During and after GRC 1277, YHC made the decision to never participate in another GORUCK event…ever. While it was satisfying, it was cold and it was hard and it was 13 hours. That box was checked. Then the M expressed interest in doing a GORUCK event and wanted to bring some of her FiA sisters along. Being the good & supportive husband and also forgetting how terrible the GRC was, YHC decided to plan a GORUCK Custom and participate again. Thinking only a few couples would sign up in addition to some F3 pax that expressed some interest, YHC thought this will be a nice little adventure.
What started as nice little adventure for a few couples turned into a tight community of 73 of the most committed weirdos YHC has had the privilege of being around. The preparation for this event was second to none. While not conflicting with the respective F3 and FiA bootcamps, this coed group trained on Friday mornings, Saturday afternoons, Sunday mornings and afternoon. Several simulations took place with GORUCK Heavy vets No Help, Gypsy, TNT & Chinstrap effectively playing the role of Cadre. The private Facebook page buzzed for months with war stories, support, advice and general goofiness (Ranger panties, etc). There was no doubt this group was headed for 100% completion.
100% accomplished: This group of 73 weirdos experienced and completed the longest GORUCK Light in the history of GRLs(self proclaimed but not refuted). 9.5 hours of Good Livin’ at the hands of the Cadre Danny & Cadre Geoff. Why bring Cadre Geoff back? He’s awful. For those that participated in November’s GRC, which Cadre do you remember most? Which Cadre pushed you beyond your self-perceived limits the most? Which Cadre made you do the hard thing the most? That’s why Cadre Geoff was invited to return.
Here are the events of the night of 5/1 & morning of 5/2 to the best of our recollection:
Conditions: Perfect. Not too hot, not too cold.
Start Time: May 1 at 6pm
Start location: Finlay Park
We were divided into 2 teams: Team Stars and Team Stripes. Team Stars consisted of 36 F3 & FiA pax from Lake Murray and Columbia. Team Stripes consisted of 37 F3 & FiA pax from Lexington.
All 73 gathered at 5:30 in front of the pond at Finlay Park. TNT & No Help shared some last minute words of wisdom and encouragement. Dragonfly read a Teddy Roosevelt speech. Church Lady prayed us in with some very impactful words.
As instructed by Cadre Danny, we were lined up in one mass formation of 4 ranks, eight feet of space between each rank. Team weights and flags out front of the formation. Rucks on the ground opened for inspection.
Cadres Danny & Geoff appear and it’s time.
During inspection, we were warned of a Good Livin’ penalty for someone’s bricks not being wrapped properly and someone with a medical condition not being lined up in the proper spot.
YHC recalls a lot of merkins (Cadre Geoff likes to make people hold the position half-way down), flutter kicks, six inches, squats, bear crawls, monkey humpers. Pretty standard stuff. Danny did call Robber & Crash out of the group to do ruck thrusters, presumably because they wore ranger panties. YHC was then called to join them. Each of us had to then call on someone to take our place as we joined the rest of our class for bear crawls.
Cadre Danny then divided us into 2 groups, 1st 2 rows & last 2 rows. Both groups had 90 seconds to run around the pond, in separate directions, and return to formation. Both groups then lined up in separate lines about 50 yds from each other and lunged toward the other. Also part of this set of exercises were shrimp crawls (weird exercise, like a low crawl but on your back with rucks on chest), rucks overhead for long periods of time.
Then we lined for Tunnel of Love. Danny made it a competition between groups, promising the losing team would have to go with Cadre Geoff for some special attention.
WINNING TUNNEL OF LOVE
This was a huge relief. Who wants special attention from Cadre Geoff? Within full view of what the losing group was experiencing with Cadre Geoff, the winning group did Cherry Pickers, Arm Claps, Arm Circles (front & back) and Overhead Arm Claps. Sounds easy but Danny was looking for bent arms. Luckily, we were able to effectively cheat and weren’t penalized.
We then had to run to the concrete amphitheater for bunny hops up the steps, alternating hopping single steps and double steps with each lap x 5 laps.
