ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Kayla Montgomery Inspires Me to Run

my legs... my legs... where'd they go... help me... help me... 

I enjoy running... words I never would have said pre-2013 when I began running again thanks to new motivation and the right shoes (Altras). I enjoy running, recording my progress on my Suunto watch so I can review it later, and the feeling of accomplishment I feel afterwards. I enjoy running races. I enjoy running trails. I enjoy running new cities. But as much as I enjoy running, with the aches and pains of my fifty year old body-- the body of a combat veteran with significant VA disabilities --I still find excuses not to run.

Oh my back.

Oh my legs.

I just don't have enough time.

I'm just too busy.

The locker room at the gym is too crowded.

Whatevs. (insert eye roll here)

We know what those are. 

They're excuses.

Let me back it up a little bit. Do you know what a maximum effective range is? Its a military term which refers to the maximum range at which a weapon is effective. For instance, I think a grenade has a maximum effective range of 45 meters. The old M16 had a maximum range of 3600 meters, if I remember correctly, but it's maximum effective range was only 550 meters. That means the only realistic chance of hitting something is within that 550 meter span.

Now that you understand that, let me fast forward back to where I was. I'd just talked about all the excuses I make for myself not to run. Excuses. I had a drill sergeant who once asked me what the maximum effective range of an excuse was. I remember staring at him in fear, his brown round hat shadowing his deep set eyes as he leaned forward, ready to rip my throat out at the slightest sign of non-conformity. I replied with silence which was probably what he expected. Then he turned to the entire platoon and bellowed, "The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero point zero meters." And we all instantly understood what he meant.

please help me... help me... please help me...

I'd forgotten about that until last night when I watched the video about Kayla Montgomery. She has MS-- multiple sclerosis. MS is devastating and causes nerve damage that disrupts communication between the brain and different parts of the body. For Kayla Montgomery it's her legs. Yet she's one of the best runners in the country.

Just watch the video.


If you haven't watched the video, stop reading and go back and watch the damn video.

If you've watched the video, no doubt you're looking for a Kleenex. Go ahead. I'll wait. And if you haven't, again, watch the damn video, fool! 

my legs... my legs... where'd they go... help me... help me...

Okay, now that you've watched the video (or you're being sneaky and not watching it and ignoring my plea), you can see where my drill sergeant is correct. She runs knowing that at the end she'll collapse. The hotter the muscles, the less control she has of them. Perhaps the most special moment for me was when we see her coach catching her, lifting her, and taking her into the field so she can recover, her legs not her own, her mind worried that they'll never come back.

Then of course there's the championship race where she falls down, everyone passes her, then she gets up and wins. Dear god that made me choke up.

Yeah. Kayla Montgomery. She's a bad ass girl.

So when I'm ignoring my drill sergeant and coming up with a pathetically transparent excuse not to run, I'm going to channel Kayla Montgomery. If she can run, then I should to.

The maximum effective range of any excuse not to follow her example is zero point zero meters.

So, what are you going to do next time you don't feel like running?

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