An ex girlfriend once told me that I enjoy revisiting past events. I used to take offense to her remark, but now I do not actually care much. I am set in my ways, and it will be hard to change my ways. This ex girlfriend is a good person, but we just were not meant to be together. I wish her love and happiness wholeheartedly, but it is not the point of this post. I am revisiting the year 2006, with all its success, failure and drama.
In January of 2006, I was still stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. A service members murdered a Japanese woman a few days into the year 2006. The tragedy placed every service member in Cinderella liberty. It meant that unless you were standing watch at your command post; you had to off the street after midnight. A week later, we stopped the Cinderella liberty. My friend Nina asked me to work out with her. I accepted because I enjoyed her company very much. We would go to the gym everyday after work for a month. I also began to run on base to blow some steam. Exercises, jogging and the gym started becoming parts of my day. Then, Nina transferred to Bahrain in March. My friend was gone, but the motivation to go to the gym didn’t wane. I started spending a lot of time at the gym, by May I saw a huge difference. I put more muscle mass, and I lost my dad body. I reduced my intake of fast food, and I became a healthier eater. I started enjoying life, and I became comfortable in my skin. In late March of 2006, I visited Dong Hae, South Korea. The city was not like Chin Hae, Busan, Inchoeon, or Seoul. It was an industrial cesspool according to an officer in my chain of command. We went on a hike which got into my head, and I paid for it months later.
I was enjoying then in August of 2016, I decided to take on Mt Fuji. I was doing fine until I was 8000 feet above sea level. I learned on that day if you see above the cloud you are quite high above ground level. At 8000 feet above sea level, I started feeling the pain associated with altitude sickness. I forged ahead for a few more feet, then I passed out. The next thing I remember is waking up in an ambulance on its way to a Japanese hospital with another service member. As African-Americans, we were both born with sickle cell trait, and we are more susceptible to altitude than most people. We both a night in the Emergency Room, and we were the butt of every jokes for a few days.
In September of 2006, I became a US citizen. I swore before my commanding officer, and members of my chain of command to defend against every enemy of the USA. It was a proud moment in my life.
2006 was a year to remember, I became acquainted with Haruki Murakami. I read For One More Day by Mitch Albom. My love for reading was reawakened, and I decided to come back to the USA after three years in Japan. It was a year of happiness.