LOSING THE TUNNEL OF LOVE – Shared by Huffy
As we came to the end of the tunnel of love it was painfully obvious that the front group had lost. It wasn’t even really close. Now it was Cadre Geoff’s turn to take us on a tour of Finlay Park. We left the initial formation area and headed towards the dreaded Finlay Pond. On the way, however a smaller pond caught the cadre’s eye. There was a hose that that appeared to be pumping water into the pond and it has sprung a leak causing a large mud puddle to form in the middle of the field. As we approached the PAX were instructed to hold our rucks over our heads and roll through the puddle up towards the pond. During this time the cadre splashed and kicked water around like a 5 year old playing in a mud puddle after a rain storm. After everyone reached the end of the roll we were instructed to make a return trip through the pond using the low crawl. Several PAX were unsure of the proper low crawl form so Cadre Geoff make sure to apply corrective pressure to our rucks via his foot.
After the fun in the water was over everyone knew what was coming next. The 138 or so steps around the fountain were waiting for our backwards bear crawl. As we we started to ascend the steps the pace was fairly quick. Geoff was pacing up and down spotting folks who were moving sideways or standing up too much. When the group started to get to the halfway point everyone was getting smoked and legs were cramping up. Most tried to wait for the teammate in front of them to move on but the cadre warned us to move around and continue up if someone was slowing us down. Slowly the PAX started to creep over the top of the and to the sidewalk. As more and more bodies went over the top the cheers grew louder for those still left. People were bulling their buddies up the last few steps then running down to cheer on those still left on the stairs.
Eventually there was only one man left on the stairs, close to the top but still about 10 or 15 to go. Several guys went down to crawl up with him and everyone else was cheering him on. Eventually Geoff had heard enough. He ordered everyone back to the top, in low plank, and quiet. Another word and everyone was going in the fountain. As Uno moved backwards one step at a time Geoff got in his face and was certainly trying to get in his head. At this point everyone was whispering their cheers or saying a silent prayer willing their guy up to the top, while trying to hold the plank for what seemed like half an hour. Determinedly Uno moved up the stairs until he reached the top, there was no quit, not even a thought, and when he reached the top everyone jumped up, screamed, hugged, and gave high fives and fist bumps.
We had only been at it for about an hour but at this point we had already experienced some crushing blows but ended on a great high note. As we headed down the stairs there were a group of small children sitting on the edge of the playground just watching us with a very curious look on their faces. The playground equipment was certainly not as exciting as a bunch of adults rolling in the mud, crawling around on the stairs, and screaming and yelling.
End of Welcome Party
TEAM STARS – Shared by EZ
TL – Costanza
ATL – Gypsy
We had to pick up 3 telephone poles connected at the ends with chains and 1 bag of weights and move out of Finlay Park down Taylor St. towards the River Walk.
That moment of relief: Early on when Team Stars had just started moving down Taylor Street and Geoff ran across the street to check for lose parking curbs. Every single person on the team knew what he was doing and watched intently as he failed at each attempt. The night would have been completely different if he had gotten one of those bad boys loose. – Fire Daddy
Team Stars was not moving in unison, and moving very slowly. The poles were slowing us down, and communication was not good. Geoff was not happy about this, and as a result, we were made to elephant walk with rucks between legs for those not on a coupon. For those carrying the pole, it was now between your legs. We began moving even slower, and worse communication, which pissed Geoff off even more. It was time to get our ass in a parking lot off to the side of Taylor St. where we started with 8 count body builders. Again, we were completely out of sync, and everyone was anticipating the Cadre’s call instead of listening to him. Geoff stopped us, made us stand up, and imparted his wisdom of attention to detail and giving maximum effort in only a way he could (aka, many “F-bombs” were forcefully delivered). We made it through that pain station, but the speech actually seemed to help. We began moving with a better pace, and listening more to the TL/ATL commands.
As we moved into a residential area, Geoff informed us that there should be no talking, but we were not moving effectively without communication. Again, Geoff was not happy, so he pulled us into a parking lot with a long concrete wall. As we were putting coupons on the ground, one of the men helped the ladies set the pole they were carrying down to the ground. Geoff immediately asked why would you do that, and the only response was “to help them out.” Geoff made it abundantly clear that out here, everyone was equal. “Bullets don’t slow down for age, race, or gender.” With those words we began wall sits with the ruck above head. We did about 5 or 6 sets of this, and during one of the breaks between sets, Geoff got a surprise that I don’t think he had counted on. He singled out Uno, and asked him how he got his name “do you like to play cards or something”. Uno very calmly replied that “I only have one testicle”. It was quickly clear that Geoff had not considered this to be the source of Uno’s name, and you could actually see the hamster spinning the wheel in his head as he searched for a cleaver retort, but he couldn’t find anything. At that point, the team was laughing at this encounter, either because they already knew why we called him Uno, or because they were learning for the first time, and were just at taken back as Cadre Geoff.
