The Java Effect

Life’s a funny place. Problems never stop, the world doesn’t care about you (even though people do), and the older you get the easier it is to make sense of what you should have done when you were younger. It’s humbling and difficult. It’s short and beautiful. And you don’t get a re-do. One way to make this go-round even sweeter is to find a place and make it yours. And to do this as often as possible. It could be a picnic bench, it could be a beach. But this place is never where you spend most of your time. And it’s never in front of a screen. I love working at GORUCK, talking about GORUCK, and thinking about GORUCK – it consumes my day as quickly as tomorrow can come. But whether I’m on the road or at home, Java calls. If he didn’t, I would probably be the guy eating lunch at my desk, surfing the Internet to find peace of mind that wouldn’t come. But Java’s call is a good call, a persistent call, and it’s probably more important for me than it is for him. And that’s saying something. We get out and enjoy the time together. Sometimes I even leave my phone at HQ. And on a rare occasion, when the stars align, a few friends join us.

Jav has passion. It’s one of his most endearing qualities. And it makes me smile every single day. From time to time I think about a world without Java, which will more than likely happen to me one day, life expectancies what they are. It’s hard to imagine and it makes me really sad. But it also makes me appreciate the time I have with him now. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Today. If you said I’m that Army guy who latched on really hard to his dog after he got home from war, I’d tell you you were right. And then I’d tell you with a huge smile that latched on doesn’t do it justice. It’s humbling – I’m a barrel chested freedom fighter, right? – but humility is a good thing. You can’t do everything on your own in life – that kind of thing. Friends and dogs help, and at the end of my days I know I won’t regret one second spent with either. Or preferably both.

To Java, our time means me and him and it’s totally endearing. But Jack snagged Ashe don’t call him an albino unless you have 2 hours to listen to Jack talk. This long winded story nobody really wants to hear aside – his dog is sadly about 90% blind, albino or not. So while Java chases the stick, Ashe don’t call him an albino unless you have 2 hours to listen to Jack talk chases Java. It’s unorthodox, but it works.

Java and his passion never disappoint. It doesn’t matter if there’s an audience of 1 or an audience of 1 million. And in our time at our place (which today was the creek), it’s as if the world stops and all that matters is the now. This is the Java Effect. But you don’t need Java to experience the Effect. Find a place and smile about something. It’s just that easy.

Get your dog, find a quiet place for lunch, crank your tunes at the gym, pound the pavement, hit the trail. Whatever works for you. And do it every day if you can. Even if you break Rule #1. Nice capri pants, Chris don’t call him Donnie he hates that. Nobody follows all the rules, even the important ones, all the time. And I have to admit I’ve been borrowing a pink bike lately. Also a complete violation of Rule #1. But I don’t wear capris. Not ever.

When the Java Effect is almost over and you gotta get back to it, there’s always time to drink one more beer. And to dry off proper. And don’t forget to smile one last time. It might follow you to whatever’s next.


  1. Fil says:

    Hi Jason,

    great post and I can relate to the Java effect as much as our words can describe. When I am outside with my pack it is exactly how your images capture it. The only difference….I have three of them calling for my attention to hunt down the beach. 🙂

    See you soon in Stuttgart…

  2. Max says:

    Let the record show: reading this article and listening to Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” is a poor decision. Silly analogies aside: this made me miss having a dog Jason, just as spending some quality time with Java in St. Augustine did. Looking forward to getting another one! And to Cadre Donnie: I gave you the patch, now start rocking Short Shorts…

    See you at Beached next week,


  3. Eddie says:

    “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”
    – Milan Kundera

    A dog is an incredibly special thing, and impossible to over-appreciate. Java looks like he’s living the life, good on you Jason!

    Also, standing offer – first person to get a picture of Jason in Capris gets a GR1, on me. =)

  4. Annie A says:

    That’s why I have three of the little bastards. No time to get too wrapped up in yourself when they’re sitting in front of you ready to rock.

  5. Andrew says:

    The “Java Effect” and posts like this are one of the reasons I love the Goruck brand the way I do. Crossing my fingers that Jason and Java make an appearance at my first GRC in Cedar Rapids in May! (Cough cough hint hint)

  6. Yami says:

    My Maggie has that effect too! She is a beautiful chocolate lab who looks just like Java (but girlie).. I love how she lives in the present! In the moment! She teaches me lessons every day. I am do happy you have Java!!!! Only dog owners can understand your attachment to him. I love it! I can’t think about my girl not being around… When I do, I kinda fall apart but she brings me back… I am in awe of her ability for love and compassion and also a bit jealous when she does a perfectly executed down dog and up dog (yoga)… She is such a show off and I love her… p.s. she too is obssesed with every stick in the world and ALWAYS finds one to chew on. Love the Java posts.

  7. Bobby says:

    One day I hope to have the chance to thank Jason and Java in person for the positive impact they both had on my life. Long story short, I was a first responder to 9/11 in NYC and the whole deal left me in a pretty bad place. I did my best to keep it all to myself which in turn probably just made things worse. Then, about a year ago a friend of mine turned me onto GR Gear. I was instantly drawn in by the story behind the gear on the website. The idea of doing a challenge ignited a spark inside me that I had not felt in a very long time. My wife noticed the uptick in enthusiasm and silently made note of me reading the GR site all the time. I ordered some gear, started training, dropped 10lbs, then 20, then 30, and start feeling like getting my groove back. I guess my wife got tired of hearing me talk about Java, because she and my kids emptied every piggy bank, went behind every couch cushion and dug through all of the toy boxes in the house to come up with enough money (all coins) to buy me a female chocolate lab. She is just about 8 months old now and next to my kids and wife, is the best thing that ever happened to me. Well, it’s late – time for some sleep.

    For me, GoRuck + “The Java Effect” = My cure for PTSD!

    Thanks! And I hope to see you at my challenge this year!

  8. Mike B says:

    Kiss your dog smack in the mouth every day. Oh and pick up his warm poop too. Your neighbors will thank you, and your dog will get a chuckle, but he will love you all the same. Nice post.

  9. Francesco says:

    The little piece of peace you can find with a dog and a good friend is what I call the meaning of life.
    Nice post, Jason… Thank you!

  10. Andy 086/260 says:

    Really touching there Jason. Nice to know a Green Beret has a soft side, respectively. Give hime a treat for me next time. -andy 086/260,

  11. Wayne Felger says:

    Best report ever. My dog is my best bud….and she is my second one since I got out. Life expectancies being what they are, I suppose another will be in the cards. she is now 16 and a bit slower but our relationship is more than a marriage could ever be!

  12. Harry Madsen says:

    Dogs make life so much easier. I love my two dearly (even if they do misbehave a bit) and they give me a reason to keep on moving.

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