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?

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.

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!!

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.

PEAK GORUCK

After last week’s awesomeness that was the GORUCK GRT Reunion in NOLA, Lee dragged me over to be interviewed by Nick (videographer) and I didn’t really want to be interviewed but I guess I didn’t not want to that badly because…I went and did it? Dumb. I watched the video once and cringed during the whole thing and now I can’t bring myself to watch it again because it’s awkward. I don’t even remember my answer that’s how bad it was. Anyway, I made it into an official GORUCK video and they published one of my blog posts so basically I’ve reached PEAK GORUCK and now I can retire™. I’m so over you, carrying-heavy-shit-for-long-distances-for-seemingly-no-reason-other-than-to-suffer-and-maybe-get-a-cool-FB-profile-pic-if-your-shadow-isn’t-drunk.

13138910_10154053715015549_4872867510376174092_n So aside from that, why were we there in New Orleans? I vaguely remember wondering what keeps me coming back to these events and you can’t put your finger on just one thing. Why would you people fly across the country to do dumb things with some people you know and a lot of others that you don’t know? Usually the reason is because “you’re dumb and you make bad decisions” but occasionally the answer is that you’ll connect with some people. Typically it’s a surface-level connection like “oh she’s a friend of a friend on FB” so you end up being FB friends. Sometimes you’re stuck under a log together if you’re of similar height but if you’re uh…my height then you’re just carrying extra stuff like team weights or the wonderful flag by yourself. Other times you connect because “he’s a casualty, pick his ass up and go.” Litrly connected.

Take Jimmie Speck…seriously, take him as your friend. I’ll throw in some patches to sweeten the deal. You might remember him last week’s post about buddy carrying my fat ass (“Bee wtf why are you so heavy?”) because I was…overly tired. We became FB friends after he joined my 1,001 Manmaker Challenge in February 2014 and I soon realized that any person dumb enough to do 1,001 Manmakers in his spare time, voluntarily, is totally dumb enough to be my friend. Fast forward 18 months and a couple of Bee-inspired Challenges we finally got to meet at Task Force Dagger Custom Chlight (challenge-level light) in Charleston, South Carolina through another friend of ours (Keith “TREK 007” Borg) and next thing you know, we’re in a group chat with Andrew “Redneck Riviera” Handley and they’re being extremely nice to me in the chat currently titled “#beeisaclassybitch”. Seriously, they’re good people.

log dragThere’s Keith not regretting this event at all.

So in our chat we got around to talking about why we do these events:

I show up every event looking to learn something about myself. Maybe I just find out I am bigger asshole than I thought [Bee’s note: he is]. If you think everybody is going to pull their weight…wrong event. You fuck up…you hurt…that builds bonds, that forges teams [and] you come out stronger on the other side.” – Jimmie Speck

He’s not wrong. It’s almost as if every event is your first event. Here are a few other quotes and observations by people regarding their first event (all by my memory and I’m drinking so…):

I’m going to do every exercise with perfect form.” – Jenks Currie

It can’t get any worse than this.” – random GRTs at night

*brings 5 pounds of food…eats none of it* – rookie GRTs

*brings 3 shirts and extra pants…carries it around for no reason* – rookie GRTs

Bee I knew we were going to be friends because we were the only Asians there.” – Eric Wang

Here’s my first battle buddy Chase Sepulvado. We carried shit for what seems like forever but it was only like 2 miles. He also offered me some food at a break and I was so tired I couldn’t eat.

13239433_10154064373410549_2098781566793489566_nSo Jimmie doesn’t know I quoted him and he’ll probably beat me up next time I see him when he drives to Shreveport to do the Bomber Bash Custom Light in Louisiana and not Task Force Dagger super awesome event in Charleston, SC on 9/11 weekend.

So if GORUCK just disbanded tomorrow, we’d still have our friendships because apparently, people matter. We wouldn’t have GORUCK as the avenue to continue to meet up and do stupid shit but we’d figure out something. So yeah, The People.

Beer is a close second, though.

13177920_10154053715555549_3512290599928771793_n

 

not pro tips

I’ve had a couple of people ask me for advice on GORUCK’s HCL (“HTL”) aka Heavy-Challenge/Tough-Light and I assume it’s because they’re desperate as there are better resources out there to ask than me. I guess the difference between those resources and me is that those people are in shape when they write their guides whereas I am…less in good shape? There’s hope for everyone to finish HCL if my ass can. 

The short version is to:

1. finish Heavy

2. show up to the Challenge “TOUGH”

3. profit

 

Long version:

1) Finish Heavy

2) Eat/Shower (depending on time in between events)

3) Fix your feet (lance blisters, air dry them, tape and lube etc.)

