October 16′ Army NG Drill: APFT and Chill

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This October 2016 drill overall was one of the most relaxed drills I’ve had in a while. It was a two day drill and we started with the annual APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) my whole sub section passed, which is awesome. I don’t have to worry about my officers breathing down my neck about it. I did really well scoring a 280/300. CrossFit has really helped maintain my fitness as I was able to run a sub 14min two mile which puts my run time 4th in our company.
After the APFT we did much of nothing. This year we’re having a winter annual training up north, so we was going to go over CBRNE raid and disposal scenarios. But it rained all day Saturday after the APFT and Sunday and the leadership didn’t want to get everything dirty since we will be leaving in December for annual training. The air assault infantry already called dibs on the drill hall, so we just basically sat around in the barracks studying our RECON pamphlets and did gave out information for our plane tickets.

Next month is a MUTA 8 drill (4 days) and it should be good one. We’re going to range to qualify with our individual’s weapons, so we have more time for field operations for annual training. Then we pack everything up for the C130 ride to winter wonderland. It’s already snowing there just waiting for us southerners. Thank god we don’t have to sleep in the field!

And sorry mom I couldn’t travel back and be with you for your 60th birthday weekend. Hopefully, we can go to beach next time around!

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February Army Drill: zzzZZzzzzZZZZz

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Welp. This month was nowhere near as exciting last month, but we still got allot accomplished. We serviced our pro masks, paperwork and briefings, and a quick night time land nav course.

We did get some great news though. We will be getting the new pro masks for awhile to train with, and we’re prepping for FTX: Knight Dragon. Knight Dragon is going to be an live fire exercise with our cav scouts. Mission is to break and secure CBRN weapons stored in a reinforced complex.

Transferring to this unit was a great decision. Texas have a huge budget and I’m with other CBRN soldiers and not the solo CBRN nco. Been awhile since I got excited for upcoming drills!

Last blog post this yr. A review of 2014.

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(No shave November beard. Right before I had to shave it all off for drill)

2014…. What a crazy year this had been for me. I grew so much as an individual this year than I have the previous 25 years. Lets recap a little bit. Beginning this year, I was going into my last semester at LSU. I took my last 15hrs of course work I needed for my Biological Engineering degree, doing crossfit to lose weight and on top of that I worked nights at a local cancer hospital. I would hardly get any sleep. In the middle of the semester, I lost my best friend Brandon. A drunk driver hit Brandon while he walked on the sidewalk coming home one night. It destroyed me. I remember all the talks we had about graduating together. His mom pretty much left loved ones to start a new life in America. Brandon was the 1st generation of Japanese American in his family and he was just two months away from graduating LSU.. His mom was so proud. That’s all she would brag about. Like I said losing Brandon was awful. He was the best friend, roommate, study buddy anyone could ever ask for. At this point my grades was so iffy I told myself, I might as well drop out and try again in the fall semester. Severe depression was a bitch. For three months, I could barely eat one meal a day. I didn’t enjoy gaming at all anymore, which still holds true to this day. And the little time I did have to sleep I couldn’t. However, my parents and love ones told me to do it for him and so I did. In May, after five years at LSU I finally received my degree in Bio Engineering from LSU. About a month later, I got accepted into Texas University Grad school program. Brandon’s killer later on this year pleaded guilty.

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(The top of my graduation cap all decked out with the help of my god child. Texas star to represent a new start in Texas.)

During the summer, before I left for Texas that fall, I reconnected with my some of my fiends. I hardly ever was a Facebook user. Still hardly use it today, but it was a platform to reach out to them. The past two years I was so career focused that I drifted away from a lot of my love ones. It was great to go back mudding, hoops, paint balling, bar hopping, going to different events and be able to enjoy myself when I was out. I went to Venice Beach, California. There I was able to finally try surfing. Getting better at it, but still have a long ways to go. I went by myself, but it was what I needed to self reflect and try to be a person that I wanted to be.

August comes around and to grad school I went. I found myself in pretty much the same position. Working and studying all the time, fighting to find a balance. I would actually catch a break. A full time position opened up at the university. I applied for it, two days later I had my interview with the Dr. Bennett. I “studied” for this interview, but during the actual interview I felt like I did a shitty job at selling myself. At the end of the interview he ask me what was my salary expectation. I told him 30k. I was going to ask for around 40k, but like I said, I felt like I didn’t sell myself good enough. He was looking for two Laboratory Assistants, somehow he hired me. At 25 years old, I finally was working a “real job.” Can’t tell you how grateful I was to get hired on. I was seeing everyone else I graduated with land great jobs. I was shocked and had some envy on how many got hired overseas! With working full time, I dropped out of my graduate classes. A lot still was going on for me at the moment.

Later Dr. Bennett would explain the university couldn’t pay me that little even if he was a asshole. Him and his staff was impressed with my internships with 3 months at NASA internship and a year at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer and hired me on as a Laboratory Assistant III with the salary of 52k a year. I said buh bye to my apartment and on the outskirts, paid the fee and moved downtown Austin.

After all those years studying, I finally can say it was worth it. A childhood friend/band mate would even come back into my life. I blog about it earlier. Go check out “Enter Rosilia” for more details on that subject.

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           (What cha looking at Rosilia?!)