We continued with more sets of the wall-sits with rucks overhead and Geoff made sure we understood the possible consequences when he told us to be quiet in residential areas and we ignored that order.
We moved back to the coupons, picked them up and made our way to the River Walk. Once out there, we moved towards the dam. After we had been moving for a little bit, walking alone was no longer enough to satisfy Cadre Geoff. We then began moving with ruck/coupon overhead on the Cadre’s call. I think his main point to do this was to distract us while continuously looked for somewhere that he could make us get in the canal or river. At one point, he saw the sign for alligators and asked if there were really any in the canal, and City Chick, without missing a beat, said “Yes, big ones” and he began to let his hopes of getting in the canal disappear.
Once he couldn’t find anywhere suitable for us to get in, we began some more PT with overhead lunge walks and crabwalks with rucks on our chest. Needless to say, we weren’t performing correctly, so we did get to start some of these exercises over again until he was satisfied that all were giving appropriate effort and form.
TL – Backdraft
ATL – Uno
After debriefing with the previous TL and ATL, we started with some trivia where a team member would be “killed off” for every incorrect answer. We actually did decent, but after some extra questions thrown in by the Cadre, we ended up with 4 casualties. We picked up the casualties (still holding coupons throughout trivia) and continued our journey down the River Walk. After another round of trivia we ended up with more casualties (not sure how many we added, but it was a lot).
Memorable Moment- We were taking a “short halt” to form back up prior to moving towards the dam near the River Walk. Geoff was giving Robber a hard time about trying to “trick” him into thinking that we had answered more questions than we really had (in an effort to reduce our casualties). Geoff was telling Robber that it was all about “integrity” and as a reminder he wanted to offer his “tubby” friend (Geoff’s word, not mine) a treat. After unwrapping a Twix bar (there are two chocolate coated “goodies” in each Twix wrapper), Geoff ate one and then ever so gingerly placed the wrapper on the ground, put the second Twix bar on the wrapper and then told Robber to get in the pushup position. Robber dropped (hovering above the candy bar-possibly drooling) and waited for Geoff to give him permission to execute his pushup while grabbing the Twix in his mouth in the down position. Robber went down (actually showed flawless form) and grabbed the Twix between his teeth. He tried to eat it like a dog (using a quick head bob to get the Twix to fly into his mouth) but dropped it into the dirt. He then had to execute a second pushup to get the dirty Twix and proceeded to eat it. Geoff explained that was the method that he and his classmates in BUDs had to eat every care package that came to them while in SEAL training. The two shared a laugh…can’t we all agree that was a “kinder/gentler” Cadre Geoff that night? -Toothpick
We picked up the casualties (still holding coupons throughout trivia) and continued our journey down the River Walk. After another round of trivia we ended up with more casualties (not sure how many we added, but it was a lot). At this point it seemed like everyone that wasn’t a casualty was now either on a coupon, carrying a casualty, or carrying at least 2, and in some cases 3, rucks.
WTF moment: When moving along the riverwalk with Team Stars. We had 6-7 causalities and was difficult to rotate people. I found myself with my ruck on my back, Brother Si’s ruck on front, another ruck hanging on my right shoulder, and the middle log on my left shoulder. That thought of “WTF am I doing?” creep in but immediately a common GORUCK phrase popped into my head, “It can always be worse.” I smiled, laughed a little, and rucked on. – Fire Daddy
From here, we still had what felt like about a mile left to the checkpoint and we had to carry all casualties and coupons to the end. As we made our way towards the checkpoint (the dam at the end of the River Walk) Cadre Geoff explained that as we approached, we were to turn off headlamps and move in silence. Any talking would be accompanied by punishment. He explained the reasoning behind moving without being detected was because while we were supposed to be rallying with “friendlies”, until contact was made, we weren’t certain, and didn’t want to give away our position. As Cadre Geoff and TL went to meet the contact, the rest of Team Stars, held back, in the shadows on the side of the River Walk. Again, silence was required by Cadre. There was a nice little break here of about 10 minutes to grab a snack and some water, and a few people even grabbed a quick nap.
