You can’t quit before you start

You can’t quit before you start

Philadelphia – Day 3


I snap awake, not sure what’s going on. Hungover. Crumbs in my pocket.

Later that morning…

Saturday morning, 11:30. A cool 45 degrees. I head down to meet up with Andrew Handley and Cadre Dustin to get lunch. It’s pretty easy ‘cause we’re in the same hotel so I just meet ‘em down in the lobby. We don’t have any plans save for getting some food and *A* beer.

After walking for what feels like forever (¾ mile) Handley eagle eyes a bar just off of the main road we’re walking down so we head over and see these two signs in the window.

This place looks legit.

So we’re inside ordering food and I get a burger and water. Handley gets his vodka+soda, Dustin gets a beer, and I’m weak so eventually I get *A* beer. 

4 beers later I ask for the check ‘cause it feels like we’re leaving but fuck me we aren’t going anywhere. Cadre Andy shows up and Handley pays for my *4* beers ‘cause the check is here and he’s a nice guy and shit, I owe him all the drinks next time.

He phones so hard.

I’m contemplating not getting another beer ‘cause you know, there’s a GORUCK Challenge coming up soon. The bartender asks if I want another beer and Handley is all “definitely not doing nothing tonight.” Dustin says he’s heard some stories about me and then calls me out by saying “you can’t quit before you start.”


First of all, you don’t know me. Dude I’ll quit right now and drink all night. Second of all, see the first. That actually sounds very pleasant. Warm, too.

It’s just after 16:00 and more GRTs show up (sup Teddy/Lacey/Anne/Heather/Tony/Alyssa) and we resume drinking positions. This lasts about an hour and then we finally leave.

I don’t know the exact timeline but from CSI’ing my pictures, we went from the bar to CVS to McDonald’s ‘cause I have a picture in my bed with some Pedialyte and Gatorade after I crushed some McDonald’s (#1 what’s up @Tom).

night night


I’ve set fifteen alarms and STILL wake up late for the thing that starts at 21:00. I have 78 iMessage, Messenger, and Hangouts notifications and I’m learning that McDonald’s plus 4 beers is not a good combination if you’re about to do some PT. I chug half a Pedialyte and start to pack my ruck up. I’m trying to figure out what to wear for this event. It shouldn’t be hard as I’ve packed a few things and I basically have to wear all of them but somehow it’s close to the start time before I call my Lyft. According to this here app, I should be at the start point right at 21:00. Excellent timing as always.

My driver gets stuck in traffic and then takes me to the BACK of the museum/start point. I’m already late so I have him take me around to the Rocky steps ‘cause I’ll be damned if I’m running anywhere.

I stroll up to the side/front of the class where there are 100+ participants and I try to ignore them ‘cause I’m looking for Teddy who has the weight I’m borrowing. Cadre said something about being late and shows me his phone saying “9:09” and mentions owing penance. I’m down to quit right then and shadow my face off. I’m decidedly hungover.

So, so early.

I set my ruck on the ground, grab the four beers in there, and hand them to Teddy; in exchange, he gives me a square plate that feels good. I must be getting strong. I jam it in my ruck and then mosey on to the back of the formation. At the back of the line, there isn’t room ‘cause these mofos (hey thanks team) won’t scoot over so I am my own line in the back (let’s ignore the fact that I was late to the TEAM event).

I get called to the front.

Damn, almost made it.


Rocky Steps