4) Reload supplies (water, food, straws to suck it up)

5) Show up to the Challenge start point and nap there if possible.

6)  After Heavy, you will hurt but so will everyone else… so the pace will necessarily be slower. And no, you won’t “slow down the team” so don’t be a bitch and come back (edit: pro-tip from G)

7) Wake up one hour before challenge, eat some more if you can and take care of feet again

BONUS: have a driver or someone in charge of transport and let them take the lead in herding you zombies around from endex to start point.

 

As for clothing, wear wool if it’s cold. I wore UnderArmor Heatgear and Coldgear as a baselayer and then a merino wool sweater (minus33 or Icebreaker brand here), then a rain jacket. For pants I just had some hiking pants that are awesome when you bear crawl on your knees like a little bitch (that’s the only way I bear crawl). I also had a sweet balaclava. 

  
One thing I was talked out of and regret is not bringing a travel/camping towel to towel off after doing bottom samples in the freezing ass water. Just make sure it can stay dry. I imagine it would probably help in drying your feet later but that might be me dreaming. 

Wear short shorts if it’s hot. Bring more lube. Sharing is caring.

 

Shoes, wear whatever you want. Tape your feet up for at least the 12 mile ruck march. Leukotape is the stuff of dreams. I don’t lube my feet because I haven’t noticed it helping me but your mileage may vary. People say to wear boots for the ankle support and other people swear by running shoes. Just do whatever you’re comfortable with. I’ve done it with both and I didn’t die. Trust me, you might have bigger problems to deal with than boots or running shoes. Like helping out someone else.

 

Remember if you do the Heavy and don’t come back for the Challenge, you’ll have to do Heavy again in order to complete the HCL. Not that it’s a bad thing because Heavy is the best event of all time ever.

 

In summary, show up and don’t be a bitch like me and you will win. Also, lube everything. 

  
When you’re done you too can put patches on your keg or six-pack. I obviously chose the keg because it’s more gooder. 

patches

Everyone has been uploading their patch collection to the Tough page but I’m not about that life. My favorite patches I have are the allegedly™, original 1,001 manmaker patch and my first Heavy patch. Apologies to those whose patches I didn’t favorite.

  1. The allegedly™ I just wanted one but you can’t really buy one so I figured I’d buy 50 and see if I can’t get close to breaking even and sure enough my friends were dumb enough to pull through and help me get near break-even.
  2. 1,001 manmaker patch was probably my first foray into doing dumb things for a patch. It immediately became my favorite dumb thing to do because if you take 15 hours like I did that first time, you realize how valuable time is. You start daydreaming about all the cool shit you could be doing. Immediately coming to mind is not doing manmakers. Watch TV. Not do manmakers. The possibilities are endless!!
  3. My first Heavy patch. I don’t know which one is the actual original but that’s not important. What is important is that I remember earning the shit out of this one because in my mind I was going to die in Austin and after Jason patched me, I hated him and loved him at the same time. I was raging but wanted to be happy. But most importantly, I wanted to sit down. Hell, we all did. My favorite event of all time still.

SuperScavenger was one of the most mentally draining of all my events but that’s because everything was foggy and hazy. I traded my FAD patch away for a charity donation. I can’t think of a patch I want to get. Maybe the Bragg one but I might be injured which, either way it goes I’ll be OK with because I’m a bum. It’s been a good three years I’d say. I remember earning my first patch and thinking that was the dumbest thing I’d ever done and that nope, no freaking way was I ever going to do it again-IMG_395539 months later…stupid patches. 25 h/c/l, 4 Scavs, 1 Trek, 1 FAD

I’ve been organizing my patches in order to make a patch board so I guess the posts help. I am going to make a patch board and, really, I think it’s dumb but clearly just because I think it’s dumb doesn’t mean I won’t do it. In looking at them, I realize I’ve lost a Light patch somewhere. It’s probably in my ruck but I’d have to go digging around so I’ll do that this weekend I guess. Or I’ll just Trek one from one of my peeps.

After I got my first patch and swore to never do an event again, I signed up for one that next day because you have to know if you really don’t like it and what better way to find out than to do it again? So the second event I signed up for (Wichita 553) ended up being my third event because there was a Light in between and somehow it became all about getting patches and shit. You keep buying patches because they’re cool or someone will say “run this far and donate money to charity and get a patch” and suddenly you’re like $200 into patches that you never look at (hence the patch board…oh). So you cut back on buying patches but keep going back and start giving less of a shit about getting a patch and more about earning it and helping others get theirs.

Then you figure it’s actually been about the people all along and hang the patch. Damn you GORUCK, I just wanted a sweet backpack and now I’ve got new friends and fucking like 50 new Facebook groups and shit.