Going Green – With Camo – for 2011

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Last year, I shared a laundry list of options for all to go green in the New Year.

They were all good, but no one could do all of them, and I think I missed the most important: Simple is often better.

So I sat down this year to come up with the one single thing I would recommend, and sifted through some test questions.

What is the most important green or sustainable goal or action?  Hmm, sustainable has to last a long time.  So I eliminated the one-time events.  What is the most important green act – for me, for my community – that will last?

And then it hit me.

If I want to influence my kids for the next 30 years, if I want to petition my government, influence green outcomes, enjoy open space and strolls on the beach, exercise my freedoms, protect my liberties, go fishing or hiking, or ride my bike through a sharrow in Corona del Mar, I need protect my No. 1 asset for doing all this, and for earning a living.

I can only do all this if I am healthy.

So there you have it, my sustainable focus for 2011 will be to sustain … me.

I am no good to anyone if I am sick. I cannot maximize earning potential if I do not have my health.

I will avoid the Jan. 1 rush and start now to get in “reasonable shape” – a lofty goal – by Jan. 22, 2011.  Because that is the date that the Newport Beach 1st Battalion, 1st Marines Foundation will hold a Beach Challenge at Balboa Pier.  All fitness levels are encouraged to participate, so no excuses – you’re being notified more than a month in advance.

The various physical events in the Beach Challenge mirror what Marines do to maintain the highest levels of strength and endurance conditioning.  Similar events are used during training to help prepare Marines for scenarios they may encounter while deployed oversees.  Although this version may not make you into a Marine, you will certainly feel as tough as one when you cross the finish line.  There will be a low crawl with flak, ammo carry, grenade toss, tire flip and a beach run.  Not to worry, you can take it at your own pace, and choose which challenges to participate in, as an individual or a team.

Here is the real takeaway.  You will spend time with Marines.

I had a chance to go down to Camp Pendleton with the 1/1 Marines Foundation.  I got on the 26,000-acre base, where my GPS didn’t work, and I proceeded to get lost on a gorgeous day.  Daydreaming, thinking what it must have been like in Southern California 75 years ago, on a winding road, over hill over dale, then I saw a helicopter.  A Marine buddy suggested I keep an eye out for red flags, which mean the artillery range is live. Then, BAM.  My heart drops as I get a small taste of what it must be like for those bad guys who come up against the Marines – even though it’s just a column of Humvees with “student drivers.”

So I arrive at the obstacle course, late, to watch a test run of the Beach Challenge with KOCE-TV taping.

I meet Lt .Col. Wonson, who is the commanding officer (you will see a 10 Questions soon).  He shares that he wants his Marines to spend time with the community of Newport Beach.  Soon after the Beach Challenge, the 1/1 Marines will begin intense training to be deployed in harm’s way.

You play like you practice, and there are no replays in the game the Marines play to protect our freedoms.

So, join me, will you?  Join me in a 2011 sustainable goal to focus on you, and to join me on the beach on Jan. 22 at 8 a.m.

Visit OneOneMarines.com for additional information and to sign up.

Don’t miss a chance to interact with the Marines, to say thank you and to get a small flavor of what it takes to be a Marine.

Jim can be reached at [email protected]

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