I first found GORUCK through Huckberry a few years ago. I was looking for exercises to help me lose weight. I would go for rucks by myself at work on my lunch break. During one of the amazing GORUCK sales I bought a GR1 and the rest is history. I started doing the monthly challenges with the “Ruck Your Dog” challenge in 2019 and I did most of the monthly challenges last year. Rucking is something I get to do with the people I love – my wife rucks with me, my friends ruck with me, even my dog rucks with me. I actually keep extra gear in my truck so people can come out and try it. My first exposure to our local club was the “Cooler Ruck” that summer.
I love the camaraderie in the GORUCK community. Having found GORUCK a few years into CrossFit, I immediately felt like it was easier to connect with people. While we have a great group of people at my CrossFit gym, it is impossible to really connect with others as you suffer through “DT” or “Fran,” unable to breathe. Rucking allows community to happen as you are going, literally as your ruck. I also love how accessible this community is, meaning in our local club we have a very diverse group of folks. We have active participants in their 20’s and 30’s and active participants in their 50’s and 60’s. The best way I describe it is rucking is both infinitely scalable and infinitely practical. In any of our events you will see some people with no weight or 10 pounds and others with 50 pounds or more.
I am part of the Fredericksburg Rucking Group or FXBG Rucking Group in Fredericksburg, VA. Our club has 2-3 events each week. Our schedule is usually a Social Ruck or Club Callout on Tuesday evenings, Ruck + PT on Thursday mornings and various rucks on the weekends. We also schedule other rucks and PT sessions by month. One new thing we are doing is called “History Rucks” where we explore local history on a ruck which grew out of the June Club Callout. I am currently developing one on General Hugh Mercer who fought and died in the Revolutionary War. He has a pretty rough rucking story where he was separated from his troops in the French and Indian War and he had to cover over 100 miles in winter with a gun shot wound and a broken arm. I really look forward to this upcoming Ruck. I need the local libraries and museums to open back up so I can finish my research for our “History Rucks” events.
I also lead an unofficial group at my work called the Resilience Rucking Group. For the RRG, I lead “Ruck-reational Therapy” groups for children who are recovering from the ongoing effects of trauma and abuse. I love that rucking and PT allow them to dig deep and see how gritty and determined they can become. They already know that life is hard and unfair, yet here they are discovering that they are capable and resilient and can be successful anyway.
Since COVID, we have continued to ruck as a group but have encouraged social distancing and other safety measures. We did more early morning rucks to get our miles while people were not out and about. We had a good many people earn their Quarantine Star Course patches and ended up doing 5k, 10k and a couple 12 mile courses locally. COVID has actually helped our club grow because when the gyms were closed or restricted many of my CrossFit friends have come out to our GORUCK club events. I love seeing all the new rucksacks showing up to our events. I also post a lot of our events on Facebook or Instagram so people end up asking me about our club.
As far as events go, I have only done Star Courses thus far. I was signed up for a Light in April and a Tough in May that were cancelled due to the COVID. I am currently scheduled for the 9/11 Light in DC. I think the hardest thing for me has been signing up. It certainly helps to have an active club and to get people going to events together. We have a number of folks from our club doing 9/11 events and we will be there to support one another.
Love At First Ruck
I love the 25L Ruckers. I have a couple and I name them. Gandalf the Grey, Mike Delta (or Major Depression because he is so blue). I have a bit of a GORUCK accumulation problem. Mike D. is my favorite Ruck. I also love the GORUCK Sandbags. I have the whole line in black and have been eyeing up the new Coyote. I really think that the 60lb Sandbag is the most flexible and functional piece of fitness equipment anyone can own.
There are 5 controllable aspects of fitness.. Diet, Exercise, Sleep, Relationships and Mindset. Rucking addresses 3 of the 5 aspects. I get great exercise, nurture relationships and develop a tenacious mindset. Now sometimes it doesn’t help my diet because we end up with pizza, ice cream or gourmet cheeseburgers, but I can make up for that elsewhere.
My favorite thing about GORUCK is the people. We have built a great community that walks through life (and town) together.