Sunday, August 31, 2008

DANIEL

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." — Sir Winston Churchill.

With boot camp, the saying "no news is good news" is true. If you get a call from your son it most likely means he is injured or washed out. And it was even more true last Thursday following the 54 hours of the Crucible. If you get a call then, your son didn't make it through.

So all day Thursday I was dreading phone calls. After swimming Thursday morning I went out to my moped, put my swimming stuff away and looked at my cell phone — two missed calls! "Oh no!" I thought. "This is it. Daniel got injured or somehow was unable to finish the course." So with dread I listened to the messages. Whew .... They were both from Karen. Safe for now. And that's pretty much was how the rest of Thursday went. Hoping the phone would not ring and if it did, that it wouldn't be Daniel. Thursday was long day.


No news on Thursday means Daniel is now officially a United States Marine. So we are preparing to fly out to San Diego for our new Marine's graduation. The emotions are strong. Pride and fear. Proud that Daniel has done something so amazing and brave, yet scared of what the future holds for him. Daniel isn't one to shy away from adversity. A couple of years ago, he and his brother, Aaron, were walking down Queen K carrying a new PS3 game system they had just bought when a vehicle pulled over and a guy twice Daniel's size jumped out with a baseball bat and took a swing, hitting Aaron and trying to steal the game system. What was Daniel's reaction? He wrestled the bat away from guy and chased him off. The guy and the driver served a year in jail.

And that's how Daniel is. He won't back down from his duty and that makes me proud and scared as well. But for now, I'm proud. WE (the family) are proud of our son and brother. He joins the ranks of an honored profession. The Few, The Proud, The Marines.

Next week we will celebrate Mike Company's graduation (Daniel's recruit company). We'll finally get to see Daniel after 3 months. Our chests will be bursting with pride. Our baby will be a man, a Marine, a hero.

CONGRATULATIONS DANIEL.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

THE CRUCIBLE COMETH

Our son Daniel is enduring the Crucible at Marine boot camp right now. It started in the early morning hours on Tuesday and will go for 54 hours. He and the rest of Mike Company will get little sleep, food or rest as they march, fight and learn to work together to take up the gauntlet that is the Crucible. Here is a video of Daniel's platoon taken on Friday. Daniel is the last recruit in the last row of recruits just before they zoom out and show the platoon leader and drill sergeants. You can hit the pause button to get a better look at these boys who are in the process of becoming men and defenders of our country.



If you read this before Thursday morning, please keep Daniel and the rest of his platoon, Platoon 3275, in your prayers. This training will teach them to survive in combat. Pray that they will learn their lesson well. There is a prayer chain of parents and family for the platoon as the recruits struggle over the next 54 hours, but your prayers will be greatly appreciated.

Come Thursday morning, those who survive the Crucible will become United States Marines. Daniel will graduate boot camp Sept. 5 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

You can read more about the Crucible on Karen's blog. Just scroll down to "THE CRUCIBLE" blog entry. It will describe what the recruits are going through.

Semper Fidelis
(Always Faithful)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

JUST IMAGINE

"Suppose you're in your office ... a pretty stenographer you've seen before comes into the room and you watch her ... She takes off her gloves, opens her purse and dumps it out on the table. ... She has two dimes and a nickel — and a cardboard match box. She leaves the nickel on the desk, puts the two dimes back into her purse and takes her black gloves to the stove. ... Just then your telephone rings. The girl picks it up, says hello — listens — and says deliberately into the phone, "I've never owned a pair of black gloves in my life." She hangs up ... and you glance around very suddenly and see another man in the office, watching every move the girl makes .... "
"Go on," said Boxley smiling. "What happens?"
"I don't know," said Stahr. "I was just making pictures."

— The Last Tycoon, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Don't you just love words and the power of the mind to form those words into pictures?

I've read a little about visualization as a training aid, especially for swimming. Where you visualize the perfect stroke: Long and smooth, just the right kick, gliding through the water with little drag. They say if you visualize correctly it actually trains your body to move the way your mind visualizes it. Remember the "Little Engine That Could"? "I think I can! I think I can!"


Here's what Colin Barr and Steve Katai say in their book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Triathlon Training" about the power of imagining success and the power of the mind:

"PICTURE YOURSELF SUCCEEDING: Don't just think you can; KNOW you can. Believe in yourself. Have confidence in your abilities to achieve your goals and dreams. The magic behind all great accomplishments begins with this self-belief. Sometimes we feel down on ourselves and doubt our abilities, but that's normal. When it happens, take a step back and regroup by replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones and remember you can accomplish anything with the right state of mind.

"A lot of research supports the power of visualization. The general theory is that thought has the ability to create feelings and emotions that impact behavior and, ultimately, reality. In other words, when you think about success day in and day out, you eventually will create that success.

"It all begins with a single thought. If you wake up every morning, look yourself in the mirror and say, 'I'm going to ...' Eventually it will happen. The power of thought and intention is very real and can very easily be applied to triathlon. Visualize yourself in the swim: your stroke is smooth, your breathing is under control and you found a good draft off someone's feet. Imagine having a great T1, bike segment, T2, and run. Imagine crossing the finish line. Put those strong positive beliefs out there. When you do, the door to manifesting these beliefs in reality opens to you.

"If you fill your head with negative thoughts, you'll eventually make those negative thoughts your reality. Think positive. Know you can do this!"
— The Complete Idiot's Guide To Triathlon Training.

It also helps to write those positive words down, maybe even in story form such as the scene at the beginning of this blog, and make positive pictures of your success in your mind. Of course, prayer works, too. "I know I can! I know I can!"

Saturday, August 9, 2008

OLYMPIC WOW


Like an old pastor of ours used to say, "If you missed it, you missed it."

If you missed the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, you really missed something historic and aw-inspiring. Not just the fact that the Olympics are taking place in China, but the scale of the ceremony was cinematic.


Pull out the adjective dictionary and start describing it. But then words wouldn't do it justice. And if you were't lucky enough to attend in person, watching it on HDTV was as close as being there as you can get.

China definitely earns the gold medal for presentation, performance, accuracy, and originality.

With that said, I just want to say ... GO USA!

USA!
USA!
USA!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

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