“Describe to me what an orgasm feels like”…. I sat there thinking, what kind of question is that. Especially for where I was at the time. It was July fourth at 9:00 pm in Rowlett Texas. GoRuck was the event I was at and it was a challenge.Promising 10-12+ hours and 15+ miles of good livin’. At any point if our Ruck sacks were to touch the ground there would be consequences.
I laughed at my self-thinking how do you really describe an orgasm. At the same time our cadre made a great point, there was no real way to describe it… just something you needed to experience. Our cadre proceeded to brief us on how the GoRuck challenge was just like an orgasm; it was something that just needed to be experienced. Even told us that it would be “Our orgasm”. He was right! Since it was the fourth of July we would get to have a special event.
First thing we were told to do was take off our shoes and socks and drape them around our necks. At the beginning of our event we started off with everyone holding their rucksacks (a ruck filled with 4-6 bricks) over their heads while we switched off reading the constitution (from a very tiny book in the dark).
Every time someone touched their ruck to their head “STOP” was yelled at us and who ever was reading was required to stop. It took a solid 30 minutes of this exercise till it was about half way done. It was a difficult task but at the same time it was such an incredible experience.
I felt so American standing around such an awesome group of people who had American flag shorts on, the American flag waving in the wind, us reading from the constitution while working out, and the spectacular experience of having fire works bursting in the back ground. A very surreal and ‘Merican way to celebrate the fourth of July.
Soon after we laid on the ground and did leg lift like exercises in 4 counts, a quick and easy way to get those abs working. Once we had gotten that far into it we picked up our team weight (25 lbs), our 4 canisters of water (not sure how big they were but weighted around the same as the team weight), and what someone thought would be hilarious to bring… a metal boat.
Being barefoot was something I’d never done at any race, not to mention on endurance event so it was an interesting and creative way to get us out of our comfort zone. It did very quickly. After 3 miles of trudging on concrete with our bare feet we made it to Firehouse 4.
We all lined up in 4 lines and started doing exercises while the cadre doused us with water, actually refreshing and a good wake up call.
Apparently we were moving too slow with the boat so we left it at the fire station.Our cadre was merciful enough to allow us to have our shoes back, after psyching us out thinking we might have to wear someone else’s shoes. I almost had to wear these tiny girl shoes (I wear a size 12 men’s so it was just a little to small) which made me laugh thinking “Oh well guess I wont be wearing shoes for the rest of this.”
We picked up all of our stuff along with 4 tires that were presented to us and off we went again for more running. Quickly we put in about 5-8 miles in just because it was dark and the possibility of becoming dehydrated in the Texas morning heat was a definite possibility. So the miles were pushed on us. We would slow down every now and then to eat and drink when possible.
As we were moving many people needed to stop to take a bathroom break. When people went off with out saying anything to our squad leader… there were issues. We payed for it very quickly. Once the stragglers got back to the group the cadre pointed to a sign way off in the distance… was kind of hard to see but hell why not go with it. “On your hands and knees…. And bear crawl to that sign.”
I remember thinking to my self “Wow this really sucks, but also laughing because when I looked around I could see the same look on everyone else’s face… which in turn made me smile even more than I already was” there is something about equal suffering amongst our team that just makes you smile which is also something that’s hard to describe. The sign was finally within reach and we could stop. Since the cadre knew everyone needed to use the bathroom we jogged to the closest field and were told to do our business.
After the job was done we did something kind of fun but awkward; Elephant walks. Imagine if you will bending over and reaching out your right hand in front of you and taking your left hand and putting it between your legs. You would grab the hand in between your legs (someone’s right hand) as someone did the same with your other hand. It was a very awkward Congo line of fun-ness. Left foot right foot left foot right foot.
Soon an underpass was in sight and we were instructed to get across as quickly as possible but as a group. Of course this didn’t happen and we were punished fully for doing wrong. On the ground with flutter kicks, and 4 count squats. 52 was the number that kept going through my head as each squat put more burn into my legs.
The cadre walked in between us observing our squats to make sure they were of par, and if they weren’t we were to do them again. Inspirational words were also given to us about how important it was to operate as a team, and at this point we hadn’t been working too well as a team.
More running and then more running until we got to a turn off way in the backwoods somewhere. The groups sat down and we enjoyed a light rest and some good food (Mine was Peanut butter sand which I brought with me).
