Sunday, May 29, 2011

Basic Training

For many, Memorial Day means a day of remembrance, a three-day holiday away from their jobs, garden parties, and the unofficial start of summer. For me, it's all of these things and an anniversary of a milestone on my way to becoming a man. It was on this weekend, 30 years ago, I reported to Army Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky as part of my initial training to become an commissioned officer two years later.

Call it life changing, path altering, and personal defining, because throughout my thirty years since I lean on the lessons learned in the army. It's not an oversimplification or trite to say everything I needed to learn in life, and triathlon, was taught in the army.

  • Mission first, people always.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Maintain your equipment.
  • Personal integrity.
  • Take responsibility for your actions.
  • Praise in public and admonish in private.
  • Have a plan.
  • Have a back-up plan.
  • Press the fight; always move forward.
  • Be flexible in your tactics but firm in your resolve.
  • Respect your adversaries but never fear them.
  • Harder in training leads to success in battle (race day).
  • Help those around you meet their goals; protect your buddies.
  • Lead or follow, but never be in the way of the team completing its mission.
  • Take care of your body.

Keeping these ideals is hard and meeting them always is next to impossible (just ask anyone that knows me and they'll tell you I've fallen flat on each measure at least once), but never forget that it's in the pursuit of perfection when you'll achieve excellence.

Where did you learn your valued life lessons?

Stay tuned...

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