I wanted to join the Irish Defence Forces when I was in high school. I could do 100 consecutive pushups and run a 7 minute mile. I was county athletics champion 2 years running in long jump. I liked to hike and box. My friends in Scouts had parents in the Irish Army, and were already in the Reserves, or going for Officer positions. My folks wouldn’t let me join the Reserves as I had 3 seizures when I was 15, but these never happened again. The Irish Army also ended up having a hiring freeze for 4 years before I finished, so that was out.
We all had to wait for like 4 years, thinking each year would be the year the hiring freeze would be over. The Irish Armed forces have about 9k people total, and they are flooded with applications every time recruitment opens. They have a vanishingly small budget at 0.5% of GDP. So the odds of getting in were slim.
In the meantime, I bulked up by 30lb and started judo, thinking I could go for Officer Corp if I hated the idea of being a lawyer. The Irish Army is very involved in peacekeeping, so having a legal training would have been very useful when I combined it with my improving Arabic. When it came to my last year of college after China, I did hate the idea of working as a lawyer. Nevertheless, I bent myself to the milkrounds for the blue chip law firms in the country through a twisted sense of national duty. I did well by all accounts – came in the top 10%, but dreaded the idea of working in any of the firms. Then I got really depressed about the future and wanted to off myself. I ended up in hospital, and took antidepressants for 2 months. Went off the antidepressants because I couldn’t cum.
As 2012 began, recruitment rumors started coming out. Army and officers were recruiting. I passed the screening for both and was called forward for the physicals. But an ingrown toenail I was training around got infected and I wasn’t able to walk on it. Ended up on crutches for a few weeks. It was antibiotic resistant. I think I got it off judo mats. So the Army wasn’t going to happen. Only one of my friends ended up in the Officer Corps, and he was always going to make it. His whole family was in the Army in some capacity.
The rest of my friends didn’t get in, despite their excellent physical achievements and team sports shit. Looking back on it, it was very unlikely I would have gotten into either the Infantry or Officer Corp, given that I had seizures and was on antidepressants for a bit after returning from China. Maybe I would have hated being in the Army. From what I’ve been told, the boredom would have driven me out. Plus Irish Army pays poorly, and does not have any benefits for families. I guess I can never say what it’d be like. If I was called up because of a national emergency, I’d go as balls deep as I could on it.
I ended up living very close to a barracks, and pass the trucks and jeeps loaded with squaddies every morning. It looks like good craic. But I’m glad I’m where I am now.
Pain has been very managable, to non-existent. Trying to push out on the exercises now, while I can. Low back a little stiff while sitting.
Want to be in good health for hiking and canoeing in Spring. I underestimated how much I was cycling to work: I’ve ended up cycling between 120km and 150km every week for the last 6 weeks. Going at a 15-17kph pace.
30km round trip to work between 2-4 times a week.
15km round trip to college 3-4 times per week.
The bike is unfortunately a heavy steel frame hybrid. It’s a great utility bike for getting groceries/wood/hauling shit, but too heavy for distance. The cycling is about another 800 calories a day. I think picking up a lighter road bike frame with skinny tires would make it easier to do the distance. I do like the wider tires for getting across the tram lines safely, and navigating our shitty, broken roads. Legs have gotten joosy again.
DB Press 8kg x 15
External rotation 8kg x 20
Lunges 8kg x 12. Right is still weaker.
Side lying external rotation 4kg x 15
pushup x 23 (aiming for 40), or 3×12
side plank at 1.35
front plank 1.45
reverse plank 2.10
side lying leg raise 40 both sides (want 50)
bridge kickouts x50
Some of these could probably be progressed. But once it’s pain free, I am content to keep plugging away slowly. Big problem is eating enough at the moment.
Business in the school is winding up. I will try find some more schools. But the 2k of income is getting to a point where I really should declare it. I can’t just slowly cash cheques and hope no one notices. If I get more work, I will have to put the price up to €25/ hour to cover the income tax of 20%. I will then write off as much of the tax as I can on training and equipment. I would like to learn to solder, and test circuits. Part of me is wondering if I would be suited to systems administration and not software design for finance company. I need to find some work doing analytics soon for the college course. I have the backup of counting by business as relevant work, however.
College is back on. Grades are out. Got a 73% average across all modules. I also managed a 93% in computer architecture and networks.