Back at it. Our cadre hollered at us, and up off the ground we were. Something I noticed as we came into that area was a couple of old rusty looking metal poles (I noticed because I tripped over one). Of course we were to carry those as well as the rest of our equipment provided by the cadre.
Part of being a team meant we had to think as a group. How can we make this more efficient? We slid a tire per pole and put one person on each side of the pole. It wasn’t too heavy but after carrying for a while it really weighed on the shoulders. More miles…. Of course this was a reoccurring theme.
A park came into view and after being quite in the dark for a while it was a relief knowing id be able to do something other than walk in silence with my thoughts (these are the times when I feel like quitting). We dropped all of our gear and got in 4 lines in front of a sand volleyball court. I already knew this was going to be a lot of fun.
One of our cadre didn’t like to be called sir, and at this point he’d been called sir at least 12 times. Which meant we owed him. Face first into the sand on our bellies, but there was a twist…no hands. So in this awkward seal like motion we belly crawled our way across the sand. I remember this gritty crunch for the next few hours as I got sand in my mouth -not to mention all over me.
Our cadre was nice enough to allow us to “wash” off in the near by pond. This meant there was a twist as well as allowing us to “wash” off; we were to do motorboats in the weird blue water.
Pushups was basically what we were doing but we would be under water on the down. I remember laughing so hard at the guy next to me. He went so far under that he couldn’t hear “UP” that he just stayed under.
Once we washed off we got out and started to cool off. Never thought there would be a point during this Texas heat in which I would feel cold. At a GORUCK event, you’re usually wrong. Picking up our equipment again I could hear “Squish, squash” with every step I took.
Back at another Firehouse we got drenched in more water, which was nice only because we all smelled of the nasty blue-ish colored water. People were getting their feet wrapped because blisters were starting to set in. On and on we went and about the time it started to get light out we stopped at a mini bridge like area. Underneath was a whole group of odd objects. The main piece being a huge drum off sand, assuming it was 300+ lbs?
The instructions were to make a device out of the things we had to transport the drum an “X” number of distance. 45 minutes went by and we were stopped because the device that was made…. Wasn’t exactly moving material. A few adjustments were made and we had something that was an engineering marvel… or a piece of crap – either way it did the job. While this was being engineered, the rest of the constitution was read until it was all finished. The drum was hefted on to the device and a group of 4 people pulled it, 2 held the wheelbarrow-like device up, and 2 more pushing. This actually worked very well… it was also very difficult.
This is when the best part of our adventure happened. Whoever was not operating the “apparatus” was told to carry their rucksack in front of them just like a gun. “Name a car” our cadre said. “Hyundai” was the first once said. Luckily there aren’t a lot of Hyundai’s out on the road because the instructions were to every time we see one point our rucksacks at the car and shoot at it. “PEW, PEW, PEW” was our shooting sound and it was the funniest thing ever seeing the drivers’ reactions to us shooting at them.
This is what seemed like the longest part of the challenge because we just kept moving, and moving, and moving, which seemed like forever. The apparatus began falling apart and we had to stop from time to time to fix it. Finally the ending point was in sight.
A rush to the finish ensued, and finally we were right where we started. Not done though! “Pair up” were the instructions, and we did as told. “You still owe me for the “Sir’s” that were called on me through out the ruck”…. is what our cadre told us.
Buddy bear crawls is what the last challenge was. One person took their ruck and put it on their stomach and lay down in the grass on their back. While the other straddled over that person in a bear crawl position. Grab on to the person’s neck on top was the easiest way to do this. Drag, Drag, Drag through the dirt and rocks in an awkward dance of fun.
It was a great way to meet someone if you hadn’t already had a chance to do so during the previous 13ish hours. Than we switched positions and went back. I was in the first group so I go to stand and watch the fun ensue.
Finally there was just one group left crawling their way to the finish. Everyone cheered and cheered and finally in an exhausted heap of gloriousness it all ended at the water jug (finish line). It was over.
Soon after we all got in line and finally were given the patches everyone so whole-heartedly deserved for the hard work. We had learned how to work as a team, pushed past our mental limits, our physical limits, and our emotional limits. As a group we learned how to push past the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings together. That was the whole goal of being in a CORUCK challenge.
Even though I had done a challenge before, and other events similar to it; there is always that moment when its all done. As the cadre had described before, it was an orgasm… and oh how he was right…. It was our orgasm, and this can’t even possibly begin to describe what really happened out there. Class of 1090…good livin’!