To say that I was skeptical to sign up for another GORUCK is an understatement.  I had done a GORUCK Light about three years ago in late October.  I'll set the scene for you so you can get an idea why I was so hesitant to sign up again.

We arrived at the crack of light.  I was so nervous.  My hubby had done a GORUCK Tough months before and he insisted that the Light would be FUN and much easier than the Tough.  I bought into the hype, and thought, "I could do this!"  Within minutes, we ran to the nearby lake and got in.  Fully clothed, fully rucked.  It sucked.  The water was so cold.  We did countless burpees, push-ups, squats, etc.  I was never ok after that.  I never got warm.  My clothes were wet and I was grumpy.  Everyone in the group seemed to know each other.  They weren't as welcoming as I had hoped.  The Cadre (leader) was new and had quite a few helpers (basically critiquing his decisions).  I honestly felt that the Cadre was trying to prove how hard he was - this was not going to be a FUN Light Challenge.  My husband commented that this was as hard as the Tough he had done.  We picked up countless logs, odd objects, and walked for miles around Seattle.  I lost count of the penalties (we missed checkpoints by not getting to certain places on time and were punished).  As the day drug on, my ruck got heavier and heavier.  I was miserable.  It wasn't fun.  I had no idea what time it was.  My daughters were at home with a sitter - there were no phones allowed, so we couldn't contact them.  My youngest was under one year, I needed to get home.  The last straw was when the Cadre asked if the team wanted to get back in the water and do more.  I said no, thanks.  I was done.  We told him, and instead of him trying to convince us not to quit, he said ok.  And that was that.

 Fast forward almost three years...Since then I had heard many awesome things about GORUCK.  I wanted to believe.  I needed to believe.  I didn't think GORUCK would purposely suck, or else why would so many sign up and keep doing them?  I was fortunate to get a free entry since I'm a teacher.  Yeah, for me.  I signed up the only free day that I had.  But it meant that I would have to do the event on my own - no hubby.  I had to face my fears.  I could not let this moment in time define me.  I am not a quitter.  I do know myself and felt that if I felt the same way as I had three years ago, I could simply leave.  I would have determined once and for all - it was not me.

I packed too many snacks, too much water (it was going to be HOT), got my ruck ready and left to Tacoma on 8/13/16.  Traffic was horrible - it took me two hours to get from Everett to Tacoma.  I had posted several days before on the event/local GORUCK page that I was going solo.  Luckily, some awesome ladies stepped up and graciously asked me to join their group for the event.  I was so grateful.  I would not be alone.  They will never know how much that impacted me.  Strangers that didn't have to go out of their way to welcome me.  But they did (insert small trickling tear drop here).

I won't spoil the event by sharing everything we did.  But I will say that we rucked for six hours, countless miles, doing a variety of team building, self reflection, burned a ton of calories, gained some new friends, and yes, I did enjoy myself.  It was still hard, yes, we got in the water, I did things I would have opted out of normally...BUT the Cadre made the difference, his co-Cadre made the difference, my newfound friends, the team, the community we built - all made the difference.  By the end, I was tired, but stronger physically and mentally.  Now I knew what all the hype was about!

I can't wait to do another one!!!  Who's with me?


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