Some things said about GORUCK:
“You’ll learn to lead, you’ll learn to follow, you’ll learn to put others before yourself. You’ll even learn to smile no matter what life throws your way.”
“You walk away from these events smarter, stronger, and with a greater sense of life not being all about you. You learn to solve challenging tasks as a group, and get to experience the elation associated with that kind of success.”
Here are a few pics captured by some folks shadowing us, we were out there for about 7 hours and covered about 7-10 miles carrying heavy things and doing random challenges.
Once they checked our rucks and gave some safety instructions we went to the “Welcome Party”. Basically it’s a bunch of PT (Physical training) for about an hour or so. The goal of this by the Cadre (Military Special Ops leader) is to break everyone down physically and mentally so they can build you back up… As a team. All of this was done with the Ruck (backpack) weighted with bricks (4 if over 150lbs, 2 if under) plus supplies, water bladder etc. so about 25-30lbs for most.
“Elephant walk”, we had to do it until the 25 or so people on my team were in complete sync with our steps in a circle. The cadre talked about how we need to think outside of the box to accomplish this since it was hard to see each other, we tried counting but didn’t really work then he talked about how when deployed it’s amazing how the environment around you can help. There was construction going on and some type of piledriver or something that was banging at a steady rate off in the distance so we yelled out to use that as our timing to get everyone synced.
- While this was going on, one guy tossed his cookies so we had to move the circle. 😛
- Oh, and the Cadre is wearing the goofy panties because someone made an extra donation to Charlotte Bridge Home if he would wear them.
Planks & bear crawls. Another guy almost passed out during this. While we all had hydration bladders you need to start hydrating at least a day before an event like this. During the Welcome Party I seriously questioned what I had gotten myself into.
Making us go under the cold fountain at Romare Beardon Park, just to make us more uncomfortable. It was so cold it actually took your breath away when it first hit you. Probably would have felt good if we did this event during the hot weather we are having now.Carrying the “litter” (Military stretcher) It had a few sandbags weighing from 40 to 120lbs and 10 gallon water jug (about 80lbs). Later on in the day we would miss a “time hack” (when they tell us to be a certain place by a certain time) so each team had a “casualty” where they basically point to someone and say you’re dead get on the litter.Always an honor to carry the flag and it’s a little break from carrying the log like the guys behind me. Although even the flag pole is weighted. (25lbs I think) We missed a “time hack” so they made us get into the fountain at Marshall Park and sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” as punishment. I can’t even fully describe how nasty it was. There was some kind of algae or something that kept grabbing us as we walked through it. I will spare you any other details, but will just say I had an open Powerbar in my pocket that I decided to just throw away.The teamwork and bonding was amazing, people switching in and out to give breaks to each other while we were carrying all the weights like the water jug, sand bags, etc.Earning the patch at the end from Cadre Garret (Army Special Forces). Seeing the team go from a bunch of individuals to a team working like a well-oiled machine was amazing. It was always about what can I do to help the team accomplish the next goal or challenge.
Along the way we also got to hear from an Army Ranger who was part of the team involved with Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down movie), a Marine that served in Dessert Storm and a Vietnam Vet at the Vietnam Memorial Park in Charlotte. To hear their stories was humbling to say the least.
It was an amazing experience and I am (sort of) looking forward to doing a GORUCK Tough, which is an overnight, 14 hour challenge next year.
The best part is we raised $18,400 for the Charlotte Bridge Home which helps our heroes returning from active duty get plugged back into the community, jobs etc.