Whenever I see someone wiping something clean with a towel or rag, I always pay attention to how many surfaces they wipe before changing said towel or rag.
With people being more conscientious about what they touch, and cleaning up after themselves, I saw someone wiping some things down the other day, and it reminded me of this story from my Marine Corps days, where along with some of the clout of being a Marine, also came the role of being a glorified babysitter at times.
I joined the Marines via the delayed entry program, and once I turned 18 I was ready to ship to bootcamp. I was never a bad kid or a bad student, but I felt that fresh out of high school the military was what I needed at the time.
My platoon in bootcamp was comprised of males ranging from 18-32 years of age. I graduated bootcamp as a squad leader, and pretty much everywhere I went afterwards I would find myself in positions of authority within my units.
Obviously positions of responsibility in the military can have their perks, but sometimes they can leave you scratching your head, or wondering if things would just be easier if you didn’t have to be in charge.
These positions of authority can also be hard if you are considerably younger than those you are meant to lead or hold accountable for certain things.
There are two words to make any enlisted, on-base, barracks-living Marine cringe…FIELD DAY.
Field day basically just means to clean.
Clean all the things.
Field day would commence weekly on Thursday evening, and room inspections would take place Friday morning. If the senior leadership doing inspections felt like a certain level of cleanliness was not achieved, they would punish the Marines by securing their weekend liberty, and make them re-clean on Saturday morning.
With that in mind, the unit level leadership (at least, the good unit leadership) would make sure to do inspections the night before, as well as the morning-of prior to inspection to make extra sure everything was in order.
Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you have had to inspect another grown man’s living space, and/or teach them how to clean, but alas…that was the position I found myself in for the majority of my time in the fleet because I always lived in the barracks, and was always in a position of small unit leadership.
One particular evening I was inspecting the rooms of the Marines in my squad. Barracks rooms are, for the most part, created equal as far as their lay out, and the accommodations generally consist of a rack (bed), a dresser or wall locker, and a fridge.
I always knew the problematic areas that most Marines would miss while cleaning their rooms. I could always find the ledges, corners, and surfaces that would normally fail a Marine’s room inspection if left untouched. Upon inspection of one Marine’s room (we will call him Corporal Davis) I found something in this Marine’s fridge that to this day, makes me cringe.
Corporal Davis had the reputation of needing a little extra supervision and micromanagement, but for the most part his room inspection was going well until I opened his fridge, and noticed what appeared to be a pubic hair prominently displayed in plain view at the very base of the door. My first reaction, “CORPORAL DAVIS! WHY ARE THERE PUBES IN YOUR FRIDGE!” He didn’t even have to answer me because with some easy detective work, I already knew.
His fridge was located immediately next to the “head” (what Marines call the restroom) So what Corporal Davis did was take the rag he used to clean his bathroom to the other surfaces of his room, including his fridge.
I went to my room and got a stack of fresh rags, and gave him 1 hour to re-clean before I would come back and re-inspect.
Needless to say, despite being vehemently disgusted, I will never forget Corporal Davis and his pube riddled fridge.
I have told this story a few times to some lucky randoms in the past, but recently the COVID-19 scare sparking everyone’s new found interest in personal hygiene and hand sanitizer has presented me multiple opportunities to tell it again to anyone who will listen.
In Marnie boot camp from DAY 1 one of the biggest ways to get your ass handed to you by a drill instructor is by touching your face. They are just waiting to light your world up if they see you lay even a finger on your face.
It was funny because at the time, a young 18 year old me didn’t realize how much I actually touched my face until I wasn’t allowed to do so. The irony of it all, at first, the idea of NOT touching my face almost made my face FEEL itchy. It was annoying, but the reasoning behind it was meant to potentially delay the spread of germs within a platoon.
I say “delay” and not “prevent” because being in a platoon comprised of 50-60 recruits in a company of 3 platoons, you are bound to be exposed to a myriad of germs and sicknesses.
One of the most common and most rampant was pink eye.
It was almost inevitable that pink eye would eventually sweep through platoons like wild fire.
