In 2013 a friend wanted to do a race/endurance event each month as a way to challenge herself physically. I told her I would join and do these events with her. We started to sign up for 5K’s and mud runs. Her Crossfit gym then decided to do a GORUCK event. She signed up and I promised to do the event with her.
April 2013 in Kansas City, MO (yes I am an OG GRT… HAHA). Bert was my Cadre (seriously one of the best that I have ever had). It was cold, wet, and raining. We lost our shoes and had to bear crawl for about 1 mile due to infractions we had with our TL and ATL not communicating with the team. It was cold, I was wet – all of my clothes were wet, and I luckily packed minimal items in my backpack (I did not have a ruck at that time). It was the perfect combination of suck and good livin’ and I loved every moment of it. After the event I ate, slept, and upon waking up immediately logged online to see when/where there was going to be another event.
Doing a GORUCK event allows you the opportunity to be placed under a log (or other random and heavy objects) with people from all across the country. It allows you the opportunity to break down mental barriers and truly get to know someone you do not know. The best way to get to know someone (in my opinion) is to see how they handle stressful situations while they are sleep deprived, hungry, cold, and drenched from pond water or the ocean. I hate to sound cliche, but I love the people. I have met some of my best friends at events and I will be forever grateful that GORUCK brought us together. It is highly unlikely I would have met some of the amazing people I know if we would not have crossed paths at a GORUCK event.
Also, my nick name “WHATITDO” was reborn when I started doing GORUCK events. It was a nickname I received when I was in college and continues to live due to me doing events and people learning of my nick name. One of my favorite things it so be at an event or to be traveling and hear someone yell “WHATITDO!” at me.
This may shock everyone, but the hardest thing for me is opening up to people. I am seriously naturally shy and I have to pep talk myself so I can go up to new people and get to know them or ask them questions. I love getting lost in my own thoughts (which is easy for me to do during the 12ish mile ruck march during Heavies). Also, being sleep deprived. I LOVE my sleep and it is always a mental challenge for me to force myself to function when I am tired and wanting to get some sleep. Cold is also my Kryptonite. If it is cold outside and we have to get into water, mentally I have to work hard at getting in the water and not giving up once we are out of the water.
Tell Us About Your Rucksacks
My first ruck was a Woodland Camo Echo. To this day it is still one of my favorite rucks. I do not use it much during events because I love it and don’t want to destroy it. For events, I have a silver and black GR0 that I jump between. It just depends on which one is the cleanest when I am packing for an event. It is small, compact, sits perfectly on my back, and is not super bulky when I have all of my event gear in it.
I also love to use my Bullet when traveling or running other non GORUCK events.
Favorite GORUCK product would hands down be the Packing Cubes. I travel a lot for work and they are great (and very durable).
Favorite GORUCK apparel would for sure be the OG rain jacket. I literally wore it until it had holes in it. I sadly had to retire it and upgrade to the newer jacket that is being sold. I do really enjoy the American Waterproof Jacket.
The Traveling Ruck Club
I am actually “a part” of a lot of ruck clubs because I travel so much. But, I started two ruck clubs. The Muscle Mafia Rucking Club (which is an online/virtual ruck club for women only) and K-Ruck: Kirksville Rucking Club (which is in the town I live in and I get my clients to go on rucks with me). They have grown to be awesome ruckers and also organize and execute rucks on their own when I am working or traveling). I love that I have people to ruck with or talk about GORUCK with locally. I live in a small rural area so it is great to have people interested in GORUCK like I am.
I do want to take this time to shout out a few ruck clubs that have always been so welcoming to me when I travel to their area. The West Texas Rucking Crew in Lubbock, Texas. Whenever I come home to visit family they always set aside time to meet up with me. It seriously is one of my favorite parts about going home. I also have to give a shout out to the DMV Rucking Club, STL Ruck Ups, KC Cornfed Hay Bailers, Munich Rucking Crew, Arizona, NOLA Rucking Club, NorCal & SoCal crews are some of my favorites!
How is Rucking a part of your life?
I first started rucking to train for my first GORUCK event. After that event I started to incorporate rucking more into my fitness routine. I will ruck as an alternative to running or doing other cardio exercises. I live in the midwest, in the winter I will ruck on the treadmill or stair climber to help vary my cardio. My pup (Riley) loves to ruck with me. So I will usually do it as a way for us to get a long walk and as a way to get some cardio.
I am a certified personal trainer have done it with my clients who can not run or do any high impact cardio. This is a great way to get their heart rate up and to get them to burn a few extra calories when they are training with me. I do travel to do events, so in that instance rucking is a social event for me. I get to meet new people as well as hang out with some of my favorite GRT. If I am stressed out or just want to enjoy a beautiful day I will take my pup with me on a ruck.
I have learned to detach from the world when I ruck. I may ruck with music but I will not text or call anyone. I use it as my time to get lost in nature and my own thoughts. I found it to be very freeing and relaxing. I regularly take time away from social media and I honestly think GORUCK helped me with that. During event weekends I will turn my phone off and will usually not turn it back on until the conclusion of all the events. It has shown me to be ok with being able to not be attached to my phone, worry about what people are posting or saying on social media, worrying about letting people know what I am doing via me posting on social media. I regularly turn off the notifications for my social media as a way to balance my hectic day. It allows me to focus and be more productive during the day.
To the GORUCK Community:
Do right by people. Nothing is more important than the relationships you build with the people you choose to interact with and bring into your life. No amount of money can create the relationships that will be long lasting and fruitful. Integrity matters because that is all people will remember about you. Your first world problems are the dreams and aspirations of someone struggling to get to where you are right now. It can always be worse. Invest in your health, it will be the best investment you can make and will yield a lifetime of dividends that you will benefit from. I like doing crazy things with my crazy GRT friends. Lastly, when in doubt…twerk it out.
– McGrew aka “WHATITDO”