TL – Hailey (Later named Sugar Cookie)
ATL – Toothpick
At the exchange zone, we carried all of our casualties across the dam and circled up with Cadre Danny. As the TL and ATL got instructions from Danny on our mission, Team Stars circled up and got an accurate head-count for the new Cadre. We still had all 36 that we began with. As soon as instructions were given, we were on the move to Earlwood Park through a mostly residential area. Instructions were very similar to earlier, where talking should be kept at a minimum while traveling through residential areas. Our coupons had been exchanged from telephone poles to a metal sled stacked with weight, known as a mule. For the next few hours, our torture would be the sound of that metal scraping across the sidewalk all the way back to Finlay Park. As we arrived at Earlwood Park, we were given the chance to relieve ourselves, refill our water, and then moved over to the amphitheater. Danny talked to us about a few different things and then debriefed on the current TL and ATL and appoint new leads.
TL – Full House
ATL – Trailblazer
Cadre Danny gave us instruction on the proper form of low crawl, and then gave instructions for the team to hear. Box jumps to the top of the amphitheater, then low crawl (face on the ground) about 50 yards up one of the steepest hills I’ve seen in a long time. Danny made sure to let us know that if he saw our face off the ground, we would be starting over. Full House took control, and very efficiently moved everyone to the top of the amphitheater, and then the fun began. The hill was covered in everything but grass, so crawling using your forearms and knees was rough, especially for the few who decided that donning ranger panties for the event was a good idea. None the less, everyone clawed their way to the top of the hill with the assistance of those that finshed first, and we were ready to move on to the next mission.
We were quickly on the move again, and headed back towards Finlay Park. At this point, I think most of the Irmo crew didn’t really know where we were, but many of the downtown folks kept mentioning how close we were to either their houses, or someone they knew. “Couldn’t we just stop in there for a beer?” We continued moving back towards Finlay Park, and after miles of moving that mule across Columbia, we were finally back to Main Sr. As we were about 2 blocks from making our final turn towards Finaly Park, Cadre Danny asked the TL for a headcount. Very confidently, TL announced that we had 36, but Danny planted the seed of doubt by asking “are you sure”. Frantically the TL and ATL counted heads, and at first came up with 33. Then 35, as they had forgotten to include themselves. After multiple counts, the TL informed the Cadre that we only had 35 members. A search party of 4 was sent to retrieve our friend Gump, who had been instructed by the Cadre to hang back and wait for the team to come get him. All of this just happened to be taking place under the clock at Sylvan Jewelers and most of the team noticed the time of 1:40am and had the validation of why we felt so exhausted.
Worst moment: Getting killed by Danny for “grounding” my ruck during a short halt (it was actually on my foot). I felt so low at that point because we were searching for a missing man and I knew it was going to take 4 people to carry me on the stretcher plus someone else to carry my ruck. Before we started back moving, I told Danny that I meant no disrespect but I had my ruck on my foot. He laughed, and said “I know, I had to kill someone off so we could use the stretcher” Just the nature of a GORUCK event – Fire Daddy
Once the rescue party returned with Gump we got in the formation, got our casualty all set on the stretcher, we were ready to move. However, we were not on the move quick enough for Cadre Danny, and again, BOOM, TL was “killed off”. ATL Trailblazer moved to TL, and appointed TNT as ATL. At this time, we were also given a new x-fil point. We were to move to Freedom Park. The team was able to move pretty well for the most part, except for one instance when the mule stopped unexpectedly in front of the stretcher, and Brother Si had to side-step it while still holding the stretcher, and as the team members on the mule saw this, they began moving the mule to try to get out of the way, but instead pulled it directly over Brother Si’s foot. He rotated off the stretcher, rubbed some dirt on it, and got back in formation and was ready to go like a true badass.
Once we arrived at Freedom Park, Cadre Danny reminded us of the sacrifices that so many made to defend and preserve our freedoms and gave us a few minutes to walk through the park and visit the memorials set up in honor of those from SC that paid the ultimate price for us. For many of us, it was a slap in the face that while we did this event for fun, there were so many from this state who gave their lives for our country.
