GOQUIT

I quit my first GORUCK event over the weekend. 31-1 is the record. Bloody hell. Even with #goquit I had a great weekend! Maybe because of #goquit. Back in March I signed up for Heavy because it’s my favorite event and the best event ever and and it was a city I hadn’t spent any time in, Philadelphia, so hell, let’s go.

Lots of firsts this weekend:

  • Drank my first Zima
  • I did my first event without my main water bladder (MSR Dromedary) 😢
  • I saw us fly over another plane

I got to Philly and met up with VP-best-P who had ordered us roast pork sandwiches from Dinic’s which was an OK sandwich but I didn’t think it was amazing. It wasn’t no falafel or #shawarma from Israel. We checked into the room and napped. Rather, attempted to nap but I was wide awake so I got some water and did my prep for the event. 15:00 – we get in our Uber and ride out to John Michael’s to link up and carpool to the start point at Chadds Ford. We got to meet his lovely family. Also, Mark Witt was there 👀 Then we hopped in the car and after an hour, we roll into the parking lot.

John Michael ready to crush all the things.

Start points are the best. There’s a lot of “hey! We haven’t seen each other in a while!” and “man I know dat ass/boot combination but I forget your name!” Combine lots of chatter, lots of lube, lots of feet taping, interesting smells, some nerves and you’ll get the pre-game jitters of a GORUCK event.

  • Lots of cramping
  • Quitting my first GORUCK
  • Philly cheesesteaks

18:00 – the event kicks off in the parking lot of an elementary school. As people are forming into ranks, I’m scoping out the sun and where the shade is so I can get a comfortable standing spot. There’s probably better ways to spend your time but that’s what I went with. We get formed up into 8 companies, 2 regiments, 1 army. Then we move out, ready to wreck some shit. We wrecked some shit all right, and that was just walking. We advanced all of 100 meters when we pull over to get smoked in a soccer field for being unable to walk together (or cadre just fucking with us, same result). Here we picked up our first event withdrawal where homeboy got a concussion but he was OK later at endex.

Witt in his element…surveying everything GORUCK he’s about to crush.

There’s not much to my GOREV story other than we rucked, Top talked about history, we rucked, learned more history, saw some amazing fireflies along the road, and rucked some more. There were only a few interactions I had that were memorable as all we did was walk with our company of ten people while maintaining columns. I was company commander for Bravo Company during my brief guest appearance at this GOREV Heavy.

The first cool thing I saw was a large football-sized-field that was full of fireflies. There was some mist on the ground and it was like a light show. I just needed some glow sticks, some untz untz untz, and some bass you could feel in your chest to set the mood. Second was that as we walked along the road, we were told to keep a look around to appreciate the scenery. I looked right, saw the rolling hills of this nice neighborhood, and could see why people would love this area. I looked left, and imagined the same thing. All I could see was the bottom of a wall and then a fence. If I was taller I bet that shit looked dope though. The third and best moment for me was someone started talking about snipers and I mentioned “Oh yeah I saw that in The Patriot” when Top turns around, yells at me to never mention The Patriot again, then he runs back and yells “Babs, what’s the first rule of GOREV?” and she answers with “Don’t talk about the Patriot!” lmfao

The end.

Oh wait, there’s that part about me quitting #goquit

We were to do a 12 mile team ruck march after a 20 minute refit break. We all loaded up with water and I chugged a bunch of electrolytes but that didn’t work. At mile 2 I started feeling some cramping in my quads. Here we go!! Then a few miles later it moved to my hamstrings as I adjusted my gait. Then my calves. They weren’t intense like I’ve seen with others but I was behind the curve on that one and I couldn’t get ahead of it. I tried another pack of the Trioral salts and gave it a few miles but that didn’t work for me. I was contemplating quitting from the very beginning (like all events I do) but this was the first time I did it #goquit I felt shitty but I also felt great ’cause I didn’t have to worry about cramping anymore. That Trioral salt didn’t work for me. Lesson learned. I’m going back to Endurolytes.

aftermath aar 2

After getting dropped off at the 12 mile end point, Top (cadre Andy) comes over and asks us why we dropped.

*Top writing down why people dropped*

  • “Hip”
  • “Fainted”
  • “Electrolytes out of whack”

*ignores me*
‘hey Top did you put down that I just quit?’
“…yeah I got that.”

Oh 😨

get in that gross water! …ok

I’ve been thinking about how I feel regarding quitting this event. Initially, disappointment. After a few days, I find I don’t care. I don’t know if that’s ego saying I don’t care or if I truly don’t care. I’m not self-aware enough to know if I can differentiate the two. What I do know is that I like that I get to talk about being a quitter for a long time, at least until the next Heavy I finish.

