I always feel a little guilty when I let someone into the apartment complex when they don’t know the gate code and can’t get a hold of whoever they are trying to visit. My first thought is always “what if they stab/kill someone” and my follow up to that is “what if they steal some shit?” I don’t have a good answer but that makes for a long one minute ride to where I park my car and then I get over it because I need to climb some stairs.
I spent an amazing 9/11 weekend in New York City with my good buddies Jenks and Barto. We went up to see the city and like all of my trips lately, do a GORUCK Challenge. We flew up on Thursday (9/11) which was kind of sketchy but apparently everyone else was more worried and the flight was only 1/2 full. We landed and after checking into the hotel, we did all sorts of touristy stuff which was fun and ate some amazing food and had one hilariously bad meal in (Times Square).
The Challenge was a great time as always. Over 400 people signed up for this event so they split us up into four different teams and we were in Team C. Our start point was the Queensbridge Park but Jenks decided to google “Queensboro Bridge + Park” and as luck would have it, there is a park under the Queensboro Bridge on Roosevelt Island. After some passionate subway debate it was agreed that Jenks is dumb (OK, maybe only I thought that) and that we were getting off the subway in Queens and rucking to the start point. So we had to ruck like 2 miles to the start point (it was only 1/2 mile but felt like the longest distance ever) and we were a few minutes late so we got to get in front leaning rest in front of the class. The first couple of minutes weren’t that bad but man, after those two minutes I turned into the biggest bitch this side of the East River.
After that was over, we did a PT test and I failed that again (actually, I haven’t met a PT test I could pass) but I did get to run without my shirt on so that was a plus – you’re welcome Class 1164-C and New Yorkers in the park. Then we had a fun Welcome Party and after that it was just a bunch of walking with heavy shit. While walking, they read the names of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and the class would repeat them. It was a pretty real moment and it made 9/11 more meaningful to this guy from Texas. After the Challenge we walked over to O’Hara’s Pub and had some drinks at THE bar to go to for a 9/11 event. Seeing all of the firefighter patches was neat and showed me that there was a real strong brotherhood amongst firefighters.
This was my first event I’ve done without any arch support. For those who aren’t aware, I have bitch feet. That is, I get all the blisters, lose all the toenails and need all the arch support (orthotics or sport insoles). I ran my only 50K a few months ago without arch support and I didn’t have my feet blow up so I figured I’d try the Challenge without it. Not my finest move since I felt a burning intermittently throughout the night in my left foot and that doesn’t show up when I’m using arch support.
Great event with great people is what keeps me going back to these (despite my pending retirement). It’s always fun to meet new people and reconnect with people you didn’t-meet at Trek (hi Jim). I asked Jenks what we would do if GORUCK ceased to exist and we didn’t know. I’d still be friends with him (despite his conservative views) but we don’t know what we’d do to replace the event (it’s not about the event). It’s all about the people now. And training. I started training for my next event in two weeks.