Written December 10, 2007
It has been almost five years now since I first enlisted into the U.S. Army Reserves. I would consider the whole experience to be a major accomplishment in my life.
I made the decision to join the military so that I could pay for college on my own. My parents divorced when I was 8 and my mother remarried a much older man who had already put four of his own kids through school. The fashion merchandising program I was in had a strict attendance policy. Since I was working about 30 hours a week, and trying to experience college life by joining a sorority, my grades were low. I felt guilty so I wanted to take responsibility somehow.
My stepfather was the only person who actually thought that I wasn’t crazy. I remember my entire sorority saying to me that I would be home after a week since I wouldn’t be able to wear make-up, do my hair, and be the girl that I am. Everybody kind of laughed at this idea which made me even more determined to prove them all wrong.
It’s a bit surprising that I ended up finishing as the honor graduate of the class. I received awards, a medal of excellence, and a sense of accomplishment that I never knew existed. I compare this to how Elle must have felt when she was chosen to work on the case in Legally Blonde. I basically decided to turn a bad experience into something incredible. I was determined to prove to myself and to others that I could do absolutely anything.
The moment that I am the most proud of through the entire experience is the moment when I crossed the finish line after running two miles on a broken foot. I had been told that I had a stress fracture and that I should stay off my foot. I knew that if I didn’t pass the final physical fitness test, I would have to spend even more time in training. I hoped that after the first two laps, my foot would eventually go numb. Unfortunately, this did not happen, so I ran in pain for about 18 minutes. I started crying the last two laps as I continued to “limp run” my way the finish line. I immediately fell to the ground to rest. Once I stood back up, I wasn’t able to apply even the smallest amount of pressure to my right foot. The next day I went to see a doctor and he confirmed that I had run on a broken foot.
I have never experienced so much pain or sense of accomplishment in my life. I was so proud because I never imagined that I would do anything even close to what I did on that day.