TL – Neckbrace
ATL – TNT
After visiting the memorials and paying our respects, we gathered back at the entrance of the park and were given instruction to move back to Finlay Park along with a time-hack. As we were getting close, and Cadre Danny could tell that we were probably going to beat his time-hack, so he stopped the group and killed off 7 members of the team. New instructions, and a new time-hack were given. We now had to buddy-drag all 7 members, and get the coupons to the endex in the middle of Finlay Park. Somehow, by sheer teamwork and determination, Team Stars was able to meet the time-hack, and would face no punishment for not meeting the requirement.
At this point, Cadre Danny had been in communication with Geoff, and Team Stripes was still out having some good livin’, and had been delayed rescuing a deer that had gotten its legs caught on a wrought iron fence. While we waited on Team Stripes to arrive, in honor of GRL Class 730, we would do 7 exercises for 30 reps each, dealers’ choice. We finished the last exercise as Team Stripes arrived, and we fell into formation for what we thought was about to be another smoke session to end the night. To our surprise, we quickly received our patches, although it was now 3:25am.
TL – Fore
ATL – Volley
TL Fore was given the task of leading Team Stripes to the Diversion Dam on the North side of Columbia. The team had to assemble a sled with 150 lbs of plates and move it that point. Thankfully, Muggy Tape came prepared with 2 straps we could use to pull the sled along the route. We left Finlay Park through the bottom parking lot and moved up Taylor Street going toward Main. We had a good rotation going and were moving at a sub 15 min mile pace.
Somewhere along North Main at a sketchy Chinese restaurant, Cadre Danny directed Fore and the pax pulling the sled to continue toward Earlewood Park while the rest of Team Stripes stopped in a parking lot to do perform some PT. Really not sure what this was all about except to kill time as Team Stripes was really making great time.
Team Stripes made it to Earlewood Park in great time with Fore still our TL…until, he decided to make Fore and Take-Number a casualty. Take-a-Number had to be carried on a stretcher while Fore was carried on a pax’ shoulder.
TL – Pick Up
ATL – No Help
With Pick Up as the new TL, we resumed the trek to the Diversion Dam from Earlewood Park. Team Stripes continued to show great teamwork with strong rotations and a quick pace through parts of Columbia YHC has never seen. There were points where Cadre Danny had to run to keep pace with us. Before too long, the awful screeching noise produced from metal sliding on asphalt was replaced by the smell of burning metal.
Team Stripes finally arrived at the Diversion Dam. Cadre Danny gave us a lesson on a military link up and instructions on how we were to link up with Team Stars. Probably as a time killing measure, Danny had us bear crawl across the bridge then get wet in river. On the way back to our formation, we had to crab crawl across the bridge.
Team Stripes waited while Surf and Leg Warmers communicated the “Game” and “Cocks” passwords for the link up.
As we Team Stars passed us while switching Cadre, the distressed look on their faces warned of what we were about to experience with Cadre Geoff.
TL – Take-a-Number
ATL – Volley
Did we even move before Geoff was pissed at us? It’s all a blur. We had to carry 3 logs, hooked together with short chains. Take-a-Number had us going in a good rotation. Not sure what irked Geoff before he made us elephant walk with rucks and logs. At one point, we remained motionless, still holding the logs/rucks elephant walk-style. Finally relieving us by letting us rotate, someone on Team Stripes said the words “I can’t.” Geoff heard this and gave that pax some special attention, making them get back on the log.
I really seemed we made no progress forward before Geoff made us stop and perform more PT while he gave us speeches about attention to detail, folding underwear, the significance of May 1 (Bin Laden killed) and how we’re already immune to it.
We did leg lifts with rucks on knees, bear crawls to the 2nd light even though we passed the 2nd light 7 lights ago. Geoff almost threw Blindside’s shoe in the river. That was a moment.
Then Geoff started killing people.
In addition to the logs (by now, Geoff had connected the logs with caribiners, forming a triangle of logs), Geoff killed off 5 members of Team Stripes. No good reason, to my recollection, except you just can’t please that guy.