People have messaged me saying “it’ll be all right” and “you don’t have anything to prove” but hell, I’ve been all right. Failing an event is not the end of the world for me. If it were, I’ve had a very fortunate life. I’m not out there doing this because I’ve got something to prove.  If I was trying to prove something, like finishing an event, that was handled back in #281best28x or #heavy10takeakneedrinkwaterandpullsecurity I’m not saying that because I think I’m a proven commodity or I think I’m cool (note: don’t get me wrong, I think I’m cool but it’s not because of this) I’m saying that just because you’ve done it before, it doesn’t mean you will do it again. My pride was saying I could do events without training for them and thankfully I was proven wrong. Nothing like Life telling you that, hey! you suck and you need to #bebetter if you want to crush it and not be crushed. 

Here’s the deal- I’m out there because I enjoy it. The snarky comments, learning, yelling, becoming a team, not becoming a team, messing up, the smells (actually, I could do without this one tbh. It’s 2017 wear some deodorant you savages), the laughter, the joy of helping out your teammates, and most importantly, the suffering. All of that is what I’m there for.

I flew to Philadelphia, drove another hour, walked 15 miles in just over 9 hours, all to drop out of an event. Would I do it all over again?

Where do I sign up?

10 days

I spent a cool ten days in March doing GORUCK things, bookend-ed by shadowing a couple of Challenges (“toughs”) and capping it off with winning Silver (first loser, whatever) in Scavenger. Not sure why I did that so much. The first trip to Austin was to just get out of town. It was the weekend after burying my dad but I was planning on going there before he passed. This was just more reason to go. Get away from my family I guess. So I messaged Logan and I had a road trip buddy. We were going to shadow with weight and then 2 miles later when we got back to the van, “let’s dump this dumb weight” and so it was. Hey imagine that, me being a little bitch.

I had eyebrows once.

Have you ever questioned your life during a great GORUCK event? You do the same during a non-great shadowing event. Like, what is my life that I drive 3 hours to walk slowly behind other people walking even more slowly and carrying shit and then stopping every now and then? Cadre I’m black on beer and bored. You should smoke them for reasons. Shit, you should smoke the shadows for being dumb.

After my dad passed, I was asked (twice, first time I didn’t want to do it because I’m only kinda-Buddhist) by my mom to be part of a ceremony to help him move on to the afterlife and as it was told to me, I would temporarily become a novice monk. With that, I had to shave my eyebrows (veto) and shave my hair off (what’s left of it). Which is cool I guess. I won’t knock the culture but man, now I’m walking around like a dumb ass with no eyebrows. I guess the only real difference pre-and-post ceremony is that I don’t have eyebrows. Here’s a cool blog about Laotian death rituals (Nye Noona’s blog).

What store is this?

On the plus side, I’ve been wearing glasses to minimize the missing eyebrows but holy shit, I can see everything clearly. Who knew?

That was a Friday-Saturday. The following Wednesday, Jason McCarthy of GORUCK fame came to Arlington and they had a ruck up that I was fortunate to miss due to having to work and secure the bar ahead of time. Many beers were consumed in the securing of the bar.

Two days later, Friday, I went down to Houston to shadow some St. Patrick’s Day T/L action and it was more of the same. Cadre I’m black on beer and these guys are walking slow as hell. I took a nap at 06:30 when they were paying back exercises for infractions and it was beautiful. I never thought I’d spend many weekends taking a nap on the sidewalk in the middle of park but hell, life!

That challenge finished we all went out afterward for food and drinks and that’s where the best part of the post-event shenanigans is. Just hanging out and chatting with people, about GORUCK, about life. Maybe that’s why I shadow? I mean, aside from the beer.

I do all three!

That night I got to hang out with my bff Jason Gukhool of Belize/Heavy 010 Fame. Which, if you get to hang out with us, means you get to see us race in drinking beers (ciders in my case) and me inevitably losing. Followed up with a chaser of trash talking and slurring. I was able to talk to him about some things that went on with my dad and for that I’m thankful. Next round is on me! And not because you won the drinking game. Also, Case that weekend and David the week after with some sushi and about two dozen beers. Thanks guys!

My friend Case the minister…reverend? Something like that.

I had a good couple of weeks. It’s good to reset. Time to gaze off into the future with a cool photo.

The future is that way and that’s my reaction to it.

PT best T

More like PT worst T amirite?

And then Cadre Dan looks down on you as your face is in the sand and your ruck is crushing your sad little soul and he says ‘God Smiles on those he loves!’ And that’s the Bragg Heavy my friend.” – Nico

So Nico was trying to sell me on the Bragg dream and I guess that did it. A year later, I can finally use her quote. Only I didn’t get sand from Dan though. Cadre John hooked it up repeatedly. But back to the story.

This is the end

…a bonus lesson is that shit can go from happy fun time to terrible in a heartbeat. John and Flash said we weren’t allowed to have a break-in-contact so guess what we do right away. Break in contact! We put our coupons down, ran to a sandpit where we were given 35 seconds to dump a ton of sand into our open rucks and then we got to do ten minutes of burpees. It was heavy and felt like 60-70 lbs on your back. Doing burpees wasn’t working out for us (when do they ever?) so John takes over from Flash and hooks us up with an exercise where you simulate firing mortars (sand) at your teammates. We started off facing the back of the front rank and were getting sand in the face. Not wanting them to feel left out, we turned around and everyone got more sand on them. Hang em+fire! While this was going on, Flash calls to Jason to come over and he said we called him a weak cadre or some shit. Hey thanks Flash. So now we get to try do do inch worm push ups for what seems like forever but it was probably ten minutes. Ten minutes of staring at the crotch of the dude in front of you while failing to do push ups and inching backward.

