Oh, the GORUCK. The reason I am so sore today. Also, the reason I am so proud.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Last November my crazy best friend and I decided that we should try something new and decided to use the buddy coupons to sign up for a GORUCK Light. My husband and another friend of ours thought our insane idea was a pretty good one, so they registered as well.
We weren’t entirely sure of what exactly we were signing up for, but we did it anyway. In fact, we had no idea what exactly we were getting ourselves into until we were actually starting….
We trained for this event for about 6 months. We wrapped our bricks, not really knowing what we would be doing with them. We hiked up and down Red Rocks, we lifted heavy things, we went on long walks.
The week before the ruck we got some fun noodles and padded our bricks in our packs, just in case we jumped or did things that made the bricks hit our heads. Like I said, we had no idea what we had signed up for.
Our event was set to start at 2pm, and we arrived at about 1pm, so we could get settled before things got going. Our Cadre Adam was still there from the night before as he had led the Challenge (13 hours…) so we stayed off in the distance while he relaxed. A few other ruckers showed up and eventually Cadre waved us over.
Our class was small, just 11 adults and we had 3 kids shadowing and 1 adult shadow (he did the challenge as well). Most of us were first timers, but the few who weren’t, proved to be invaluable.
We got started right away, after receiving the instruction that the flag always goes first (as it should) and from here on out our rucks stay on our person unless we are told otherwise.
The next, I don’t know how long, was spent doing bear crawls and crab walks. It was quickly brought to my attention that I did not spend enough time training on these two items. I just couldn’t physically do it. I would bear crawl about a yard then have to stop and breathe. Two of my teammates stayed behind to go with me, and though I still had to do my own work, having them next to me helped me so much. I was glad to be wearing a hat, because I started to tear up. I don’t love admitting that, but it’s true. I was totally and completely overwhelmed. Crab walks were harder for me than the bear crawls. They ended up being more like butt scoots. I did what I could for the whole distance and eventually made it back to the group.
We continued on doing more PT then received instruction on the dreaded buddy carry.
During training we would carry each other around, but I never had tried it with my pack. This was an experience. But for the first time since we started, I felt like I had a strength. Being a pretty big girl, I decided that I would do both legs of the carry, instead of switching and making someone carry me.
On and on the PT went and before we knew it we were lined up and following the flag into town. That’s right. We were going into the city of Boulder. We made our rendezvous and began to do some more PT.
Our Cadre gave us our first mission- to get to a high point, secure the lookout, and beat the enemy there. We sprinted through Pearl Street- where I normally tell people you see all the crazies, and today we were those crazies….
When we arrived at our high point, we had to elephant walk up the stairwells, just so we didn’t rush in and get noticed.
Up the stairs and then back down and we were on to our next mission- to get to a park across town.
We charged off through the city again. I was trying to keep up, and my team kept offering to carry my weight, but it wasn’t the weight that was slowing me down, it was my short legs! Single file, double file, single file, on and on until we got to the park. After a brief break, we had a relay. I felt like I actually did a good job, even though our team didn’t win. Our prize for losing was to bear crawl up the hill. Of course. More bear crawls. When we got to the top we had to roll back down and I stopped halfway because I had to not throw up. We did a fun team exercise after that, crowd surfing our teammates across us. My husband did the “arms wide open” surf, haha.
For our next mission we quick trotted to another point to pick up our package.
It was…… a couch!
It seems the Challenge crew had left it beside the creek, and we had to return it to its original location. Our team picked up the beast and we began to carry it, creek side, through town. Again we were those crazy Boulder people you hear about. Since I knew that I wouldn’t be able to help with the couch (it would’ve just hovered over me) I happily took our flag and led us along the path. We had a few people salute us, one very loud ex Navy Seal who was mad we wouldn’t let him help, and a crew of kids on the street start chanting “Freedom Couch!”
At one point Cadre had us get wet (we couldn’t fully get in the creek because it was banned due to high fast waters- 3 people had already been killed that week) but we got as wet as we could, then we got sugar cookied.
Back to the couch and on we hiked. Eventually, we made it to the location that the couch had been taken from the night prior.
We started back the way we came and received our final mission: two of our 11 had died (plus one of the 3 children) and had to be carried back to our original location in the park. We took turns passing around the dead in a buddy carry, and I took a teammate’s pack so he could carry one of them. We hurried back to base camp, and made it in time- they came back to life!
After one more round of PT, we circled around the Cadre, and he announced our GORUCK Light Class 322 completed. 5 Hours 15 minutes, and about 8 miles covered.
I learned a lot about myself- that even when I can’t do the things others can, I still do what I can and people who care about me are going to be there to support me. I learned that I haven’t arrived (not that I really thought I did) and that I am a work in progress. I remembered that my husband, who barely trained, is a beast and so strong. My best friend is my rock- just having her there, even though she was fighting her own battle, gave me strength to go on. Also, I have stamina I didn’t know I had. I love my life.
That was some good livin’.