Again, young 18 year old me was terrified of doing something wrong, or having something bad happen that would delay my training and push my graduation date back. I would see recruits who would get sick or injured to a degree that depending on any training they missed due to their physical setback they would be recycled to a different platoon, and their graduation date would be pushed back.
I would see recruits getting caught with pink eye, and proceed to be hazed and berated by the drill instructors, and while I had never had pink eye before, I knew I did not want that to be me. I did not want that kind of attention.
One fateful morning when reveille sounded, I woke up and hopped out of my rack (bed) like I did every morning, but on this day, for some reason, my eyes felt “goopy” for lack of a better word…
It felt like it took extra effort to pry my eyes open. I knew instantly, I had pink eye.
Let’s rewind a bit…
At the beginning of bootcamp you are issued a debit card, and then promptly marched to the base store (PX) to purchase necessary items that you will need during bootcamp (mostly hygiene products and cleaning supplies).
Among those purchases are numerous travel sized bottles of hand sanitizer, AKA “Germ Juice”. Upon purchase of the germ juice, you were to fashion a necklace out of it by using athletic tape to fasten a boot strap to the lid, and wear it around your neck for the duration of bootcamp. The germ juice was meant to be used before every meal, and at other times during training if you needed it.
Let’s resume the story…
I must say, jumping out of the rack and not being able to open my eyes sent me into a panic…so instinctively, I reached for the germ juice…
I lathered a generous amount on my hands, and proceeded to rub the juice into my eyes.
It burned…A lot…
…But only for a bit.
I clenched my eyes shut as hard as I could…and slowly at first but then rapidly I started blinking.
The more I blinked, the better my eyes felt
Within a few seconds, my eyes felt brand new. No goop, and no sticking…germ juice for the win!
As the day went on, I could feel my eyes developing “crusties” around the edges, and all it took was another dose of germ juice to eyes, and I was good to go for the rest of the day.
The next morning I was ready for my eyes to be sticky, and applied the germ juice again once more then, and again in the afternoon, but after day 2, my eyes were never sticky, crusty, or red, and best of all, I never got caught.
So, in the name of science, medicine, stupidity…I can say that germ juice cured my pink eye.
Thank you, purell!
But for real y’all…try not to touch your faces (Not even to face-palm as you read this…)
Remember, daily workouts and all official information will be sent via email. The emails are sent from my Triib system, and what I am finding for some is that if you don’t add that email to your contacts the emails I send will go to your junk/spam folder. So again, double check that you are receiving the emails do you can always stay in the loop.
Check your emails! Make sure you see the pdf attachment at the bottom of the email for your workout options! Let me know if you aren’t receiving my emails!
CHECK YOUR EMAILS!
I sent out a mass email from Triib, and sometimes Triib emails will go to your junk mail. So if it ended up in your junk, un-junk it so you can get future messages. If you didn’t receive it, let me know!
As of now I am not closing or condensing hours at the gym. As previously mentioned I will continue to do what I can to support a clean, safe, yet still productive environment, and I ask that you do the same. Do not come in if you are sick, wash your hands upon arrival and before departing, and be mindful of other good hygiene habits (cover your mouth, don’t touch your face, be mindful of your bodily fluids etc). I anticipate class sizes will be small, so distancing yourself while at the gym as well as maintaining your own area and equipment should not be an issue.
I will keep an eye on the news for any updates, but my plan for this week is to run class times as usual, but I will adjust if necessary.
For those who cannot make it to class due to personal or professional obligations, I will do my best to provide daily workouts that can be done at home. Also, I am more than happy to provide custom programming for free to anyone that has their own gym set up or equipment at home, just let me know what you have, and we will roll with it!
Remember, you have control of what you outwardly project, especially in times of fear, uncertainty, and chaos. We are in this together, and I will do whatever I can to support my members, gym related or not. We will get through this!
I will most likely send workouts out via email, post them on social media, as well as post them on my website, but one of the fastest and easiest way to get in touch with me is on my cell phone. So feel free to text me at 970-691-2309 if you need help with anything, have any questions about the workout, or if you need more modifications or workouts!