Hold your breath and count to ten

Next comes, you guessed it, more PT but this time with logs and all sorts of fuckery. After a million hours of this, we all formed back up at the start point to carry more shit but this time as one giant team of 127 peeps. I ended up on one of the log teams with . Funny how as the day goes on, the log starts to feel heavier and heavier. I swear we were getting crushed  harder by the end, even with both tandems switching out every 30-60 seconds. Gravity showed back up I guess.

Feel the earth move and then

Soon after circling back, we put up the coupons in the cadre vehicles and refit our water. We were tasked with spelling “Joe” and we learned a lot more about the man. Awesome dude, wish I could’ve met him. But that was a lot of sitting around being cold and then we were told to hurry up and go wait somewhere else. Jason comes over with a shit-eating grin and asks us “hey are you guys cold?!” and this may have been the single, most unified answer in the history of GORUCK when the entire class yells “no!” and Jason walks away a little disappointed. How dumb do you think we are? We ain’t falling for that…again.

Hear my heart burst again

Right after this, we had the Farewell Party. Here, the cadre were swarming around us like sharks. The front rank got to run suicides while the rest of the ranks did PT. Like, this part sucks completely but it’s also one of my favorite parts because it’s fun. Just like on TV. Or real life military shit I guess. I wouldn’t know. When it was my turn to run suicides, I was right by cadre and my blazing speed made them question their life decisions. Cadre Doug said “Bee why the fuck are you so slow? Your kamikaze attack would be the slowest thing ever. You are the slowest Asian I’ve ever seen. Go see Sarkis!” Which was actually a relief because PT is way better than trying to run. Thanks Crazy Doug!

burpee+frog jumps in the water video here.

After that, we circle up around cadre and we are endexed. 7th Heavy complete. I’m never doing this shit again.

Post event questions and thoughts:

Bee, do you just have the biggest happy trail? One of the cadre was like “hey uh do you just have the biggest happy trail?” so I showed him the magic and he was like “thanks for satisfying my craving!”

Was it harder than other Heavies? Yes and no. More PT because we didn’t have to walk all over but less chance of heat death. You’re also there to memorialize Joe so instead of counting reps we yelled “Joe” every time which is awesome because you don’t have to keep up with a count. Physically it was a beat down, possibly the hardest in terms of PT. Mentally, it wasn’t that difficult. Except for the cardio portion. Pick shit up, put it back down. Pick up other shit. I never got to where I questioned all of my life choices. Maybe I leveled up in the GORUCKs?


How did you feel after the event? I felt great! I had a lot of beer. Then caffeine. My feet weren’t wrecked so maybe that’s why I felt good. That and the 660mg of Aleve in the morning.

What worked? I used new shoes and a different lacing method and didn’t lose my toenails. No blisters. It’s a freaking miracle. Hydration was good as I kept peeing clear all the time. Even when cramping.

Attitude! Mine was pretty good. I didn’t hit any low points or yell at anyone. I heard a few comments from others about being positive. I guess that’s my only strength. I’m not strong, fast, tall, smell good, or contribute anything useful but damn it, I can keep up a good attitude.

Heavy log? This scooter looks good!

What didn’t work? There was not enough (as in zero) rucking/cardio in my training regimen.

More PT for the PT gods.

I brought too many Clif bars (3) and I ended up giving away one bar (shit’s heavy right?) and two people were like “hell yeah.” I ate two Clif bars, a peanut m&m, and maybe a bite or two of other things. I don’t get too hungry during these things. I need to remember to bring caffeinated jelly beans.

Cramping in the triceps and lats (but does that mean it’s working?)

GRTs trying to line up in four ranks– this was probably the biggest issue. We litrlly do it every time we stop. Get four people to line up on the end and fill in down the line. If there’s a gap, move over and fill it up. It doesn’t take a long time. It’s not complex…yet we keep messing it up #grt

When it looks right!

Buddy carrying a casualty– new people always try to three man carry a casualty. Fuck that. Pick him up and charlie mike.

Not that I’m grumpy. Those things happen and will continue to happen. It’s a part of GORUCK. Meditation makes it easier to accept.


In happier news, a part of my GORUCK experience is that people come up to me and say it’s nice to meet me. Uh…thank you, but don’t make me curse you with my friendship. You obviously haven’t been listening to me bitch all night in the back but thank you for the kind words. Even more appreciated, though, is when someone says they’ve read my blog (almost always the one about finishing HTL) and laughed! That makes all the PT and cardio worth it, I think.

 

Handley low crawling away from my bullshit!

goruck dork

I was texting a friend about shadowing the GORUCKs this weekend. I didn’t plan on shadowing some of the Heavy but after some people messaged me asking if I was going I figured “why not?” I was also injured (sartorius strain) and couldn’t wouldn’t go to the gym so I figured the best use of my time was to show up in Ft. Worth and bother my friends doing the GORUCK Heavy.

