Thursday, 24 December 2015

The Weight I Carry and the Weight I’ve Lost

Well, I’ve lost about 30 lbs since I got here. I wish it was more. I started at 246 (wow) and now I’m at 215-217. I’ve lost some strength but become a better runner. (I prefer the bike, but doesn’t get my heartrate up like running.) I do look like an ape that has just been tranquilized when I run and I don’t care anymore (tomorrow I’m going to try to run 2.5 miles. My pace is horrible. I don’t care.)
But when I go from base to base, the picture is what I take with me everywhere I go: backpack with clothes and my CPAP machine, two sheets and small green blanket. I bring seven computers with me to train (and my personal one.) Those are in that big case. Sleeping bag, vest, helmet, projector and my personal bag (books, paperwork, etc.)
How much does it ALL weigh? 213 lbs. I drag that on choppers and planes. I bring it to my room. Most of time I have help and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I lift this into choppers and sometimes they do it for me. 11 months. I can deadlift a lot. But I’m looking forward to not having to pack and repack, carry and lift and struggle. I’m leaving behind carrying things I don’t need, the things that weigh me down, that tire me out.

THE UNFORSEEN POWER OF POSTCARDS

Chris Guillebeau on his blog asked people to post something they could offer for free and I offered postcards. Just a postcard from Afghanistan and if they wanted some marketing advice, I could give that. I said the first five and you know what a softy I am. So I’m sending twelve cards—some asking it for their classroom and some asking some great advice on marketing.
It’s a funny thing, these cards (they cost me 25 cents). They have some how connected me to hundreds of people across the world. From Taiwan to Malta, Essex county to Canada. These simple pieces of cardboard traverse a far away land to show up at your door.
They mean lots of connections and lots of fun in the mailbox. And I think I’m going to keep going with these. I’ll send them from Australia and maybe wherever I land in the states.
It’s a simple thing that people love. They’ll decorate the fridge for awhile and maybe I’ll see one or two.
But most importantly, they give clean water to people who have never had it.

I TEND TO OVER-PANIC EVERYTHING.

I made a typo on my form on my pre-flight information—instead of April 17 I put `7. So now my flight information is screwed. Options:
  1. It will be fixed.
  2. I will leave early.
  3. I will not go to Australia.
Those are my options. Sorry, I don’t feel much like a discussion right now because I’ve put all my chips on this huge plan of traveling and seeing Australia and getting out of here.
And my left pinky finger may have screwed it up.
Oh and my brain. That too.

THE ANXIETY VIRUS

It’s the other side of the coin now. It’s the other side of the fence.
The anxiety of this place is starting to get back to me, but not like before, not like my first month. It’s this tension of being almost home and totally not. It’s the tension of having my foot out the door and still being here. It’s the stress of feeling like I’m done here and I’m still here.
But I have to hold strong and I have to keep going and I have to finish well.
Because it’s bleeding into everything—I can’t really read much and I’ve run out of projects. So I’m just treading right now and my arms are tired—but I’m down to 27 days.
And at one point it was 367.
At one point it was 367.
And now it’s 27.
And I’m nearly there.

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