Turns out Phil is over there. Not with the class but with the shadows. What in the hell? What a jerk. I came all the way up to Michigan to hang out with him and Tom. I hate Phil. Phil is the worst. Who invited this guy?
Actually, Phil is freaking smart. You know why? He’s over there, looking warm, and not having to worry about PT.
My only thought on the Heavy was ‘Nah.'” – Phil
Welcome to the GORUCK Heavy!
We started off with the classic “show me all your gear” and then it was “you’ve got 30 seconds to put it all away.” I love this part ’cause life’s about to get real for some of us. Not for me though ’cause I can pack all my shit up and then ask my buddy if he needs help. “Nah I got it…” STOP
Then we did some shit.
Crawl. Walk. Run.
Endex was not too long after this. It was a great event. The best event. Believe me. Patch me, cadre. The details aren’t that important but if you’re into that, keep reading.
We did a WOD and it involved some quick rucking but not for me ’cause I’m woefully out of shape. Under-shape? I blew up but Deane stayed with me on the slow ass ruck march ’cause my out-of-shape ass wasn’t having none of it. Apparently I’m not able (perhaps unwilling? that’s an ugly thought) to push myself to that pace. Not an issue though ’cause my fat ass ain’t doing Heavy again.
After dying on the WOD. We started the Heavy. Here, they taught us some most rudimentary tactics and movements in a giant field.
Crawl. Walk. Run.
After playing in the field for an hour or two, we head over to the parking lot where Dan pulls out his giant kit bag and gifts us with sandbag fillers, water cans, a poleless litter, and the skedco. We are then split up into four squads (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta) with squad leaders and our first mission. We’re to head out to a water resupply while staying within our squads. Man I’m glad I flew up to Michigan so I could hang out with my peeps Phil and Tom. Oh wait, Phil is smart and Tom is in another squad. It’s cool, though. I can make friends, or at least, not immediate enemies, and the Charlie squad aka Chocolate Butterscotch moves out in third position
The best part of all of this? Knee pads. Let’s take it back 4 years ago to my first Heavy with Jason J. Anytime we took a break or had some stoppage in that Heavy, we had to take a knee and pull security. Initially, it’s pretty cool ’cause that’s all shit I’d read in books or see on TV. The reality of it isn’t as glamorous when you’re wearing silkies because your stupid knee starts taking a beating. Pretty soon you’re looking for the softest ground or pulling off your gloves to kneel on. Anyway, after that nightmare, I ended up buying pants with knee pad inserts and THEY FINALLY PAID OFF after two years.
This early into the game, nobody really cares that you have knee pads and hell, you don’t either because you don’t really notice anything. We’re waiting for Bravo to fill their water and send back some runners and out of nowhere, somebody sees some of their friends out hiking in the woods. Seems pretty random. But the best part about this is that there’s a hand pump where you get water out of the ground and it’s not a tap. The whole trip was worth it now.
After this, we head to our service project portion of the GORUCK Heavy. Sometime this year GORUCK decided to implement a ‘service’ component to events so you’re not just dumbasses walking around with expensive backpacks and stopping traffic. Now, you’re still dumbasses but now you’re doing all of that but with a purpose. When the cadre were explaining it to the park rangers, they had no idea what we were going to be up to. But when the cadre asked if they need anything moved around, their eyes apparently lit up as they had a nice pile of lumber and rotting logs from a dismantled bridge that needed to be moved a good distance.
This was after a nice hike into the woods. I want to say it was a couple of miles as we spent a fair amount of time traversing the trails. Look at all that color on the ground though! When we got to this pile of wood, I was happy to stop. It was cold when we started but all that time in the trees it had warmed up and everyone was stripping off layers by this point.
But we had this giant pile looking at us and we had to break it all down. Some of lumber had nails so people were opening rucks to bring out nail pullers and claw hammers. I thought they were joking about that previously on the event page but this was good. There weren’t enough tools to go around so some of us grabbed stones and started driving the nails in that we could. We eventually loaded up all the gear using the equipment we had with the largest pile going on the skedco.
If you haven’t met the skedco then consider yourself lucky. That shit sucks. It’s soul sucking. It’s the best. I’m going to buy one and then burn that sumbitch (not really) but it’s an awesome tool. Even more awesome when you’re not on it. Eventually we make it out of the woods and drop that shit off. Then cadre Dan asks who has done more than 5 Heavies and 9 of us raise our hands. We’re to go on a separate mission and instantly I regret it. I can only assume that there’s going to be bonus running and sure enough, we’re to run back to the beach to fill up those filler bags. I obviously can’t keep up with these guys so I end up pulling rear security but not really ’cause I was so far away. We eventually link back up with the class at the watering hole and then we get our next mission and learn more about what you do on patrol.
We end up refitting our water and head back to the Ranger station which would lead to more walking…but around the lake at night on Halloween. What’s the worst that could happen?
Crawl. Walk. Run.