One Sheep, Two Sheep…Why Can’t I Sleep?

I’ve been having trouble sleeping for a while now, which is new and unusual for me. I’ve always been a morning person and love going to bed early, but recently it’s slipping the other way and I go to bed and lay awake for hours and then I’m tired all day.

So when I got a sample of Infinit Nocturne in a Feed Box, I was very excited to try it out. It’s a nighttime recovery solution that promotes sleep and helps rebuild muscles. I was also encouraged by its chocolate flavor. Good things come in chocolate.

I saved it for a while because I just didn’t feel tired enough but the other morning I was definitely tired. I felt like I was forgetting something but didn’t realize until I gotten to work what it was – my rifle. Yeah, definitely pretty tired.

So I decided that was the night. I mixed it with some of our ultra-pasteurized, shelf-stable milk (not known for being especially tasty) and it was pretty good. It’s not an ultra rich chocolate flavor and it did taste a little vitamin-y, probably because it also has a ton of selenium in it, but it was pretty tasty.

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I also used my eye mask and my ear plugs. I did my usual evening routine of reading my Bible and then some other reading after that (lately it’s been Games Without Rules, a history of Afghanistan told in a conversational style). I still had some trouble falling asleep, though. I felt like I slept pretty well though, and the next morning I nailed 175 in my squats and 125 on my deadlifts (hell yeah!) and I think I slept better that night.

Does it work? Potentially. But even if it doesn’t entirely, it tastes pretty good even with my weird-tasting shelf stable milk, mixes incredibly well, and has some decent nutrition in it.

 

 

Day 18 of 30 Days of Thanks: The Invisible War

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A few years ago I was in an Army school in Georgia and as part of our semi-annual training on sexual assault and harassment, we had to watch The Invisible War. It was really hard for me to watch and at one point I was so overcome with sympathy for these women’s sufferings that I broke down into tears and all I had to wipe them away with was my sleeves (which left my classmates bewildered about what to do, sorry guys. It’s a really good documentary, by the way, but please don’t think that that is typical of the whole military.)

I knew the statistics and in the military, at least, I was pretty sure I was “safe” because I wasn’t a new recruit, I wasn’t junior enlisted, I didn’t live in the barracks. Statistically speaking, I figured I was an unlikely candidate for any sort of harassment or assault.

A few months into my deployment in Afghanistan I was sexually assaulted by some Afghan soldiers just outside of where I worked. And when I told my boss, she accused me of making it up. Horrifying, right? I thought so too. Worse yet, based on my previous events, I didn’t want to tell anyone because I was worried that it would just get worse for me and nothing would even happen. I thought it would be better to wait for something even more serious to happen so that my command couldn’t ignore it or say I was making it up.

For the record, my sweet husband told me that was a “really stupid plan.”

 

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Fortunately, there is a support system out there and the woman who answered the call, Aimee, did believe me. I am forever grateful to her and thankful that there was someone who I could call, that I could be moved but still finish my deployment, and that I can help others who may be facing similar issues.

 

 

Day 17 of 30 Days of Thanks

I was laying in bed this morning thinking about car troubles (because P is having some and I had some around this time last year) and that led me to thinking about how thankful I am for my family and friends. Who isn’t thankful for their family or friends? Only the most hard-hearted hermits, maybe.

But really, I am REALLY thankful for them. My extended family has been way nicer to me than I ever have to them through the years. And my friends have been amazing.

When I got home from NTC my car wouldn’t start. Actually, let me back that up. A friend drove me home and stayed to make sure my car started. When it didn’t, he drove me down to North Pole so I could pick up my dog. Other friends would check on my cat if I was out for a weekend, or if I was stuck at work looking for a missing “experimental MRE” they’d stop by and let my dog out. It’s not one big thing, it’s hundreds and hundreds of little things and the longer I think about it the more I can think of.

I do not deserve such great family and friends but I am thankful for them today and everyday.

Day 16 of 30 Days of Thanks

I’m thankful for mornings where I can wake up without needing an alarm clock. Right now, that’s every morning because the two women next door (we share a bathroom between the two rooms) are really loud and wake up really early. But still, no alarm clock for me.

Weekly Recap 11/9-11/15

I am mostly proud of the improvements I made weightlifting this week. My run has gotten slowslowslow, but I’m strangely okay with that. I don’t feel like my heart is going to explode out of my chest when I run.

135lbs at the beginning of the week.

I’m up to 145lbs for both my squat and deadlift, and increased my back extensions to 20lbs and my bench press to 77lbs. My bench is still my weakest point because I have skinny T-rex arms. BUT even my T-rex arms are getting better, and I’m really happy with that.

My motivation to run is still so up-and-down day by day. Some days I try to push through it and some days I feel pretty “meh” so I’ll throw in some cycling or change the workout to be a slow hill climb.

I mostly feel like I’ve lost my joy in running, and that it’s just a chore to drudge through right now. My husband thinks it’s the running streak, I think it’s a combination of studying for the GMAT, running, work, and being in a war zone. You become numb to a lot of things and I think I resent a little bit anything that pokes through my cloud and makes me feel something different.

All is not lost. I got some cool new SOAS racing shorts in this week and I’m planning some virtual races over the next few months that should give me smaller milestones to work towards.

Day 15 of 30 Days of Thanks

I’m thankful for starry night skies tonight. Last night the lights were out and it was unusually clear of smog and I looked up, as I usually do, but unlike other nights where I could pick out one or two stars, I immediately found Orion. And then Pleiades and Cygna.

And it was so comforting to see them hanging in the night sky out here. It’s been a little saddening to me to not be able to see any of my favorite constellations because of the smog and the walls around me. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a different planet because of how different everything is out here. The water is different, the food is different, the culture is different, and the night sky doesn’t even seem the same.

Seeing those stars last night, the same familiar stars I’ve seen since I was a child, helped me to feel like I was not so far away after all.

And I’m thankful for the stars.

Day 13 of 30 Days of Thanks

I have a list of life goals and one of them has always been to see the aurora borealis so when the Army offered me the chance to move to Alaska for a few years, I jumped at the chance.

Even though I won’t get to see them in person this winter, I’m thankful that I’ve seen them so many times and that there’s an aurora cam that lets me check on it throughout my day here.

One of the best shows I ever saw was last fall during a FTX. The lights were out and blazing one night and we were so far out that the colors were untainted by any light pollution. We saw the reds and the purples that are so hard to see with naked eyes and just stood outside amazed as the lights took over the entire night sky.

A clouded aurora from just last night, but you can see the purple along the bottom.

Day 12 of 30 Days of Thanks

Today I’m thankful for books. I’ve been a huge reader ever since I was young, so much so that I used to get in trouble for reading in class when I should have been paying attention!

I find myself reading a lot less as an adult than I did even as a teenager, but I think that’s a factor of both less time and also the books I read are a little denser and I can’t speed through them.

I just finished Maus I and II this week; it’s a graphic novel about the Holocaust. I’m also still working my way through Games Without Rulesbut that is going to take me quite a while because it’s so long.

I like that books can take you to a place deep in your imagination, whether it’s another universe or another time. I am always going to be a bookworm.