Downtown Ft Worth…waiting on my peeps
That involves driving 45 minutes to not do PT and instead, watch other people do PT. You would think that it’s boring (it is) but hell, sign me up. Or don’t sign me up because signing up takes effort and you know I’m not all about that. I can not do PT at home. Hell, I’m not doing PT right now. Fuck yeah. No PT best PT. You’re probably not doing PT right now either. We should start a club…noruck.
So I show up at the Heavy start point and nobody is there because they’re in the middle of their 12 mile ruck march which is awesome because I’ll just drink some beer. I don’t have beer. Worst shadow of all time ever. I go grab some beer and wait for them in the park and it’s about 21:00 and I keep seeing people running by, mostly solo but occasionally a pair of joggers. I eventually meet up with the other shadows and we do a few more hours of drinking beer and taking blurry pictures. As we were leaving Thursday night (work the next morning), Chase would go on to perfectly state “man it’s like Murder Central out here. I wouldn’t be out here all alone.”

What’s in the bag?

Friday after work I head over there to shadow the end of the Heavy and the entirety of the Tough. Which is more of the same but tonight’s schedule includes going to Ol’ South Pancake House to get some sausage gravy + biscuits because it’s delicious and better than watching them get smoked. We get back to park in the park and Fortune was looking down on us today as the class walked by the parking lot so we didn’t have to run around and search for them. This is around 00:30.

The class doing PT near the Trinity River.
As the class is getting smoked, A shadow looks at me and was likely thinking “this guy is lazy, he’ll probably want a ride” and offered me a ride to the next checkpoint and sure as shit I took him up on that. You don’t get this body by walking miles in the dark. So we get to the next checkpoint and we wait. The class shows up and they get smoked for not being team oriented or something. We head 2 miles to the next checkpoint and wait some more. He wanted to nap so he reclined his seat back and I wanted to lay down so I went outside and Clint and JB did too. We walked around looking for some dry spots and didn’t find any so we decided that the sidewalk was as good as any so we got on the ground about 15′ away from each other and Clint goes near/under the bridge and knocks out. This is around 03:15-03:30. I come to around 0530 freezing my ass off. All I’m wearing are short shorts and a hoodie and that’s not enough for sleeping on concrete. It was cold. I take a second to gather my bearings, trying to figure why I’m on the side of the road and look around and I don’t see John. He’s probably peeing. Five minutes later he’s still not back.

The class needed to move from University/Trinity River to the pin. Not sure of the time hack.
Not good.

I yell “JOOOOOOOHN” and don’t hear a reply so I was like “damn, guess he’s lost to the aether.” Clint gets up from UNDER THE BRIDGE and asks “where’s JB?”

Clint thinks he might be down by the river in case he fell in while trying to pee so he takes my headlamp and walks the bank for a couple of minutes. No sign. That’s when I’m like “damn, he really is gone.” Next I’m thinking I’m going to end up on the news because my friend is gone and I’m the last one to see him alive. All we have left is his ruck. How do you explain a missing GRT? He’s a bigger guy so I can’t overpower him but I might be a crafty Asian.

No way the guy in the right would get into the trunk of a car. Never.
All that goes by the wayside when the shadow shows back up. I ask him he’s seen JB and he’s all “you try calling him?” So I do and this time that bitch picks up.

“Hey!”

“Hello?”

“Where you at?!”

“…I’m…in the trunk.”

“DUDE you do not climb into the back of anyone’s trunk. Ever.”

seriously
THIS BITCH

Clint walks over, pulls out his phone to record it, pops open the trunk and sure as shit dude climbs out of the trunk.

Check out his sweet suite.
Turns out he had gotten cold at night and went back to the car to sleep. He kept flopping around in the backseat and the shadow asks him to get in the trunk.

“There’s a pillow back there.”

“Okay.”

smh
What is this life? Sleeping on the sidewalk, sharing beers with new friends and taking pictures of strangers doing strange things at night.

A damned good one.

The Bomber Bash

I’m headed out to the 10th Bomber Bash car show this weekend and what do you know, there’s a GORUCK Light going on. So post with content and not just dumb rambling inbound next week.

bomber_knee
Take a knee, drink water and pull security.

You know what I hate about road trips? When you drive and see one of those “Advertising works? Just did!” billboards. Like damn it, you got me. Or did you? Like I’m never going to call that number they have on there so does that mean it works? I guess so if I’m raging about it right now.

But back to Bomber aka Christopher Goad, the coolest GRT of all time ever (way cooler than Wric Eang) I met him before he got big-time famous. Actually he is the only mega-famous GRT I know. I mean, I’ve met some Selection finishers but they don’t post as much on the Tough page as he does. I also don’t drunkenly text them like I do Bomber. One thing when I met him people were calling him “Goad” or Chris” and I was like “who the hell is that? Bomber has a name?”

bee_cone
Woke up with a cone in our room. Hence Bee Yang shirt cones #history #yotb #cby #probablynot

If we go back to February 2013, you’ll find that there once was a ruckoff at Lee Harvey’s where a loud, tattooed, FB trash talking, shirtless hugging Marine, rolls up and gives everyone a hug. “Uh…OK old creepy dude.” The details of the night are fuzzy at best but it was related later on that, after many beers and Bomber showing me his broken finger, I threw up. It definitely was the broken finger and not excessive alcohol consumption.

