TL;DR: Carry a bunch of shit and do a little bit of PT. The end.
After some delicious Mission BBQ, War Stories and Free Beer (double-fisting ’em like they were going to run out), and a short trip to the in Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, I headed over to Southern Pines ’cause I heard there was a thing that night. But first, to see if I could check into the hotel early (success!). Which seems like a waste of money for a night I’m not using the hotel but it let me use the facilities and pretend to sleep but not really ’cause I’M FREAKING PUMPED.
The Joe Warner Bragg Heavy (JWBH) is some real life shit. There’s like, PT and coupons and coupons and PT. Simple.
A few days prior to the event, cadre told us to show up an hour early for the admin phase (waivers, check-in, weigh-in, water) so we show up and pee everywhere because that’s just what you do. After admin, we formed up into one giant group with 7 ranks of 20 people each. They asked for anyone who had previously finished a JWBH to step aside and I had to say goodbye to my friends Keith and Andrew. Farewell.
There were about 25 people in that group so they asked for reinforcements. 5+ Heavy finishers? I’m back in the cool kids club with Keith and Andrew! Hello!! I ran into some other GRTs I knew in this group. This was going to be really awesome or really terrible.
So we get split up into two groups, a group of 33 and The Others. The uh…crew of 33 got to stay close by and do the Upper Body Round Robin (UBRR deets here) sans the rope climb. The Others got to do the standard PT test and ruck their asses off for 12 miles (or 9 miles, then 3 miles of PT on the route home). Two things about the UBRR: first, I got to meet the latest GORUCK Selection Finisher Mark when he graded my pushups and gave me lots of pointers (more like…I’m also terrible at pushups and they weren’t pointers so much as I should quit sucking at pushups) and second, you shouldn’t try Heavy by starting your running regimen two weeks prior AKA 12’30″/miles. It gets ugly. This comes into play later.
After the run, we head over to pick up logs from Logs-R-Us because it’s open 24/7 next door to the National Athletic Village. So, 3 logs get brought down and cadre tell us to sit in formation (3 ranks, 11 people each) and we get to chatting because it’s late and the sun should be coming up any minute now. We’re all certain of it. So after what seems like forever, people start breaking out whiskey and we eventually wisen up to penguin huddling. I start talking to Duck as I gaze into Keith’s thigh and I mention he should read the D-Day book if he goes to Normandy. Which leads to Band of Brothers chats and how he could watch it every day. I say “oh yeah our current situation reminds me of Bastogne.” Duck was like “uh…you mean except for the shelling, freedom of the world at stake, Nazis, fox holes, actual cold temps, improper gear, and snow?” Well, yeah. I mean, aside from that, I guess it was just like Bastogne.
So no shit, there I was at Bragg Heavy and all we were doing was sitting. This is probably the peak of my performance at this event. We sat some more. Whiskey was passed around. More sitting and drinking whiskey ’cause it warms your soul. I swear it was like an hour. I also swore the sun was about to come up but I think it was only 22:00-23:00 if I can timeline that but who knows. From here, the classes combine again and then separate into three teams.
Guess what happens next?
Do you like PT?
How about PT with rucks?
There were also a few coupons and sandbags but whatever.
Not much needs to be said about the event. If you want to know, then sign up, show up, and be crushed by it (or crush it, if that’s an option for you). Don’t be fat and dumb like me. Or if you are, do it anyway, and learn you some suffering. Like any good GORUCK class, there were valuable lessons learned from this event.
The first and probably most unique lesson is not to tell the cadre that meditation taught you to care less. Right after we did low crawls with our coupons, Cadre John was talking to someone about his meditation practice and I mentioned how it helped me not to care as much (“not give a shit anymore”) and live-streaming-GORUCK-social-media-manager Bomber catches it and said “y’all hear that? Bee doesn’t give a shit anymore” and cadre says “There you go. You can hang that rucksack above your head. I don’t care if it’s taken out of context anymore…rucksack over your head.” Not sure how long it was but it felt like an hour (was really ~5 minutes).
I care now.
Second lesson: my friends are awesome.
At one point in the morning, we were tasked with ruck running to downtown Southern Pines and I just knew it’d be bad. I knew it would be give-up-my-ruck-bad. Yes, I’m a little bitch. I’ve fully embraced it. But a sincere thank you to Alex, Keith, and Andrew #MANdley #hately. I’d make up some B.A.R. patches for them (Bee’s Ass Rescue) for them but I’m busy working on my cardio. Not having any cardio means you can’t breathe, you can get shin splints, and most importantly, you learn to appreciate your teammates. I thank you guys. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it. I was talking to Keith after this evolution and he told me to just put one foot in front of the other. I imagine they’re somewhere in that picture below.
After this, you’ll be shocked to learn that we did some more PT. This was followed up with more PT and when you think you’re done PTing, you find more PT. Why? There is no why. Perhaps it’s for the PT you cheated yourself out of earlier. If you crushed all of your share of PT, then you’re making up for the PT I skipped (trust me, lots of it).