Week 16
September 27 - Oct 1, 2004

More flying and studying this week. And, as an added bonus, my class gets to do something affectionately called boot camp. The athletic trainers run an hour long exercise session that starts at 6:30 in the morning - not exactly my favorite hour to be out exercising. I'd much rather either be asleep or at the very least having breakfast while reading the paper. The boot camp runs for two weeks. For most of the office the workout is voluntary, but because we are the new ones, it is "voluntary" for us. Urgh.

So, my Monday morning started dark and early at the gym. We did lots of "jogging," sprinting, and other things that aren't high on my list of fun things to do. I should probably point out that I think the rest of my class is made up of gazelles. I am far and away the slowest person when it comes to jogging. I can hold my own with sprinting (guess the soccer pays off), but the jogging part is down right embarrassing. I am dragging along at the end of the line getting farther and farther behind and the trainer that is graciously hanging back with me makes a comment about how she runs 8 minute miles and the pace we were going seemed a bit fast for a jog. All my oxygen starved brain can think is that I have never run a 8 minute mile in my life. And, I can vaguely hear my classmates talking about running the Houston marathon at a 7:30 minute pace. Ha! Maybe on my bicycle. . .

After our morning constitutional I spent most of the day working on my favorite handbook exam. Late in the afternoon I had my first flight of the week. It was a tough one. And, not just because I was tired from getting up so early. Turns out I was coming down with a cold, but I digress. The bottom line was that I felt like my brain was in slow motion. Not one of my better flights. You cannot perform the flight duties if you are not absolutely on top of your game. I flew today with one of the astronaut pilots instead of an instructor pilot. I definitely got a taste of what the expectations were when flying with the astronaut pilots. I remember hearing the phrase, "you're behind" more than once. Sigh. After the flight, I went home had dinner and was in bed by 8:00.

Tuesday I was definitely under the influence of my cold. I made the executive decision that getting up and running around early in the morning was not a good way to get healthy. I did eventually get to the office at a reasonable hour and spent the time I was there trying to work on my exam. I was supposed to have another flight in the afternoon, but there was no way I could fly the way I felt. I let one of my classmates have my flight time and I went back home to rest.

Wednesday I was feeling much better, but not quite 100% yet. So, once again, I decided to not push my luck with the morning exercise. Good thing, too, my classmates were out running flights of stairs - up to the 6th floor and back 6 times in 10 minutes. And that is after you "jog" over to the building with the stairs. Sounds like fun, yes? I didn't have a flight scheduled today so I studied and worked on my exam. I actually got it finished. Yea! Can't wait for the annual refresher. . .

© Shannon Walker   2004

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Revised 11-05-04