Probably the most memorable part of the journey with Cadre Geoff was the deer event. This poor deer failed in his effort to jump the wrought iron fence separating the river and the trail. It basically impaled him in his rectal area. He was stuck. Geoff does have a heart because he used one of our logs to help the deer escape this displeasure. I doubt the deer survived but Geoff was able to free it loose.
Good news, the deer event allowed Team Stripes about 10 minutes of recovery. Bad news, we now had a bloody log.
TL – Surf
ATL – Field Goal
Surf was tasked with getting us back to Finlay Park from Riverfront Park. The challenges we faced were 1) we were all gassed from having no relief from carrying either a coupon or a casualty, 2) communication was made more difficult as we entered a residential area. Our formation was off, we couldn’t close gaps and we were too loud. So, Geoff found a hill.
You’ve probably heard war stories from GRC 1277 and the front crab crawls, rucks on chest up the hill on Barnwell St. Team Stripes did that x 4. We were about 1/2 mile from the finish. It was approximately 3am.
We were ordered to get back on the coupons and casualties and make it home. Uphill, of course. Then, down the windy steps (of course) heading back to the finish point. We joined Team Stars for maybe 1 merkin before Cadre Danny made the announcement 730 was finished.
Total Time – 9.5 hours
Total Miles – 12.22 miles
MEMORABLE MOMENTS / THOUGHTS
“The welcome party is largely a blur, bear crawls while coughing like I had TB, monkey humpers until I thought my thighs would literally cry, linking arms with two Clydesdales on either side and attempting to lunge as a team, then losing the tunnel of love… And my favorite, rolling in some unknown overflow of Finlay Park while Cadre Geoff yells “You’re not doing it right! Your hair’s not even wet!” I can see clearly the spray soaking me as his big black boot made a tidal wave. He lines us up as we wait for what’s next. Backwards bear crawls up the steps of Finlay Park. There was cheating and yelling, but mostly, there was heart. It was here that Uno showed us all what he was made of. “
“My favorite moment was when Robber was given the cab fare to go towards The Mission. We may be individuals but together we can make a difference in the lives of so many.”
“I had a thought about Philippians 4:13 I can do all thing through Christ who gives me strength. As Christians, we quote and claim this verse often. But it is all meaningless if we forget the “Do”, I learned through GR that I can push further than I knew. I can do all things. The standard is higher now, that is what growth is, and I want more!”
“When I first committed to this event I didn’t know what to expect even though I had already completed a Challenge and a Light. There were several F3 guys that wouldn’t commit because they felt the event would be watered down, being a Light. Well they missed out. Cadre Geoff and Cadre Danny brought the same intensity that they brought the last time they were here. It may not have been as long hour wise as the Challenge but we covered more distance with this event. I will wear this patch with pride.”
“Having participated in the Custom Goruck Tough that F3 did in November of 2014, I wasn’t sure what to expect for a Custom Light. Many factors would be the same. It was taking place in Columbia, we had Geoff and Danny as Cadre, and this was a Custom. Multiple factors set them apart: 1) November was COLD. That was a game changer (at least for me). 2) Time and mileage would be less (potentially, lol). 3) Yoga pants. I had no doubts that the men and women from F3 and FiA would bring their A game. I just didn’t know the caliber of beatdown that would be brought down upon us. The training leading up to both was intense and frequent. Many were more mentally prepared for a Goruck event having done 1 or in some cases, many since the November Tough. With the preface that I knew that a Light does not equal Easy, the pain was brought. The folks that were on the losing Tunnel of Love team and also on Team Stripes, they had some SERIOUS good livin. Since I was on Team Stars, I can say from experience, that they THRIVED instead of SURVIVED. We moved faster than I thought possible, there were minimal poopy faces, and everyone pulled their weight and then some. T-Claps to all that chose to “live outside their comfort zone.”
“I was asked to give my thoughts on our GRL from the perspective of someone who also completed the GRC in November. I’ll start with the Welcome Party: I thought our welcome party Friday night was much more in line with how I originally pictured a welcome party being. During the GRC, our welcome party seemed very unorganized which resulted in a lot of down time. That was not the case Friday night. Each cadre pitched in with their own style and gave as an awesome beat down. Although there was a ton of suck involved, there were also plenty of smiles – there is no doubt all 73 embraced the suck. There was no better way to end it than seeing Uno hit the last step after backwards bear crawling up 21 flights of stairs – talk about a very powerful moment – wow. I felt, overall as a team, we crushed the welcome party.
