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IST

Pretty much, I would make the best boyfriend to any heterosexual woman. At the moment, that woman is my roommate. Now that I’ve quit my job (to have more time to get ready for boot camp, i.e. move my stuff back to my parents’ and such), I have more time to do stuff, like cook dinner! Which is what I did for my roommate and I the other day. And this was the result: sesame crusted salmon (thank you, Vons and your Five-Dollar Fridays), half-steamed, half-boiled broccoli, and onion and bell pepper quinoa. It was pretty tasty, if I can say so myself.

But, exciting news! I went to go do an official IST (just to see where I’m at) and guess what my hang time was? 24.7 seconds. I am so stoked. I started off not being able to even hold myself up there and now I’m almost at the required 25 seconds. Hell to the yes. And apparently, the guys at the RS were talking about how much I’ve improved, which is awesome because one, that means they actually remember me (which, honestly shouldn’t be that surprising, considering I’m probably one of the only Asian females they have) and two, they’re pleased with my progress. I’m pleased, too. No, not please. Try fucking ecstatic.

I do feel like I’ve neglected my running a little though… My run time kind of got slower. Whoops. But I don’t feel too bad, because my run time is still well within the limit and I just really, really, really, needed to get my hang time up.

And I still have five weeks… Five weeks, guys! Holy hell!

So, guys, I’ve been very confused. About what, you ask? Well, dear friends, for the longest time I couldn’t figure out what exactly the requirements were for the Initial Strength Test (IST). For those of you who don’t know what that is, pretty much, the Marine Corps requires its recruits to meet certain physical requirements — and not just height and weight/body fat standards like the other branches of military. We’re required to run a mile and a half in a certain amount of time, do pull-ups or a flex arm hang depending on gender, and do a certain amount of crunches in two minutes.

I kept seeing different requirements on various websites I checked and the Marines at the recruiting office were telling me a certain thing and I couldn’t understand why what they said was so much different than what I saw online.

Guys. I finally figured it out.

There is a basic requirement to get into boot camp, but the LA recruiting station is pretty much forcing us to do more than the minimum. Which is understandable. I mean, you can’t expect to do well at boot camp if you just managed to scrape by. So even though the Parris Island website says the female requirements are 1.5 miles in 15 minutes, 44 crunches in 2 minutes, and a 12 second flex-arm hang, to make it boot camp in the LA area, we have to be able to do the run, 55 crunches in 2 minutes, and a 25 second flex-arm hang.

I have no idea why that took me so long to figure out, but I’m proud of myself for finally doing it. Two months before I ship out. Good.