Monday, May 14, 2012


A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....wait, wrong story.
Here's the right story.
Back in the day (it was a Tuesday, perhaps?), the Marine Corps used to have fitness reports - which are really performance evaluations - that graded us (as Marines) on many different character traits.
There were three sections to the old fitness reports - Section A was meant for your personal information, Section C was a written narrative of your behavior/accomplishments/leadership abilities, and Section B contained a series of small boxes where you were rated from Outstanding to Unsatisfactory, or Not Observed if it did not apply, on several traits and characteristics.
One of these traits was endurance.
Now the school of thought always held that this block for marking your "endurance" was really meant to be about how you endured in combat. For most of my career we were never in combat, save for a few small conflicts/skirmishes, most notably in 1990-91 and 2003. I was a peace-time/Reagan-era Marine.
Which is not a bad thing.
It's just that for well over 20 years the block marking our "endurance" was never really about true endurance. It was just a block to be checked.
But we talked about endurance - that mental toughness to keep on going, the physical ability to consistently maintain even when you were close to breaking down.
And I've met people in my life who have their own coping mechanisms, their own way of enduring through difficult times.
So while the fitness report was changed in the late '90s, the idea of "endurance" never has left my mind, and neither have all the conversations we used to have about it.
What it means to endure.
Well the past few months have been pretty ridiculously tough, and the past few weeks have been unbelievably stressful, but I have endured.
And now I'm on the other side.
What has helped? Lots of things, but also the knowledge that no matter what, I must and will endure.
I mean they do teach you that as a Marine, and wearing that title for the rest of my life means that I have a legacy to uphold.
And I did.
I endured the difficult time.
And that's also why I fell asleep at 7:00 pm last night and slept straight through until morning.
Because everyone who comes out on the other side certainly deserves a well-earned rest, don't you think?
Probably some yarn too. I'm gonna get right on that.

1 comment:

charlotte said...

oh lots of yarn I would say!! And better times ahead my friend. x x x