emotionally engaged

As Heavy was the last planned GORUCK I had for 2013, I was looking forward to it being over. All the other GORUCKS I’ve done prior to this there was that sense of nervousness, excitement and “this is going to suck so hard yet BE AWESOME at the same time!!!” but none of that was present for the Ft. Worth Heavy. I wanted to be pumped for it but there was a sense of dread in the weeks approaching this event. Whether it was from being slightly sad this was my third-to-last event or not having trained at all, I don’t know. I just know I wasn’t having fun anymore.

I was glad when it was over at 19:59. That’s 23:59 instead of the advertised 24+ Hours of good living so I feel I’m owed a minute somewhere (just kidding…if they ended it at 19 I’d have been happy). I wasn’t glad because it was over because it was an ass beating and my ankles wanted to explode but because now that it’s over, I don’t have to worry about anything event-wise until January.

Log chat: in case you haven’t met me (or have and forgot) I am short. 5’3 short. Which doesn’t mean anything and I’m not trying to make excuses but as a short person, it is hard to contribute to heavy team weights like The Log. I can carry a sandbag all day or team weight because that’s individual but The Log creates certain logistical challenges. Now, I can get under it because being short lends you the ability to get under lots of things but I can’t really contribute unless I have more of my short peeps with me. Our gigantic log in Ft. Worth was cool and I was only under it a few times at the end but of the times I was under it, I was only helping like 50% of the time. Half the time the weight would be on my shoulder/back/ruck and I’d be contributing but the other half it was floating above me or I was being a waiter and trying to one-hand push it up. You can’t help but feel like shit since you’re not helping with that but I can’t figure out a way to grow taller.

Enough bitching about being short, during the following week we were talking bitching in our group chat about how we felt physically and mentally stronger after each Heavy than we did after our first Challenge. Yes, you can feel worse after 12 hours than you can after 24. We decided that it was the mental aspect and the not-knowing what was in store for you that lead to that beat down. I remember eating a burger and taking a nap after 281 and waking up feeling alive 4 hours later…then I got out of bed and remembered what an ass kicking I took that morning. After Heavy 010, aside from my feet being wrecked, I wasn’t in bad shape. Sure, I slept longer all week but muscle-wise I was golden. Post-Heavy 023 I was at a baby shower (yes, it actually happened) for an hour, went home and slept for a bit and was right as rain that next day.

Looking back, it’s amazing how a year ago the hardest thing I’ve done was a Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder and 3 half-marathons up to that point of my first GRC. I don’t think halfs are that hard but more of a good test of yourself. Not that I crush them or anything. There’s a pervasive, negative attitude in the GORUCK community that Color Runs, 5Ks and Tough Mudders and the like aren’t hard but fuck every one of those people. I struggle with that and really, the shit is as hard as you make it to be. I still need to get my 5K down to consistent sub-30. I like running…just not good at it. My last long run was a 9-miler last year before Thanksgiving. I should get back on that. I have one last Challenge scheduled in 2014 (Puerto Rico!) and I’m looking forward to that one because it won’t be an ass beating for 24 hours…only 12 hours. You can just wing that.

Now for a part I’m hesitant to talk about. I’m normally emotionally detached during all these events but Cadre Bert gave a couple of good speeches about Vietnam Vets and Vets in general and it was kinda hard to keep it together outside of the Convention Center and minutes later, the JFK Memorial in Ft. Worth. Three hours later when we were making our last approach, I looked at the two eggs who had made this entire journey with me and tears started to form. Not full blown crying like when my dad wouldn’t buy me a sweet Timex at K-Mart in the 80s (he did, eventually) or something but like when you touch hot sauce and touch your eye or when you put muscle pain cream on and then go pee type-of-tears. I don’t mean that I was crying because they were safe (I was ready to chunk them by then or that it was finally over) but it really brought home that what we do is for fun and it could always be worse. I like learning about things and things about myself and I always learn something about myself at every Challenge I do but I think that lesson struck home that night. That caused me to become “emotionally engaged” as #1998 #big12championship #tennis Jenks described it.

So as with most of my stories, there isn’t a point. I guess if I had to pick one, it’s that I’m getting burned out and I’m a big, gay baby. For 2014 I’d like to squat a one rep-max of 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates and actually use my rower. Nothing really scheduled. Maybe a trip outside of the country just to see what’s up. Maybe throw in a marathon if my foot is up to it. Also, don’t do a ton of GORUCK events all near each other because it gets expensive and you can get burned out.


Me being “emotionally engaged” at the end of 023.