Selection Class 015 Part 6: The Lowest Point

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The hours don’t stop and mercy is for some other life, some other event. So on it goes.

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Out there in Internet land I dare wonder if enough thought is given to the safety of this event. You assume it’s professionally run because it is. You assume we have medics on staff because we do. You assume we can do everything, and we can … but only up to a certain point and I guess that means we can’t do everything.

I can’t stress enough how hard the human body can be pushed, I also can’t stress hard enough how hard we push theirs in this the hardest endurance event in the world. Anytime you do that safety is always a major concern that requires major planning.

There’s some stat out there that insurance types know but won’t concede that if you put 10,000 people in a room for an hour probability would state that one will die of a heart attack in that hour. Grim, I know. But math is harder to dispute than feelings, or emotions. Logically dispute I mean lol.

Med checks are not nearly as made for TV as shark attacks so we don’t show them as much. But we do them because safety is the #1 priority and if you become a health risk you’re done.

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Thinking back to my time in the military it was the same way, except there you would get taken to the med shed and be given the opportunity to recover. No matter the training no matter the level of pain inflicted on me the Cadre always had a good sense, a professional sense informed by experience of when something was too much risk for someone at a certain point. It’s a judgment call and you’re never perfect but it’s kinda like how when you get older you understand your own parents more, the decisions they made for your own good.

In sum, this is a dangerous event. Risky if you will, as all the great endeavors of life are. If you’re not comfortable with that, don’t show up.

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The work doesn’t stop but when you start to raise even a small red flag for safety it attracts a lot of attention. Especially this far in nobody wants to drop anyone from anything unless absolutely necessary. But safety is the most important thing and this is not war.

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Bert came and woke me up in the GORUCK truck which was parked about 50 meters away from where AJ was building a fighting position that by the way I wouldn’t want to fight behind ha ha. He told me AJ was likely to be dropped but was being given one more break and an opportunity to turn it around. Full of disbelief that’s called hope btw, I walked up to greet Garrett, who was watching AJ. Garrett was like no way, man. He’s done.

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Bert did a second check and AJ was, in fact, done. At this point he had no idea what universe he was in. It happened fast. Best guess in under 15 minutes.

If you’re thinking to yourself, this is scary, you’re correct. It is.

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In contrast, Jon was lucid as can be. Why this happens I don’t know. Nobody knows.

Selection_015_The Lowest Point_12_AJ to the Hospital

This was AJ’s ambulance ride. We figured we could get him to the hospital faster in the GORUCK truck. Later, he would thank me with a smile for the ride to the hospital. Something about saving him the deductible for the ambulance ride and that’s the kind of guy he is.

There’s a fine line between wanting people to pass and rooting for them and enforcing a standard. And we’re only human, but we do save it for behind the scenes.

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By the time Bert and Tyler and I got to the hospital all we had to do was follow the sand like Hansel and Gretel following the bread crumbs.

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We 3 Cadre stripped AJ in his hospital bed in front of his wife who came to see him finish but this is what it was. As we did it, even though AJ couldn’t really talk and didn’t open his eyes he sure could smile and that felt like a huge moral victory.

At this point nobody knew his body was in such a bad state. And that he would spend the next two weeks in the hospital recovering thank God from Rhabdo.

Selection_015_The Lowest Point_18_Bert at Denny's_Tyler

We went to breakfast or whatever you call it when you’ve been up forever and you eat Denny’s with all the drunks pouring out of the bars across the street in the middle of the night. Oh the contrast to the hours in the hospital.

It’s an important note that life goes on and you have to smile every chance you get. Especially at Bert’s expense lol. You do what you can when bad stuff happens and you move on. It’s exhausting and it’s easier said than done but there was literally nothing more we could have done.

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So you get some sleep before your plate of pancakes shows up and whatever’s next is next and you take it as it comes.

Next up Part 7: The Long Walk

One comment

  1. Matt Hamlin says:

    That point, about 1 minute in, when Jon realizes he’s about to start the long walk and the sense of accomplishment that washes over him…effing love it.

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