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              (Jamie sneaking a picture)

At this point, I’m just living life. Working, volunteering for charity events, crossfit, got three tattoos, traveling and building a social life here in Texas. A woman named Jamie asked me out on a date. Few months later in December we are now “official.” Her family invited me to come with them to Costa Rica for Christmas and then they would come to Louisiana to ring in the New Years. I’ve lost 41lbss. I went from 211lbs to 170lbs (9% body fat) with all of the work I’ve been putting into crossfit. I’ve competed in a crossfit competition and doing another in January. I’m stoked, my friend is coming to document my events, so I will have more stuff to share with you all.

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(Me at a crossfit competition. Sporting my 1st tattoo before I got my half sleeve done)

The most important thing I realize about myself this year is this: I had build walls and put blinders on for a long time, I just focus on my coursework and my career. What suffers in the meantime is relationship with my mother, with my dad, with my brothers, with my girl. Of course I love these people and they love me. And they’ll forgive me and they’ll be like “Oh, I understand, you’re so busy taking the necessary steps to improve the quality of your life.” That might work for a while, but at some point this year I was just like nah, man. I want to be a better son. Spend more time with my mom and dad and get to know them better. Same thing applies to my brothers, my girl and with my friends. It’s so easily get fooled by the artificial things. Yes, it’s great living downtown and not living paycheck to paycheck is a blessing. Real happiness doesn’t come from that. My character, the bonds that I make and the difference I can make to someone else life is what makes things worthwhile and last. Everything artificial, you keep on chasing and chasing it. Once you obtain something you’re just looking for the next thing to get. I still have a lot of growing to do. God willing, I will live many more years. At 26, I’m just figuring these things out.

Can’t say thank you enough for all the support. From the emails, to the DMs, you guys helped me get through the tough times.  Be safe this holiday season. Blog to y’all in 2015.

-JiNX
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Get JiNXED #1

Hello Sanctuary! It’s been a couple of days and you guys deserve a post for being awesome. Lately, emails that im receiving are about me getting back to my personal style of blogging, so this series “Get JiNXED” will be all about the new happenings with my life. Let us begin.

Life is great right now guys. 2014 my main goals was to graduate from LSU (Biological Engineering), find a job, move into my own space and be independent. As of June, I’ve accomplished all those goals. I finally fully furnished two bedroom apartment, got involved in crossfit here and working in a lab doing medical research. Crossfit is amazing. I love it and so far have made a lot of friends there. It’s definitely help me get to my fitness goals. Currently, I have 9% body fat weighting around 178lbs. The job is very mentally taxing, but at the end of the day it’s so worth it. New place, no worries. My social life is very alive and healthy here. Paige moved in with me and I couldn’t be happier that we decided to do that. I’ve known her for two years, but it definitely different when you actually live with someone. This relationship is the best when it comes to communication. If not at dinner, every night as we cuddle to go to bed our pillow talks are about us. It’s a great feeling to be able to verbally express anything to your partner everyday. Sure, the time will come that we’re seriously going to bump heads, but right now we’re in a great place. We only have two routinely events: Spa day Mondays, we both go and get spoiled at the spa. One of her personal preference is no hair below the neck, so I get waxed and everything. Great way to end a Monday. Once a week, we hop on my motorcycle or drive taking the backroads while singing country songs together and go to this hill during the evening/night and watch “dry lighting” Currently, there’s no pressure. We’re truly enjoying each other day by day. Don’t matter if she gains weights or what she do for a living. I’ve really fallen for her.

Some ask: When you get a great job or reach milestone do people around you change? Eh. Yes and no. Just want to say that I never go around and disclose how much money I make. Even when my friends do ask me. One thing I can say is that majority of my friends have great character. Even tho I may reach the level in life that they’re trying to get they know I’m still ole JiNX. On the other hand, sadly yes there are people I know that treats me way differently. Majority for immature reasons like I don’t belong in their social class or whatever. It hurts a little because some of these people mean a lot to me. What I do for a living or how much money I make don’t define me as a person. Yes. I like to take Paige on expensive dates from time to time or travel, but by posting pictures of it is not rubbing it in your face. I’m sure as hell not the smartest or talented guy in the world. I got here through pure work ethic. If I can achieve it, so can you. I would love to even help you get there.

Let’s talk Army. Most of you know I transferred from my old unit to a new one. Currently, I’m filling an E5/SGT 19D: Cav Scout slot. Now I was originally planning on going to OCS, but I ETS in 2016 which means that I would needed to reup in order to go to OCS. I’m 50/50 on if im going to reup or not. I’m going to see how the last two years play out and make a decision when that time comes, but in the meantime it would be awesome if I can catch a deploymemt somewhere. I miss the people in my old unit, but the thing with guard it’s more community driven. It’s nothing to go visit and see then on the civilian side.

I’ve recently got my first tattoo and pretty soon I will get my half sleeve done. With me having a job now I finally have the funds to get exactly what I want. Been wanting to get inked for the longest. Glad I can start doing so now.

Starting a band? Say what?! Now before you guys get excited from my understanding a guy I used to stream on twitch gave the juicy details of my punk rock band. Everybody that was apart of that band live in different states. Also, I don’t want to start a band because I don’t think I would be able to commit to the other members. I’ve already decided not to go to grad school, so I can relax and enjoy life a little. Definitely if they’re looking to do it full time. I really don’t have the vocals like I used too, but I really want to pick up and start back playing my guitar.

That’s it for now. I’ll be sure to try and keep a good mix of these blogs for the upcoming future.

JINX