Jeremy, Tara and I are proud members of the “Go Ruck Challenge” class 349, along with 27 other team members. We had many friends ask about the “Go Ruck Challenge” before and after the event. It is not a race, it is a team event, an event that has taken a small slice out of Special Operations training from start to finish. The team leader, Cadre Woods, brought 30 individuals together and through challenges inspiring us all to function as a team. Leadership skills are taught, friendships are forged and strengthened, and teamwork was requires as we accomplished missions throughout downtown Birmingham, AL.
Our Challenge began at 1am in the middle of the University of Alabama, Birmingham campus. Our friend from Brute Fitness, Dee Grimes, who was a “Go Ruck Challenge” alum, invited us. Our packs, or rucksacks, were required to be packed with 6 bricks and any other necessities (Water, Steve’s Paleo MRE and PaleoKrunch Bars) for this 10-12 hour event. The Cadre first informed us that his background is in pain and suffering and then began explaining the rules which were very simple: 1) teamwork is a must 2) once the packs are on, they are not to be put on the ground unless we gives the OK, and 3) the token objects must be carried at all times and also cannot touch the ground unless he gives the OK.
Just as the adventure began with numerous pushups, squats, flutter kicks, burpees, bear crawls and low crawls, so did the 12-hour event. Mistakes were plentiful; punishments were dished out (more pushups, burpees, flutter kicks) but after a couple of hours, the 30 individuals starting thinking and working as a team. At this point, Cadre Woods took us on a 15-20 mile sight seeing march/run of Birmingham, AL., with numerous missions along the way. Everything we did had a purpose, which was to build a team. It was Cadre Wood’s job to expose our weaknesses and it was up to us, as a team, to strengthen these weaknesses. When the unit began breaking down, Cadre would remind us of the #1 rule by more burpees, pushups, inchworms, etc.… Instead of performing as an individual as we fatigued, the unit was there for support to help and we became dependent on this unit.
The event took us to many sightseeing locations, which included the Civil Rights Memorial Park, Vulcan Park and Birmingham’s Railroad Park. At each location, Cadre Wood’s would give us a little history lesson with a few bonus questions. If we answered the questions correctly, the unit would receive a reward, usually a 10 min break where we could put the packs down for a little R&R. If we answered incorrectly, you guessed it more pushups, squats, burpees etc. The picture to the right consisted of us doing pushups in a very cold, public fountain, around 6am on a Sunday morning, where many homeless people make their beds at night. Cadre was at least nice enough to let us take off our shoes before entering the slimy floor of the frigid pool.
The evening, or morning at this point, ended back at the start point with 28 teammates, as we had 2 dropouts as the evening/morning crept along. Throughout the event, many new friendships were developed, old friendships evolved with an even stronger foundation, and we all left with just a little different perspectives on the things that count big: 1) a new perspective and appreciation for what our men and women of the US armed forces endure while securing our freedom (and the event was merely a small glimpse), 2) teamwork is vital for survival, 3) everyone should do the GoRuck at least once in their lifetime or as Cadre Wood’s exclaimed “everyone should be punched in the face at least once a year”.
Are you GO RUCK tough?!?!?! (Or are you at least ready to be punched in the face?) Then join us in Nashville, May 11th at 1am while members from CrossFit Talon take on the GORUCK challenge! We already have a group signed up and ready to take on the title of “GO RUCK TOUGH”! https://www.goruck.com/