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home : blogs : dye, grey, dye! April 16, 2014

Dye, Grey, Dye!
By Salina Sialega
Funny, stupid or inspiring stories on the topic of people experiencing a midlife crisis or people carrying out their bucket list. Some personal stories, some about local people I know and others I have discovered as I shuffle through this strange journey myself.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Husband a glutton for punishment - for a good cause

 Salina Sialega

Top photo: Ben reacts after chemicals were sprayed in his face during basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in 1990.
Bottom photo: Ben smiles for the camera during basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in 1990.

"I can still do this, you know!" and "I'll get into shape after I start!" - two phrases I heard from my husband, Ben, at least twice in our 31 years of marriage. He said these words when he joined the Army Reserve in 1990 and again in 1998 when he signed up for the Sheldon Street Sinners football team in Prescott. Both experiences gave Ben a chance for some excitement in a life filled with routine.

Ben had way too much fun at boot camp. He liked the food, South Carolina was beautiful and lush, and even fitness drills were just like workouts at his gym back home. And he was always smiling! He was only 33 at the time, but he was the oldest recruit in his platoon and older than his drill sergeant. They began to think this jolly Samoan from California was a spy from Military Intelligence or something. The last straw was the platoon's group photo, each soldier wearing a stern Army expression. A closer look at the photo, however, and your eye spots one in the group grinning from ear to ear. Who is this guy?

Later, Ben raised eyebrows among the Sheldon Street Sinners, when they wondered why the old guy in his 40s showed up for full-contact football. Ben ignored them and gave 110 percent in practice. He was excited to be playing football again for the first time in 18 years. In wasn't long, though, before his 20-year-old teammates felt Ben's natural island strength in his hard-hitting blocks and tackles on the field, even with a pulled hamstring. Most never knew, either, that his helmet was too small and left a semi-permanent dent in his forehead. When Ben played college football, coaches ordered an extra-large helmet for the big ol' head that belonged to one of their best defensive players.

At the time, I didn't understand my husband's decisions to do the things he was doing, like a glutton for punishment. Since then, though, I've grown to admire his tenacity and ability to just go for it.

Grab-Bag Grammie:

Getting what you want from your mom

Cunning (but adorably cute) 6-year-old girl sweetly says to her mother while walking through the Gateway Mall in Prescott, "Mom, do you remember what Subway sandwiches taste like?" How many of you think she got to have one for lunch that day?

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Article comment by: Gwendolyn Sialega

The Mom's response:
Yes honey, I do.
(well shoot!) :)))

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