I also felt that we carried that momentum over into our time with Cadre Danny. I thought team Stripes worked together better during our time with Cadre Danny than during my time with any other cadre. There were several times I heard other pax talking about how fast we were moving. It was awesome pulling the sled and looking over and seeing Cadre Danny having to run to keep up. We may not have been perfect, but that is the best I have seen a team come together.
And then there was Cadre Geoff. It really seemed that my time with Cadre Geoff picked up where it left off in November. As soon as we would do something right and start moving at a good pace, he would change it up and make it much more difficult. Over and over and over again. Just like in November, he is hard. He is tough. He demanding. But his voice stays with me – attention to detail, don’t take the easy way out, do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. If Cadre Geoff can’t instill a little bit if integrity in you, I’m not sure who can.
All in all, I thought the GRL was every bit as challenging as the GRC in November. I am extremely proud to be part GRL Class 730.”
“Wow…What I thought was going to happen to me and what happened to me on Friday/Saturday morning during the GO RUCK Custom Light were two totally different scenarios. Having participated in some of the simulations leading up to the event and talking to some of the RUCK veterans I thought I was prepared…I was not. I am not sure if you can totally be prepared for your first RUCK (if done properly). I had a lot of nervous energy before the Welcome Party, those were quickly replaced by a lot of sweat and near failure on the first set of exercises. “What did I just get myself into?”
The good news, you are surrounded by people (F3 &FIA) that want you to do well and have your back and encourage you the whole time, the bad news Cadre Geoff wants Spartans and would love to break you down.
The GO RUCK CUSTOM LIGHT was 9+ hours of the most exhausting physically and mentally challenging exercise I have ever been through in my life to date. It might have been called a ‘light’ but there was nothing light about it (Blindside, love you brother). Cadre Danny pushed us and kept us working as a team, it was awesome…great teamwork, enthusiasm…everything F3/FIA stands for and what I mentally prepared for a RUCK to be like…then there was the switching of cadres. Cadre Geoff has a slightly different teaching philosophy than Cadre Danny. Cadre Geoff wants to push you to your mental and physical limits and then make you take 100 more steps to see if you will quit yourself and your team. F3/FIA have some Go RUCK BEAST, I was inspired by how hard people worked.
Overall it was an incredible experience and the further I get away from last weekend the more I miss it and would do it all over again this Friday. Sounds crazy and I do not even try to explain to outsiders (non-F3’ers) they just won’t get it. I just tell them it was awesome and EH them to a F3 workout so hopefully one day they will get it.
Many thanks to all that helped organize the GRCL, it was life changing….next up!”
“This was my first GoRuck event. I shadowed Tough class 1277 in November and was hooked. I knew first hand how tough it would be especially with Cadre Geoff and Cadre Danny returning. I already had a ruck and started Wander in January to get some miles under my ruck. As the event came closer the Lake Murray crew started incorporating rucks into our bootcamps and Sunday extended workouts. I felt like I had prepared as best as I could. At the end of the day I knew this was going to be hard….the hardest thing I had ever done. I am not a small guy and knew that I would be hard pressed to do a lot of the welcome party activities. My only thought was to survive the welcome party. If I could do that I could put one foot in front of another until the end.
Friday morning, I woke up and was already stomach churning nervous. What had I gotten myself into?!?! I had lunch with Mayhem and called various other F3 brothers to talk out my nerves. They calmed me, that was until we got into ranks. The welcome party began and nerves turned into sweat…..this was hard. Roll call, PT, a lap around the pond, bear crawls and tunnel of love…..I was still standing. Then the moment I had known would come. Geoff….steps……backwards bear crawls. No Help and Hanging Chad immedietly said to me “we are going to do this together and finish.” It began….it was hard. Muscles were already hurting and cramping but I was steadidly making progress albeit slowly. Hanging Chad took my ruck a couple of flights up the stairs man what a beast. They continued with me pushing me encouraging about 1/3-1/2 way up. Thats when Geoff showed up. This was the moment I had been dreading but knew was going to happen from my shadowing last November. He ordered No Help and hanging chad to continue on and leave me. It was me vs the stairs and the Navy Seal. “Just tell me you want to quit”, “you’re riding coat tails here not a part of this team”, “you can’t physcialy do this and you know it” and many other salty versions of this is what he would quitely and loudly tell me. Later I would find out that after every one of these instances he would stand up and smile to the shadows. Geoffs key phrase is “live outside your comfort zone” and I was far outside mine. I could hear my team on top of the stairs encouraging me and giving me all the reasons I needed to complete the task. It was because of all of you and the two that stayed with me that got me through it. I cannot thank you enough. I found a part of myself that night that I didn’t know was there. I made it to the top honestly barely able to stand Geoff was looking at me with a big smile on his face. He didn’t have to say a word (we all know how much he loves to talk) he had showed me that as much as you think it is impossible you CAN do it.
