We drank about half our water so my next plan was to make towards the camp we had stayed at last year be because I knew there was a creek there. So we hiked that way drinking the rest of our water enroute. When we got there I refilled water and let Mel drink her fill. I also got her soaked down from the creek. We then made our way a short distance to the camp site. To take a break. When we got there we ate again and this was about 3:30 in the afternoon. I decided to take a small nap and let us both cool down. After about 15 minutes I heard what appeared to be thunder and the wind picked up. I decided to set up the tent "just in case." Lucky I did because right after I got the tent up and everything inside it started a torrential downpour. Mel and I stayed in the tent for about 90 minutes before it stopped. At that point neither of us felt like going farther so we decided to spend the night. Day one mileage 5 miles.