The hiatus is over and my blog schedule has gone from non-existent to ‘manageable.’ Last night, my buddy Mike and I participated in an event that we have been planning on attending for a year – The ‘GORUCK Challenge’, Chicago 2012.
This event is a 12-hour stretch that moves over 15-20 miles: start time is 9:00 p.m. and ends at 9:00 a.m. And the twist? We have to carry a backpack or “ruck” filled with bricks (4 if you are under 150 and 6 if you are over 150). These bags can never touch the ground. To be sure, it required some preparation (mostly mental). The challenge was harder than I thought it would be – I imagined some grueling exercise routines and military-style simulations. Instead, we got an experience that systematically dismantles the mind and body, haha! Here is a quick clip (from the New York Challenge):
Since we just finished a few hours ago, no pictures are posted yet and we could not bring cameras or smartphones (Lake Michigan and technology don’t mix). These are some of the highlights:
– “Warm-ups” (burpees, bear crawls, buddy carry + squats, leg lifts)
– Find a “coupon” (located a wooden beam four-times the size of a railroad tie and carried it four miles to the shore of Lake Michigan)
– Hit the water, seal-style flutter kicks and pushups (have to do 231 since we were “Team 231”)
– Jog for miles, rotating bear crawls, hand-to-toes stair jumps and crab walks
– Then, and this is the fun part, we had to buddy carry a partner the ENTIRE WAY back to the starting point!!!
It was incredible and I hope to do it again – there is nothing quite like it. In the end, we received a patch (not available for purchase anywhere) and a lesson about ourselves that could not be learned any other way. We learned our limits of resolve, physical ability, team mechanics and, undoubtedly, how long we can go without sleep while performing strenuous tasks. The “cadre” (squad leader) informed us that this was but one day out of an entire two weeks in Marine Recon basic training. Ouch!