Purveyors of good livin’ this weekend

So, Bomber. Solid dude. So solid he was paired up with me here at the Shreveport Custom GORUCK Light Class 025 that Doc coordinated. That was dumb. Buddy bear crawls? Also dumb. Especially when you get two fat guys with beer bellies who can’t actually buddy bear crawl.

bee_bomber
Here he whispers that I smell like Budweiser.

He’s possibly one of the most tattooed persons I’ve ever met in my life. He’s got a thick accent so wait for one of his videos where he says “GRT” (jAHR tEE) and prepare to enjoy. Being that he’s from Shreveport, I don’t see him often because, well, I’d have to go to Shreveport and if you’ve been to Shreveport once then you probably have had enough Shreveport for a lifetime. Maybe two lifetimes if you spent more than a few hours there.

Kidding.

Always fun times at the Waffle House.

But not really.

So if you’re free this weekend, swing by Shreveport/Bossier City and check out the 10th Bomber Bash. They have food trucks, bad ass cars and incredibly, warm, welcoming people. Who else but Bomber would have the StarPower™ to have people come out from around the country to check out his event? Connecticut, Florida and well…Arkansas far-ish? New York is represented as well.

What’s up Q?

Also beer.

Like a ton of beer.

Hell, it’s at a damned brewery. The ruckoff starts at 12:00 PM tomorrow at Flying Heart Brewery! So come out and drink beers then GORUCK yourself in the face!!

[edit: Thanks to our first Team Lead (TL) for the event Will for correcting me! It’s also his first event! I will drink beers and think about what I’ve done]

Bashed!

I was there last year but I don’t remember much of it.

I heard I had a great time, though.

event musings

Similar to the quitting post where there is a lot of bitching disguised as introspection, these are some thoughts that pop up in my head during events or hell, maybe just life in general. But that’s just it – thoughts. I’ve occasionally voiced the ones that don’t invoke more PT but those are just me going to my happy place.

My homeboy Jimmie in his happy place. Carrying zodiacs apparently.

Cadre…we’re black on PT.

I thought we did enough burpees but nah, we definitely need more burpees.

Oh OK sure I’ll keep carrying this weight. I was just kidding about needing help.
[This is at nearly every event. Some more than others but thankfully some classes fight for carrying team weights. Not me though, nope.]

Sure, let’s run everywhere. Walking is overrated.

I think that time hack is too generous.

This could be more challenging.

I love bear crawls.

I’m black on beer.

I’ve actually said that last one except it was mangoritas back when those were all the rage. I mean, those are still delicious but Lime-a-ritas are still number one in my heart.

courtesy of Phil

I’m sure glad everyone brought all this food for twelve hours so we get to carry it all night.

I’m not getting into that water, that’s gross.

If I have to get in that cold ass water one more time I’m quitting. [I didn’t actually quit when we got back in the water but it was just fun to bitch out loud with Donna in Seattle]

I remember wanting more flutter kicks and ruck swings. Wish granted.

Maybe I can break my ankle and quit without actually quitting.

Maybe a snake or a goose will take me out and I won’t have to finish this twelve miler.” – Jeff Underwood [I have had this thought multiple times]

There’s no way they’d make us ruck back to the start point. Where is the GORUCK bus? [We actually had a bus pick us up @ Culebra 1, thanks Chad! Also at Task Force Dagger custom in 2015 in Charleston, thanks Keith! Dreams do come true!]

This log is impossibly large. No way.

Can we take our break in the shade ten feet away instead of standing out here beneath the sun?

Uh…you can’t go solo without a battle buddy. It’s like your 4th GORUCK dude how do you not know this?

Yeah yell at the dude who forgot his battle buddy. The cadre won’t hear you.

Yes, your idea is amazing. You should let the class know really loudly how you feel and try to be TL when it’s not your turn.

Bee, shut up.

“12 miles is like, 12 miles too far.” – Cristina Mendoza

Why do we pay all this money to come do shit that sucks? I hear you can vacation without doing all of this shit. Must be nice.

You know what we need? A poleless litter.

I believe most people can relate to this. Except for those who are in shape aka not the “round is a shape” population (includes me in all honesty but you knew that). So my goal was to be in shape for my next event (Light in Shreveport with Bomber Bash) but instead of rucking and running and doing PT I’ve been lifting weights and not doing anything ruck related so that goal fell by the wayside.

Culebra 1. But also looks like Culebra 2 and Culebra 3.

Instead, I’ll have to shift my goal to another event in the future where I expect many repeats of those thoughts up above.

Meanwhile, I’ve started a blog regarding tracking my workouts and you can follow it here – www.coldandbitter.com if you’re into that sort of thing.

