Today is Saturday, Oct 11 and it is the morning after Goruck Selection 015.
Out of 278 people who signed up, 162 RSVP'd to show up...out of those, only 82 actually did show up. There are various reasons for that, namely that the training for an event like this is really hard and injuries do happen. (Out of our group of 5, only 2 of us showed up injury free to the start) Other reasons include psych out and/or just deciding that this is not for them.
Of the 82 candidates, 7 were women. I am pretty sure that I was the oldest there at 46, but I could be wrong on that. If not the oldest, I was certainly one of the oldest.
35 people failed the pushup or situp portion and allowed to retest. After that, 23 people were sent home after failing twice.
Another 16 failed the 5 mile run and were sent home.
We were down to 31.
6 more dropped from the 12 mile ruck and we started the 4 hour welcome party with 25 candidates, 2 of which were women.
1 hour into the welcome party, we lost another 6, including 1 woman.
16 candidates remained and the Candidate 075, the last woman, drops.
We lost 3 more somehow and started the Sandbag Baby event with 13, including me.
By the end of the Sandbag Baby, and only a short time into the 15 min/mile ruck, the class was down to 5. It was about 6 am. We were all picked up by the van and went home together.
From here on, I am referencing the Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram from Goruck, because I was no longer there,
At 10:30, another drops. and at 2:00 pm on Friday the candidates were given their first nutrition, a Gatorade.
By 4 on Friday, only 3 remained.
2 were standing at 6pm.
2 am on Saturday left Candidate 025 standing by himself.
This guy was a stud and everything was going right for him which is essential in this event. Here we are together in the Ocean:
I learned alot in the process of preparing for and participating in this event. I could have done alot of things different to prepare for this event which could have allowed me to finish. More on that in the next post.
One of the things that was exceptionally helpful was SealFit Kokoro. Kokoro is a 50 hour event, but a much different beast than Selection. The workload is very similar, but the lack of food and the lack of teammate support really effected me. It might not be a big deal to others, but I drew incredible strength from my teammates at Kokoro. Due to the much higher pass rate at Kokoro, I think most others do as well.
To be successful at Selection, you have to train for these things, or the lack of them.
I learned many lessons in Selection, one of which was to absolutely prepare for things the best you possibly can. This includes getting as much information as possible and try everything out in training, then trying it out again under adverse conditions. Continue to make things worse for yourself in training because when you get there...whatever you thought could go wrong, probably will and then it will get worse.
The biggest lesson that I learned that I will immediately take back to my private life and family is that we, all of us no matter who you are, are weaker as individuals than as a team. Here is an excerpt from the first email I wrote to my workout group after I returned:
"I thought I had trained for the lack of food, but I was unprepared. That was the biggest thing for me. When your body betrays you with cramps, dizziness, nausea, vomitting, lightheadedness and simply refuses to do what is asked of it, it is real easy for the mind to go to the bad place and the fear dog turns from a controllable Pappillon to a vicious 200 lb wolf. The courage wolf shrinks to a puppy and shuts up.
I learned a ton.
Team is everything. Never forget that. As a team you can do anything and everything. As an individual you ( we all, are weak). Sharks and wolves prey on the weak and they circled me. We could not speak to anyone. Not even a good job, or hang in there. That was grounds for immediate dismissal.
Build your teams strong. Your family, your business, your friends. You can not go it alone. Rambos dont make it."
This is my goal now. Build a stronger team in everything I do. Help others and lead them to help you.
I am 46 years old and I am really just now learning this lesson, which is an amazing testimony to my bullheadedness, stubbornness, possible stupidity and reliance on my individual sports background (wrestling, swimming, racquetball, fishing and crossfit). I learned a ton about leadership and the importance of a team at Kokoro, but it wasnt until I saw the opposite of Kokoro that I realized how important all those lessons were.
At Kokoro, I sailed through the whole thing...not because it was easier, necessarily but because I was a part of a team. My teammates encouraged me, and I lifted myself up by encouraging them as well. The Cadre were even highly encouraging at times.
Selection is the opposite of Kokoro, but the lesson is the same. I guess that I am so incredibly stubborn that it took the absolute beatdown of my life to understand the lessons that I had already learned through success. Because I was successful in Kokoro, the lessons sunk in but did not fully penetrate my soul as I experienced from Thursday at 1 to Friday at 6.
It is not that I needed someone to lift my load, it is just that being able to talk, to encourage, to tell someone they are doing well is so incredibly important to everyone's morale that when it is gone, you realize how alone you are.
I will take this back to my life and you should too. The simple act of telling someone they have done a good job, that they look nice, that you recognize their hard work or preparation will do more to enhance your family, to enhance your business, to enhance your life than so many things that people try to accomplish the same.
I will write much more on Selection, including gear, training, preparation, mental readiness, and the future for my training, but for now...
Thank you to my wife who allowed me to do this. Because I did, our life will be better together. I learned so many valuable lessons...many of which I probably have not even realized yet.
Thank you to my children who watched as I prepared for this and supported me.
Thank you to my friends who trained with me, supported me and challenged me.
Thank you to my business partners and employees who supported me, were patient with me and carried the load when I couldn't.
Thank you to God who gave me a physical body capable of doing something like this so that i could train my mind, learn lessons and become better because of it.