Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Why I Ruck?

Why I Ruck?
A few years ago I heard a few people talk about GORUCK events. I tucked the idea away in my head and left it there for a bit. In November 2013 I signed up for my first event that would take place in Santa Fe, NM in January 2014.  After examining the different levels of events I signed up for the Light.  I knew there was no way in heck I would be able to do a challenge. The week before my scheduled event I received an email from the GORUCK HQ telling me that that the Light was being cancelled and that my credit could be transferred to another event. The Santa Fe Challenge had not been cancelled. The gentleman on the phone said that if I could do a light there is no reason why I could not do a challenge, it is the same principles just a little longer. I fell for it and signed up. I had no idea what to really expect and I packed and prepared. I drove up a little early and had lunch with one my favorite people in the worked. I took this as sign of good luck and world’s aligning as our inability to see each other in person is maddening. Hours later I found myself in the middle of the Santa Fe square at 9pm with a dozen other weirdo’s many have having the same skeptical look in their eyes. Bear crawls, crab walks, Red Solo cup relay races, burpee’s, and squats. This is what they call the welcome party. Depending which cadre does the welcoming – they are all a little different.   I had heard about Cadre Joel through mutual friends and just hoped if I could make it through the damn welcoming party; I could make it through the remaining 11 hours.  Although my equipment did not fail, I definitely had the wrong equipment.  I had an awesome Marmot bag that was just a little too big and I could not cinch it up tight enough. Imagine the bag sliding dramatically left or right the entire night as you are carrying heavy crap, crawling, and attempting to do the perfect monkey f$%ker.  Within an hour or so we became a team. It was like science class when you studied the transformation of the cocoon to the butterfly. Ok maybe not that eloquent or magically but it was transformation. We learned a lot and I discovered that I love a challenge and it is even sweeter when you can accomplish it as a team.
These events test me every single time. Sometimes I feel I am too old to be out there. I am almost 45.  Or that my upper body strength is not nearly competitive enough for this group.  Or I just go with the idea I have no business being out there to begin with. I am not a cross fitter and no I do not really lift or squat.
I am proud that we pay attention to details and teach others respect. The American Flag is at the front of the team and out of honor and respect, we never let the flag touch the ground. Believe me, I have witnessed the catastrophic event happen – paying for it in kind is never good.
I am often asked why I do it – well because I can and because I need to be challenged. There is an enormous amount of goodness that come from taking 15-20 complete strangers – accomplishing tasks, encouraging and becoming better Americans. We need more of this actually.  That is why I ruck.