The rest of the night was hard, we learned a lot of cool things from the cadre and pushed ourselves past where we thought we could. At one point when I was ATL we had a bunch of dead people and coupons everyone had something extra. You couldn’t rotate out you just had to press on and we did as a team. I had seen class 1277 come together as a team but it wasn’t until our event that I understood it. Our group over came a lot of tough situations and truley came together. I am proud to have met all of you and will forever hold this memory as a night we became brothers and sisters. It was the hardest night of my life and also the most rewarding.
Highlight of the night- We were doing wall sits in a parking garage near River Front Park. By now Cadre Geoff had learned my nickname of Uno. We were all strugglig rucks overhead hurting.
“UNO! Do you like to play cards or something?”
“No Cadre! They call me Uno because I only have one testicle!” (I had just finished radiation for testicular cancer 2 weeks before I started F3.)
Laughter erupts. For a moment Geoff didn’t know what to say he looks at me and just laughs.
“That’s because you only need one!” he said.”
“This was my fourth event, and second Light. What’s great about these events is that they are all unique. I was asked how does this compare to the Challenge/Heavy/previous Light. In all honesty it is hard to compare the events. The similarities are carrying heavy stuff over various distances and working together as a team. The differences are the people you bound with, and the various ways you unite as a team. It continues to amaze me as you watch yourself and others overcome adversity and difficulties in these events. Each person learns more about themselves and what they’re capable of, regardless if this was your first or 10th event. My suggestion is to keep coming back for more, no event will be the same, and I guarantee you’ll learn something new about yourself each time or witness an amazing event of someone else overcoming and crushing their inner demons.”
“It was great to receive my 2nd patch from Danny! Even though this was “just a Light”, I know that the event was physically tougher than other Lights, I had to earn that patch and it wasn’t easy. It will be cherished.
I’m not sure if I was exhausted going into this event, or it was just that busy! The 7-9 sets of bunny hops up the column of stairs in Finlay Park towards the end of the welcome party and the Fireman carries during Geoff were the physically tougher parts of the event for me. The Welcome party went on for a bit longer than I expected and really benefited the pax, especially the FiA and new GR F3 men. It seemed to instill teamwork and confidence!
I was grateful to get Geoff first, because I knew he would be tough…funny how the FiA pax embraced this suck! When the F3/FiA facebook group started, the F3 vets from the class #1277 lit up with stories of Cadre Geoff, taking the plunge in Finlay Park and Ranger Panties! I know for a fact that this was not well received by FiA and actually started to mess with some of the FiA confidence. I am so impressed with the females for taking the challenge of training and the cadre, head on and succeeding! I’m also impressed with almost 10 FiA registering for the Columbia GRC in July… have we created a monster?” –
-This was a special event. This group bonded to form a nice community of weirdos. Thank you for all the support along the way and for making it easy for YHC to coordinate this event. Special thanks to EZ, Spirit Fingers, Huffy, Misty Malibu, Malfunction Junction & Tumble for serving as region Qs. Also, thanks to Robber for laying down a great template to follow.
-Seriously, the training and preparation put into this event was amazing. Many GORUCK vets were calling 730 the most prepared class in GORUCK history.
-TNT is correct, we have created a monster. FiA, like F3 after GRC 1277, has become ruck crazy.
-Tclaps to 730 for donating your cab fare to Oliver Gospel Mission. You’re helping to provide those men a second chance.
-Thank you to those that shadowed this event. It wouldn’t be the same without all the great pictures and behind the scenes stories.
Pictures can be viewed on this link: http://bit.ly/1EPXOjY