Sunday, November 1, 2009


Hobbies are a great way to brighten the day and to grow as a person. If nothing else, hobbies provide a method to productively take your mind off the stresses of work, school, family, or life.

Sometimes when we think of hobbies, we only think of them in the narrowest fashion. Sports, art, music, or other passions that people spend years practicing and require often a great deal of time. However, hobbies can be seen more broadly through a variety of other pursuits as well. Reading, food, exercising, writing, games, and more can all fall into the category of hobbies if used correctly.

For example, on this deployment I use food as a hobby. No, I am not a chef. Far from it. However, I do spend a good deal of effort in eating according to a certain dietary standard. Some of my friends eat similarly, and we discuss it and use it as something to talk about and focus our efforts on. This takes away a little bit of the stress of letting our minds wander and dwell on some of the more demanding aspects of deployment.

Another way I use food as a hobby is that I try to invent new ways to eat food. For example, almonds are a very nice snack, but after a while they can get somewhat monotonous. So when some of my friends sent me some "Frank's Red Hot" sauce, I began mixing it with almonds to create a new snack I call "Almond Wings." Now after every mission, I make some almond wings and share with people. Another invention I made is "Spicy Salad." This consists of romaine lettuce, olives, tomatos, onions, vinegar, jalapenos, tabasco sauce, and a little cheddar cheese. It takes away the calories that come with salad dressing, but still packs tons of flavor.

So despite not being a chef, I still use food as a hobby and focus some of my thoughts on ways to innovate with food. This relieves me from some of the constant pressure of the tempo of deployment. Other hobbies I use include writing (this blog for instance), reading, running, climbing (just over T-walls and bunkers, no equipment or training required), biking, weightlifting, basketball, memorizing things, and making funny captions for pictures. The key is, no matter what hobby you choose, try to excel.