SCARS

After close to four years of grey manning I finally got a SCARS patch! RIP babby’s first ruck.


Roughly 20 events with that particular GR1 and it’s taken me to:

Dallas

Kansas


Shreveport


Austin

Culebra



Ft. Worth

Oklahoma City


Normandy


Washington DC

New Orleans


Charleston


I will say that without getting…how you say, blackout drunk, signing up for my first event (and what I thought knew was going to be my last event about 3 hours into it…lol) and buying this bag that I would not have gone on all of those adventures to those cities I’ve always dreamed about in this short period of time.
You could say I’m pretty happy with that purchase. Not because it’s a cool bag and can hold all my stuff but because it helped me meet a ton of amazing people. I don’t actually like any of them but I pretend to so they can insult me and call mean things on the Facebooks ’cause I like the attention I guess. Another reason I don’t like them is they’re also really, really expensive to hang out with. We can’t like, just watch TV or something. If I want to see them I’ve gotta get flights, hotels, pay for events and there’s possibly a bar tab to cover but that last one is a wash because I might be doing that anyway… maybe.

 

So I read The Art of Happiness a while ago and I want to say it talked about being thankful for whatever object comes into your life (I could be misattributing this). That you should tell that object, or perhaps acknowledge internally, that the object is going to be with you for a finite amount of time and that you should thank it for the time you’re going to spend with it. It’s hokey as shit, I know, but I did it with that ruck and lots of other things and what do you know, when it’s time to let go it’s a lot easier. I do that with nearly everything I buy now. So I sent my ruck to scars and may have included some fancy beer when I returned it and they wrote me a nice letter and gave me some free swag but the beer isn’t mandatory and more of a thank you.

Farewell, first bag-as-a-backpack, hello dismembered-corpse-of-a-first-bag-as-a-sweet-wire-holder-thing!!

meditation best ation

A few months ago I started listening to this podcast called 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Dan and it got me interested in meditation and meditating um…infrequently. It’s a great podcast where he talks about what got him into meditation (panic attack on-air while hosting some popular TV show), his practice and interviews other meditation practitioners. He also takes a skeptical approach to it and it’s cool that he is Buddhist (but not smells and bells type) so I can relate to some of his approach.

before_after_meditation
before and after meditation (I’m lying)

For my personal practice and “sit” time, I started out aiming for a five minute session once a day. That first day of the first week was awesome. I woke up at 04:30, set my phone timer for five minutes and sat on the ground. This is not a verbatim transcript but it might as well have been of my first sit – “OK be cool. You got this. Five minutes is easy. Unless you’re in front leaning rest (push ups) with your ruck on. Or even with your ruck off. I need more push ups in my life. Man, is five minutes up yet?” I glance at the timer. Litrly 30 seconds have passed. This isn’t going to go well. More thoughts like that enter and exit my mind and it turns out, that’s OK.

One of the persons interviewed said that, with this kind of meditating (as opposed to transcendental meditation ‘TM’) that whatever it is that pops into your brain, you acknowledge it, and let the thought go on about its way. No need to clear your mind because that’s not easy at this level of meditating.

So roughly 8 weeks into it, I’m caught up with the podcast (haven’t listened to the guided meditation app that he has as well) and when I sit, it’s five minutes (8 minutes when I’m feeling saucy) and the results are pretty good.

  • I’m less stressed.
  • I care less about things.
  • Things that do bother me bother me less.
  • I am quicker to apologize to people.
  • More appreciative of people in my life.
  • Go Cowboys

For those that know me, they know that I have a relatively easy going demeanor. I don’t actually interact with people outside of chat groups or messaging apps so they may not be able to tell but I feel less assholish (asholey? ). Maybe not to them.

All of that is just to say that Ed is a jerk and I hate him.IMG_0528

 

I remember reading Ed’s Death Race review and he talked about meditating on top of a parking garage like a weirdo so I never paid it much mind. But he reached out to me yesterday to see if I’d be interested in “running” a meditation challenge for the month. I’d been kicking that idea around in my head because that’s easier than running a 100 miles but didn’t think anyone would be interested but Ed can read minds now, apparently. Meditation – It Just Works™

IMG_0529

So how about it, 31 days of meditation? How hard could it be?

  • 5 minutes a day the first week
  • 10 minutes a day the second week
  • 15 minutes a day the third week
  • 20 minutes a day the fourth week

350 minutes for the month of July (1-28) or 410 if you think you’re a bad enough dude to meditate with yourself. I won’t guarantee that it will work for you because most of you who read this are jerks for reasons but it’s a good way to test the body and mind.

I’ve included a simple chart for you to check off your meditating. Remember like everything else in life, this is a competition so the harder you meditate the more you win. Kidding.

