Saturday, March 24, 2012

SMP vs. Army Scholarship & Tips to Road Marching

Tip of the Day:  Do not let friends abuse the relationship because at the end of the was only a "thing" to them while you spent so much time and energy to help them.

One thing I've learned is that you can tell someone time and time again on how to be successful in life but in the end they will choose their own path...whether it is to destruction or just another emotional crutch.  And what have you done except waste your own breath?

This has happened to me several times with different people but I guess it took that many times to get it through my "thick skull"  (my Dad's old saying) for me to finally see the light.


Anyways on to another note.  My contract for ROTC is finally unveiling a light at the end of the tunnel.  I never doubted that it would since I have been working hardcore towards getting it.  My medical waiver has finally been approved by Cadet Command.  It only took them almost 4 months! lol  But hey all good things come to those who wait.  =)  I have just one more thing to turn in which is my blood type.  I've gone my whole life without even wondering what my blood type was and now when I need it the most is when I don't have it lol.  Well I went this past week to get my blood taken so my results should be in sometime next week and then I'm done!

I've been researching lately on the Army scholarship vs. going SMP.  I've learned that you can't do both because the money paying for school comes from the same pocket.  After going through a couple forums I've decided to go with SMP.  I've been wanting the scholarship for a while because I thought I would be getting more money back into my pocket.  Instead, I would actually be double-dipping which is a negative with the Army.  SMP  gives more benefits as well.  Not only do I get tuition assistance (TA), but I get my weekend drill pay on top of the ROTC stipend.  If I did get the scholarship at the end of this semester, I would have to give up my weekend drills which is a good $200+ a month.  With that said, if they offer me the scholarship I will most likely decline it.  It sounds good but it actually limits me.

So if any of my readers are thinking about doing Army ROTC check out this site to see the differences:

Another thing I've been doing lately.  I on a new team in ROTC called the Ranger Challenge.  It's a small group of us...only four.  But we've decided to push our limits on PT.  We meet separately from the other cadets to perform a more intense PT session.  The first week was a killer for me.  The three others in the group are PT studs (two guys and a female).  And me...we'll well I'm just average.  I do always score a 270+ on my PT exams but again I'm on a female scale which has different standards for running. So my 16:30 doesn't add up the same on a male scale.  Nevertheless, I'm glad I joined the team because I am getting better at PT...faster and stronger.  The first week, we did a 4 mile road march where I almost died and this past week I did the same road march just fine and even cut my time.

My boots were a major issue on the first road march.  It caused major blisters on my ankles which stopped me from being able to run to catch up to the group after the third mile.  For the next one, I took everyones' suggestions and combined them.  I'm happy to stay I did amazing on my second road march and I didn't get any blisters but I can't tell you what worked the best.  Here's everything I did to help prevent getting blisters.

  • Buy comfortable boots:  The boots I was using were S.I. summer combat boots.  My husband bought me some new boots though, the Nike Special Field Boots (SFB).  They fit like a sneaker but still have the combat boot appearance.  They are also a lot lighter than S.I. boots.

  • Change the insoles:  not all insoles fit perfectly on everyone's feet.  Even though the Nike SFBs were light and had a nice sneaker fit, the soles were hard on my feet.  I didn't have time to go to the store and buy some new insoles so I grabbed my most comfortable sneakers, took the insoles out and put them in my boots.  What a difference it made!
  • Put Vaseline on your feet: One of my girls was in the Army for 5 years and told me she would always put Vaseline on her feet before a road march and she never got blisters.  I didn't have any Vaseline but Neosporin works the same way so I put that on my hotspots.  (Hotspots are the places where you are more likely to get blisters)
  • Wear a thin second layer of socks: I didn't feel comfortable with another pair of socks because my feet felt too constricted.  Instead I grabbed a pair of nylon knee-highs and put those on under my socks.  They worked great and helped lessen the friction.
  • Get good road marching socks: The thicker the socks, the better.  Most places that sell military clothing will have these type of socks.  They cost about $10+ a pair but I promise, they are definitely worth the buy when it comes to road marching.  I have Fox River socks.  You can buy them straight from their website.  Click here

I know this all sounds like a lot of things to do but when it comes to your feet, it's all worth it.  Pain is going to happen regardless but at least you can alleviate some of it.

I hope you enjoyed my tips!  Have a great rest of the weekend!  =)

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