I couldn't sleep last night. I was so excited to hear from Hallie today. This marks the halfway point in training, where they are "rewarded" with an ice cream social at a "sponsor's" house and are given phones to call home.
Because Hallie is an athlete and her "sponsor" is her coach, they are given their own phones back, and HOW SWEET IT WAS to see that "Hallie" ring on my phone today! (tears spurting here, just typing that)
Before the call though, as I was sitting down in church, these photos came over my phone, and DAY WAS MADE AGAIN. (unknown 316 area code, so thank you, squad leader for pics of my kid)
I shot them to Kip and Lacey (and Mark and his gang) and isn't wasn't too long until Kip shot this back to me.
There is NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING more awesome than living with a Nancy Drew. She is a researching genius. Kip just says, "It's so easy to google them, they are top of their classes and athletes, there are tons of articles on the internet about all of them". Yeah, like any of the rest of us, have time for that, so we just let her do her magic and read all about everyone. And take questions to her. LOL. In fact, she's made Hallie a name for herself with her funny pictures, and random facts she sends Hal about her squad mates. Some would say "World class stalker" some would say, "Research Genius". Potato, Pohtahto.
Anyway, we talked to Hallie about 35 minutes on Facetime, with Kip Facetiming on Lacey's phone, and my phone recording 20 minutes of it, so I can play it back and listen, when in a week or so, I get to missing her so much I think I will puke. For that 35 minutes, she ATE THE WHOLE TIME. She shoved in pizza, cookies, cake, more pizza, then finally had to go find some water. I was pretty impressed.
She is eating and we are sitting around watching her eat, and talk 100 miles a minute. It was glorious.
Pretty much bullet points of conversation-
-she stinks. No amount of showering can remove that ick smell. Especially when showers are about 4 minutes long. Plus her sports bras have taken on their own life (even washing them in the shower, they still stink). So much sweat, everything sweats, all the time. However, the communal showers, "So many naked girls, so overwhelming (I'm rolling on the floor here). No Ryan Reynolds in "The Proposal" nakedness, that's for sure" WHERE DOES SHE COME UP WITH THIS!?
-this past Thursday, 6 mile ruck (uphill, 45 pound pack on their back, football players crying, the hardest thing they will do in their four years of training) , with a 5 mile land navigation, then 2 miles back to sleep, went to bed, slept in the rain, felt really moldy, Friday, got up did a 5 mile land nav and then a 2 mile land nav, then a 2 mile ruck to the new place, then got in TROUBLE FOR TALKING and had to do an hour of PT. On Friday night, the new cadets did a roast of their cadres for their final night and she said it was hilarious. Slept outside again, using leaves and dirt as sleeping bag and sleeping bag as blanket, she got so cold. Saturday woke up, had to do the 3 mile land nav TWICE due to freaking out being in a swamp and totally LOSING her map. Then 2 miles ruck to their transportation. And she still hadn't showered since Thursday, had to change into PT clothes and go to Mass athletics, so she went to volleyball with leaves in her hair and had so much mud on her she was shivering. Afterwards, Three layers of soap and a quick hot shower later, she was clean. That was the last three days of my kids world.
-she said that Body Pain is just a way of life now. She wasn't doing push ups correctly (using triceps), so she has had to learn the correct way to do them, and still very much sucks at it, but is learning. I. Can't. Even.
-Breakfast signals "time to breathe" for her. Getting woken up at 4:30 am and heading outside for PT just "ruins a good day". She said she wants to quit every single day during that time, because it's just out of the scope of anything good and normal. But by the time she gets to breakfast and sits down to eat, she knows she will be able to power through whatever the day holds, and then just gets it done. When she was sleeping outside the last few days (in the Forest, she calls it,) sleeping in "Kid Sized sleeping bags"," hugging a piece of metal" (has to hang on to rifle so cadre won't take it during the night, or there are consequences) that "No amount of bug spray helped", her sisters and I were rolling !!!! She said she and her squad mate Grant, saw a shooting star and he whispered, "Make a wish" and she said, "I wish we didn't have to do PT in the morning" and she said next thing she knew, it was 6:00 and getting woke up with, "Good morning, NO PT FOR new cadets today, everyone get ready for breakfast", and yes..... Hallie took full credit for that and she and Grant told everyone in the whole company.
-Church service on Wednesday night and Sunday morning are her favorite. She says the pastor is amazing, the songs are "her songs" and just loves everything about it. She says the preacher spoke on, "He Brings you to it, and helps you get through it" and that it spoke right to all their hearts. I think it's because they get some Jesus, some snacks and some fellowship time, and that makes our girl very happy.
-Even though she doesn't get to talk to us, she hears us in her head. She says "I have conversations with you guys everyday and it's like I don't miss you, because you're right with me". (tearing up again). She sings worship songs when she is rucking to get her through.
-When asking her about volleyball season starting on August 3, and they will be in the field doing training, what does that look like, she replied, "They will come in a van, and the gates of heaven will open and we will drive right into it". In other words, 24/7 of volleyball training take the last two weeks of beast. And she likes everything about that.
In Mass Athletics, I got a few pics sent from someone, and they were welcome sight for this mama. Everyone looking healthy and happy and that is what I talking about.
All I know is this girl of mine has finished 3 weeks of the toughest training in the United States, and has accomplished it with a broken toe. She admits some of it "wasn't pretty", and "it's the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life", but finishes with, "I know this is all for a higher purpose, and that I will be better and stronger than even I imagined I could be".
She goes into the Gas Chamber on Wed of this week. (tear gas with mask and then without) It's a rite of passage at training. I watched the National Geographic: Surviving West Point series on Amazon (ordered it up) this past week and bawled all the way through it. My girl is a bad ass.
No other way to say it. She has already grown up so much, still very much a goof ball (can't lose that quality, I KNOW) but WOW, what an incredible human being she is.
August 19th cannot get here soon enough for me. Acceptance Day. Prayers for her continued ability on her broken toe, Strength inside to handle the change of cadres this week, and ten more days "until the gates of heaven open and they come and take me away in the volleyball van".
I believe if anyone can do it, that girl can.