3 years ago I decided to do one of these events but wasn't quick to do the hard work required to prepare. About 8 months ago while dealing with a trial I started training hard and to date have lost 66 pounds. I am still out of shape and Goruck taught me that but I will get into that.
We arrive and were quickly oriented on first aid, how we work together (similar a Scout patrol) and the importance of working as a team in all the things we do.
We did all of the following with a 25 pound backpack. Only my backpack was 45 pounds. I carried extra weight. You carry bricks in your backpack. I have shared with some of you a letter I attached to my bricks. Carrying these bricks was a bit emotional for me and I am glad to be done. I no longer have to carry the mental and emotional weight attached to my bricks.
We hiked to the first park and here is where I received my first reality check. My sister in law was shadowing us for a little bit and I am sure she got some great pictures of me with the expression "You want me to do what????" We started by doing 8 exercises which included: the bear crawl, pushups, low crawls (one of my least favorite exercises--pulling yourself across the ground with your butt and your head down), squats, flutter kicks, lunges and reverse lunges. I did horribly. It was embarrassing with my sister in law taking pictures of me just struggling. I took my medicine though and just did the best I could.
We traveled to park two and in the process got separated by a very busy street and traffic. Because we got separated we learned the 8 point push up which is a push up with burpee blended in. I think this exercise can be described as pure hell. My class learned quickly to never to get separated again.
We refueled and filled our water bladders at a local gas station in downtown Dallas.
|This shirt was made by a friend for me and fits me to a "t". I love this quote because it is so true!!|
Everywhere we went in downtown Dallas we got stares. We had a Texas and American flag at the front of our group always and we were constantly running with our heavy backpacks. It was crazy.
We completed our course 90 minutes early--in 5 hours. I was a bit scared by that as I have heard stories of false ends. They tell you you are done, get you to relax and then slap you with more to do. I knew until I got my patch in my hand, I wasn't done. We did though over 10 miles of rucking. I am pretty sure we did closer to 12.
I got my patch. Am proud of it. Will wear it often.
My feet hurt, I am pretty sure my shoulders are bruised, I am sunburned and I am extremely tired but glad I did it. I would do another one but I would train a bit differently.
So what did I learn from this 3 year experience?
- I have a lot more friends than I thought. They are constantly cheering me. I hope in return I am cheering them. Having this kind of support has been very humbling and my parents have constantly mention often on how grateful they are that I have such good friend.
- I can do hard things. I preached it to my Scouts and today I lived it. There were parts where I questioned why I was out there torturing my body. Either way I lived up one of Goruck's tag lines -- DFW - Don't freaking quit.
- Team before self. You could replace word "team" with God, family or friends. Serving others is huge!
- I learned by watch others who were given the opportunity to lead during the day that screaming isn't a good leadership skill. Yes it was loud downtown but constantly yelling at those we lead doesn't work. In fact for me, it was just the opposite. I wanted to ignore one of my classmates.
- I still have a lot of work to do physically. After being overweight for most of my life and being really overweight for the past 20 years due to using eating as a crutch, I am done being fat. It is exhausting. Doesn't mean I won't enjoy a Code Red every once in a while but it means I am finally committed do make much better choices in my life in relationship to how I deal with stress, what I eat and the amount of exercise I will be doing. I have 60 more pounds to go and I can do it!
- I am proud of myself. About 8 months ago I didn't think this was possible. Today it is. I wasn't the fastest or the best but I tried my hardest and I finished and earned my patch. I am beginning to love myself for the very first time.
I can endure more than I think.
I can suffer more than I think.
I can do more than I think.
I have freakin' ridiculous friends. What else could a guy want?
It has been a long day. I am going to bed!!