5 Friday 01-Jul
5 Saturday 02-Jul
5 Sunday 03-Jul
5 Monday 04-Jul
5 Tuesday 05-Jul
5 Wednesday 06-Jul
5 Thursday 07-Jul
10 Friday 08-Jul
10 Saturday 09-Jul
10 Sunday 10-Jul
10 Monday 11-Jul
10 Tuesday 12-Jul
10 Wednesday 13-Jul
10 Thursday 14-Jul
15 Friday 15-Jul
15 Saturday 16-Jul
15 Sunday 17-Jul
15 Monday 18-Jul
15 Tuesday 19-Jul
15 Wednesday 20-Jul
15 Thursday 21-Jul
20 Friday 22-Jul
20 Saturday 23-Jul
20 Sunday 24-Jul
20 Monday 25-Jul
20 Tuesday 26-Jul
20 Wednesday 27-Jul
20 Thursday 28-Jul
20 Friday 29-Jul
20 Saturday 30-Jul
20 Sunday 31-Jul

Facebook event!!!!

Cadre I’m black on o2

It’s nearly pitch black and I’m standing there on the side of the road, snacking on Immodiums trying to be cool but if you know me, that’s not actually possible. I say “nearly pitch black” because you people like to wear your headlamps and turn around and blind everyone and kill their nightvision. Damn it take an astronomy class, you’ll learn about that real quick. I hear some people I know from a nearby group so I walk over and say hi to Dan from Puerto Rico best ico and some of my new teammates and Dave arms me with a pump action, paintball pistol. Everyone is standing around, talking about what is going to happen or what to expect, experiencing our usual pre-ruck jitters and I’m over here hoping I don’t have to fart so I’m not too nervous. Eventually we are told to head over to another area, outside of the parking lot and we form up. Queue more standing around, forming up into our squads and counting down the time until sunrise. Apparently the cadre were on a coffee run so that meant we got to stand around and get our gear sorted out.

 Out of nowhere (ostensibly the parking lot), the cadre show up and start telling us we are bad people doing bad things in a bad place while using bad Russian accents. Kind of hard to take them seriously when you’re laughing at their terrible accents and whatnot but hey, low crawls. Sure thing. In pants and on a smooth deck? Not a big deal. Go backwards? Sure? They did insult us and call us names and make us low crawl over the deck toward the parking lot we just left (psst…hey it would have been faster if we never left the parking FYI). We’re all made to form up into two lines and start hiking up the road but that we have to put our hands into the belt of the person in front of us. Luckily for homeboy behind me I don’t have a belt on so he gets to put his hands down my backside and feel my silkies.

  

As we’re walking, Cadres Mikhail and not-Mikhail (Danny…ail?) make the rounds and start telling us we’re going to be hurting in a bad way and how we’re not going to enjoy our short futures. One of them talks to me and then tells the class I’m a Korean sympathizer and that I turned them all in. First of all, no. Second of all, I’m not Korean. I’m actually Chinese/Laotian best tian so…so I got promoted to being Korean. Turns out there’s another Asian in the group so we get jumped into the Korean Street Gang™ We eventually get to where our their Welcome Party would begin when the Cadre ask for their Korean Street Gang™ to come to the front. Kelli goes up, I go up and the Cadre keep yelling at someone in with a headband on “Get over here Street Fighter” and so I run up to him to get him to come by, maybe he’s hard of hearing…or maybe he’s not Asian. Have you met Jonathan Hurtado? I have…turns out he’s Columbian? I reckon you just gotta not be able to pass for a local I guess. No wonder he didn’t want to join the gang…he eventually saw The Light.

So the Welcome Party starts. Those who were singled out for extra good living got to come hang out with the KSG™ and they had to do headstands in the mud, more PT and then less PT and then more PT. ALL OF THIS WILL STOP IF YOU WILL US WHERE YOUR CAMP IS. WHERE ARE YOUR WEAPONS? WHERE IS THE CLOSEST MCDONALDS? (Seriously, some of us are hungry and want to know.) WHAT IS YOUR NEXT OBJECTIVE? Some of these people are tough to crack aka impossible so they send for more people to be interrogated. Flutter kicks, pushups, mud boarding, Roman chairs, dragging through the mud, more headstands. Nobody breaks. KSG™ gets cold so we ask for PT and we do about a minute of jumping jacks (10 seconds for me) and then we are all to form up. Chris Way is giving us a briefing when we come under attack and have to evac to the woods. This turns out to not be a smooth move because uh, oxygen. Or lack thereof.


CADRE I’M BLACK ON O2.

Nobody cares 😨. More hiking, more bitching, more not-breathing and we get to a pond/lake called Dude Hole. Elevation 8700 ft. Oxygen content, not enough. https://www.google.com/maps/place/39%C2%B051’39.2%22N+105%C2%B024’47.7%22W/@39.8608971,-105.4154477,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d39.860893!4d-105.413259

 

We hop in the water where it’s cold everywhere (but not here) because we are still somehow children. At the top of Dude Hole there are some rocks called Dude Throne (elevation 9200 ft. Oxygen content, still not enough. Plenty of gasping for air though. They’ve got that in spades). So as one giant class we trudge across the water’s edge and up through the cliffs. I actually felt pretty good here. Last time I was at altitude for more than a couple of days I got altitude sickness and was the biggest bitch so I guess the only difference is…I had altitude sickness last time? We climb up and take this sweet picture – thanks Kimmie! Thanks Colorado for not having o2.

