Selection Class 015 Part 5: You Guessed It … More PT

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Is that Lee’s butt crack why yes it is. And all for a good cause you out there yes you smile smile it’ll contrast nicely with the poor four still going.

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So we’re back at the start point, 24+ hours later. We’re down 80 of the 84 that showed up. Has this really been that hard? The short answer is yes but the shorter answer is no. 24+ hours is not that much to endure anything. This event is doable, it just requires something more than we’re seeing from most.

Anyway, at this time our medics (Bert above) examine the candidates, the purpose is twofold: (1) to assess any serious life-threatening issues and (2) to get into the candidates’ heads, a new way. Hey your feet look terrible, doubtful you’ll be able to achieve the standard type of stuff. The first is obviously vital, the second just part of the game.

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Weddings, funerals, and Selection. The folks that have passed this event share a special bond and with our Cadre. We’ve all opened our houses to each other and life’s too short not to have reunions. When I think about how much I hate this event I think about how much I love the people and hate always loses.

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I interviewed Chris and he said he had some doubts about whether he wanted to continue. About whether he could endure another 24+ hours. If that creeps into your head and you’re willing to share it with anyone it means you’ve been harboring it for longer. It means you’re done it’s only a matter of time. And so it was.

Silence is the space for so many bad, bad thoughts, I can’t do this type thoughts. And then we’re us again, and Bert’s got some larger than life story to share and everyone smiles and if you haven’t met Bert you should figure out how to do that and buy him a shot of Jack and a Budweiser when it’s over he’ll tell you about how American that is and America is awesome and he’s definitely in the top 5 funniest guys I know. And I know a lot of funny guys, Special Forces vs. SNL is no competition we win.

Bert’s also one of the great ambassadors for SF, GORUCK, and life in general. And as with all the Cadre, he’s a friend I don’t see enough but I do at Selection and I love it. I digress into 1st Group weirdo feelings stuff but no more.

And then there were three.

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So we were amazed at what they did with their time. Disappointed is more the right word, these guys are idiots is the PG way of saying it. AJ’s ready to go again, great. He barely ate anything, he kept his boots on even after we had them take their boots off, and he didn’t sleep a wink. Wrong answer. When you’re given a break, here’s what you do and don’t forget seconds are an eternity you must cherish:

  1. Take your boots off. And your socks.
  2. Eat everything you’re authorized. Note that I’m not modifying everything with almost.
  3. Elevate your feet on your ruck and fall asleep. If you can’t fall asleep, shut your eyes with something shielding them from the light.

When not if we tell you to get back up, just remember slow is smooth and smooth is fast. You’re never gonna be good enough or fast enough because you’re not perfect. It’s about how you respond to stress that matters.

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Rob and the team from Outside TV were in tow to capture the controlled chaos and I guess the so-so happy enough ending. Trailer below. If OutsideTV would have allowed us to stream it on our website we would have broken the Internet.

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Then it’s time to get back to work. At this point there’s a shift. The yelling dimmers, it’s more about letting the shock set in amidst more PT and more PT and more PT. Reminders that time is on our side not yours. How you respond to the break is basically all mental. If you’re thinking hey my body might not hold up, it won’t. I say to that:

The human body has evolved over millions of years to survive amidst chaos and destruction. If you think yours can’t survive another 24 hours of lifting logs and rucking a few miles, you’re wrong. The pain speaks to you and muses excuses and then you say you can’t. For some reason we’ve evolved to the point where the body lies and the mind concedes. Probably to encourage the mind to be smarter instead of the body, but whatever you can do both if you ignore your mind.

I’ve never had cancer because I’ve been lucky. But loved ones have and even when your body is fighting cancer your mind reigns. If you think you’ll beat it, you may. If you think you can’t, you never will.

This is just like that.

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Bert told me at the break Tim was done, it was just a matter of time. Of course that wasn’t what I wanted so I said we’ll just have to see. Even when Bert’s wrong he always has a point and this was no different.

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What I started to notice is what we all started to notice. The gaze looks further out, the mind is lost to something besides the moment. And the question is can you and you alone bring it back. Can you put aside thoughts of hearth and home or do you justify why this pain right now is enough.

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Confusion is the intoxication of Selection. It warrants a lot of decisions you may not otherwise make, decisions from a state you’ve never been in before.

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When Tim quit I officially started hating this event.

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My mom’s like what’s going on and Bert’s always got an answer. This time it was probably like yeah it sucks but we’ve still got two left. Then I’m sure he had some super exact probability that both, one, or none would finish. That’s his way and at this point everyone wanted to know if this was gonna be a black class. We’re down to two and we have 24 hours to go.

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When you’re done you’re done and they would always call whatever came next the worst best feeling you’d ever experience. If you were cold now you’re warm. If you were hungry now you eat. If you want a shower go get it. Cadre Danny Boy loves to talk about how the greatest source of unhappiness occurs when we trade what we want most for what we want now.

I don’t know what made Tim quit, deep inside. We humans always make peace with things in life and he will too but he shouldn’t have done it. There is said it.

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Oh yeah, meanwhile the smoke session continues as we philosophize.

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With only two left it became a bit of debbie downer for us Cadre, too. You really don’t need that many of us to work two dudes. Simple commands of pick it up put it down suffice to let you to think what you’re gonna think about whether you can. Or whether you can’t.

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What did Tim do right and what did Tim do wrong.

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For all the talk of boots and socks and equipment, here’s the deal. This is not combat, this is not training for combat. This is, however, the hardest endurance event in the world. But it’s only 48+ Hours. Wear boots or shoes that will hold up, make sure they don’t retain water, and make sure they weigh under 1 lb. I’m sure the GORUCK Tough group will start a thread on this and to be honest I don’t really mind the boot questions.

But your boots don’t pass this event and your socks don’t pass this event and anything is overcomable. And if that’s not a word, now it is.

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There’s this perception out there about body types. Tim looks like he should be selling underwear on a billboard in Soho or something. In Bert’s words he looks like an Olympic swimmer. His is not a warfighter’s body and it’s not the right type for Selection. You need a little survival girth. Not too much, but a little.

As your body breaks down, you need those reserves. If you’re training for this event, you have to train for this event to show up ready in every way.

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As said before Tim’s a friend and how could I not include the shot above. This is my Christmas card from me to him.

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It’s not getting any easier for these two.

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Selection_015_More PT_27_Bert

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Try this walk sometime, above. It’s miserable and I hadn’t seen that one since my Army days. Bend over too far and it’s too much lower back. Squat and you have to use muscles already aching. There is no easy way you just have to hope it ends.

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And now it’s time for the rest of the night. Remember how many quitters we got last night now we’ve got another night, just as long, with two left and all the same Cadre.

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Meanwhile The Godfather (Andy) livin’ in the back seat of the GORUCK truck to document it all live to News Blog and FB and wherever else. We got into a nice battle ryhthym where Kit would take photos, I’d do the vids (AAR’s), and Andy would process it all for consumption.

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Another PT test. Part of the point is for the candidates to know how terribly they’re performing relative to their first PT test. There is not a go/no go standard this time around.

But there is a lot more to go, and we’re definitely rooting for them. Bert says it best:

Next post: Part 6: The Lowest Point.

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