 After we took our scary, on high picture we split up into three teams. One stays up top and learns to rappel, one other learns some sneak attack stuff I’m going to use on all of you and the other half learns how to get lost in the woods while carrying items that litrly keep you from getting lost in the woods aka Land Navigation. Then I got shot in the stomach with a paintball gun.


 

I don’t really want to talk about the rest of the event as it’ll give away too much but it was a really fun experience. Someone said we should do a Jedburgh but I’m just a hater so that’s not going to happen. Like many of my other GORUCK experiences, you get to meet people from all over the country and find out why they hate their free time, money and apparently, oxygen so much that they’d fly out to Denver in the middle of summer to do this. It’s fun.

Jenks throwing in the skinny arm.  

As Jenks said, “two minutes of Heaven is better than….two minutes of not Heaven.”

[ ] Yes [ ] No

The obvious answer is “uh, yeah I want to quit because 12 mile ruck marches are dumb. I’m dumb. GORUCK is dumb. Also, that wasn’t particularly fun and another thing, I feel some blisters forming on my feet.” but my mouth is faster and I immediately, regretfully answer “fuck yeah” and so does Ross. We’re told to get in line and a head count later, we were at 68/72 remaining. Then came the fun part, we were split up into two 36 person platoons by the GORUCK Heavy class 114 Draft. 


First off, I’d like to thank my family and friends for allowing me to be here today. Without them I wouldn’t be in DC and drafted in the 8th round. More importantly, I was freaking pumped to not be picked last. But not so fast, at the end of the draft it turned out that there was a miscount and I was traded away to the other team because the other platoon because reasons. I suspect they didn’t have enough Asians on it. Bitch, I got feelings. It ultimately didn’t matter though as both classes ended up doing SIMILAR events (different order), walking our asses all over DC, got to experience almost dying of heatstroke and do four Hero WODs (using our rucks for weight), one for a fallen Marine, Navy, Air Force and Army service member. Speaking of WODs, that shit sucked. I might have to join CrossFits. 
Making the event harder was the weather. I bet it was beautiful if you were out in it for like an hour but since we were there for about 12 hours in the light, it sucked. The sun was just brutal. It was only 88 but I’d swear it was 100. We’d walk along the avenue and you could immediately FEEL when you were in the sun or in the shade (not just because you could see you were litrly in the shade). There wasn’t a cool breeze to be found anywhere in downtown and we didn’t get wet until about 2 hours to go and like all fun classes, we got to carry jerry cans around filled with water. Am I done bitching? Not even.


Post-event-woe-is-me initial reactions: my feet hurt because I have bitch feet and also have not attempted a 12 mile ruck march in approximately 2 years, I need to buy newer Leukotape because the old ones lose their stickiness and had the sticky stuff peeling out, untested boots for said ruck march suck, blisters everywhere (ask me for pics) and give me victory beers. I’ve read about people with post-event-blues but I don’t know if I have that. I am more like “hell yeah I don’t have to worry about that event anymore.” Not that I was dreading it, just more curious about how it was going to go (it did not work out so well for me).


We actually got lucky and had the easy Brian for our Heavy and we didn’t have to do either of those, fortunately. I’ve read he likes long walks up a mountain and other dumb shit so I was happy. Brian is a hilarious dude and he was joking with Earl Granville when he went to talk to him at roll call and said “Do you go up on stage and my name is Earl and I wish I had joined the Marines.” LMAO. Less LMAO-y, the Challenge class got massacred by him later on though. Better them than us. 
Cadre Danny gave us all forearm tattoos. I asked around and some people were like “yeah I don’t know what’s up with that” and as soon as I mentioned the team weight everyone was like “that makes so much sense! that thing sucked” and it was quite litrly the worst team weight I’ve ever carried. Kevin said it was 70 lbs and my forearms believe it. Just not a good way to carry that without straps. I’m doing more biceps curls in case I see that again. I was talking to Ross about a Challenge I’d read about online in Baltimore where the police were called and it turns out Cadre Rob was leading it when someone called and said there were protestors. The police rolled up and asked what they were protesting (I suggested they were protesting nice, relaxing Friday nights and money in their wallets) but they heard about GORUCK and gave them police escorts through town.

Remember when we were going to quit but didn’t? Ross told me later that if I had hesitated for a split second longer about continuing, he would have quit. 


Of course, the event was soul sucking and terrible but I didn’t have any single bad point where I said “I hate GORUCK, screw this event, screw me and my terrible decisions and screw you, dark ass trail where I could get murdered” you know? Well, I said that last one but other than that, amazingly the mental game was strong. 
GORUCK Heavy is designed to hurt you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It did most of that but again, it’s still the best team event ever, hands down. I’d do them all if I didn’t have to pay for them.
Let me leave you with a quote from my friend G about his own 100K race last weekend (Infinitus anyone?) he crushed/was-crushed-by this weekend which absolutely sums up my thoughts about my Heavy this weekend, “I feel good about the effort, not about the performance.”


Guess I could’ve just quoted that and not written so much.