SCHEDULING ANNOUNCEMENT: Starting Monday, October 3rd, we’re adding a 4:30-5:30pm WOD class to the schedule, Monday-Friday. Also, don’t forget that today is the first day of the weekday lunchtime class schedule splitting into two lunchtime classes: noon-1pm and 1pm-2pm.
“Fran” (compare to 110911)
21-15-9 reps of:
Thrusters 95#/65# (Post Elements 65#/43#)
Running at altitude / Running on empty
The politics of yellow: Butter vs. margarine
Forgetting to quit
Cognitive biases in sports: The irrationality of coaches, commentators, and fans
Black Box member Ralph sent me a great story (and photos) of how he spent his 9/11 weekend. Enjoy:
Here is how I spent my 9/11 weekend. The GoRuck Challenge is what I joined Black Box for.
Have you ever had that feeling where you are so nervous, you can’t look anyone in the eye? Have you ever been so excited that you can’t sleep because your eyes refuse to stay closed for more than 5 minutes? Ever known, deep down inside, that over the course of the next couple of hours, you are going to view yourself (and life) in a completely different light? It was Saturday at 6:00 PM, September 10, 2011. I was on my way to the temporary GORUCK Headquarters on 385 Broadway and I felt all of that. At the same time.
After arriving, I was told by a few teammates our 8PM class has been split up and merged with other classes. I would have to choose between stepping out at 10PM or at midnight. The handful of guys and gals I met the previous night during the GRHQ Ruckoff decided on midnight… so that was the time I settled on. The next four hours were spent BS’ing around with the people at Headquarters, securing the bricks in my rucksack, snacking on some food, drinking a lot of water, and power naps. I remember a friend of mine spotting Jason with a bottle of Monster energy, a Starbucks double shot, and a 5 hour energy bottle. When asked about it, all he did was nod and reply with, “yeah, that’s right… this is to checkmate all you mother eff’ers.” We couldn’t help but laugh. This was going to be a fun night.
Everyone was assembled outside of GRHQ in two sticks (single file lines). At midnight, we started moving, with Indian Runs. Within minutes we were chastised for not being a team, which meant being demoted to bear crawls. Our Cadre hated our pace, so we were demoted one more time… to inchworms. What are inchworms? Inchworms are where you get down on the ground and put your legs on the shoulders of the person behind you, who is also on the ground… then everyone does a push-up. Your brick-filled rucksack is on your back (it is NEVER allowed to touch the ground) and a few of us already have some “coupons.”
I couldn’t tell you how long we were on the ground, pushing ourselves UP whenever commanded and DOWN whenever Jason felt he wanted to see his beautiful creation come crashing back down to the very clean (I’m lying) NYC concrete… but it felt like forever. “It seems like you’re learning, you’ve been promoted to bear crawls.” Bears are awesome. I love them. I could watch shows on bears any day of the week. Humans aren’t meant to walk like bears. Bear crawls suck. We spent the next hour or so bear crawling around NYU campus and Washington Square Park. Whenever we heard “GO,” two teammates from the back of the lines would have to get up and sprint to the front, and then continue moving while random, drunk New Yorkers would just stop and stare at what was going on. We spent some time getting reacquainted with inchworms, then back to bear crawls, but I digress…
After an hour or so we moved up to walking lunges, but by this time we lost our talking privileges. We needed to find a way to have the entire team lunge at the same time, and continue the Indian sprints whenever we heard “GO” from our Cadre without saying a word. We must have lapped the park a good fifty times before Jason was satisfied and allowed us a few minutes to hydrate, refuel, and relieve ourselves. Want an idea of how we felt? Try doing as many walking lunges as you possibly can until you absolutely cannot do another one. Then do 200 more. It was glorious!
Once the break was over we were back in two sticks, finally getting ready to Indian Run around lower Manhattan. Looking back, I wish I could have seen the looks on the faces of the New Yorkers we passed that night. It was the morning of 9/11, here you had a group of 41 men and women all equipped with rucksacks, gloves, headlamps (turned off of course… there were snipers around), a hose, a “bitch” bag, and a kettlebell moving throughout the city doing very conspicuous things. Some of the things I heard were priceless.
Somewhere along the line we were told to look to our right. Across the street we saw Class 062, carrying an immense log the same direction we were headed. I know it might be hard to understand, but seeing that log, and knowing that we were about start our own carry felt great. Granted, I would grow to absolutely despise that bitch of a log later, but at that exact moment, I was uplifted. Taking that log away from 062 and carrying it the opposite direction while they chanted “sixty-three, sixty-three, sixty-three” was one of the most inspiring moments of the weekend.
We had to carry that log all the way back to its “resting place” in Brooklyn, at the East River. Remember that uplifting feeling I mentioned earlier? Yeah, all gone. It took us 4 hours and change to finally reach the river and put that log down. The sun had already risen by the time we made it to the East River.
“I want you all to turn around and look at what’s in front of you.” We did. What we saw was the hallowed NYC skyline. I cannot put into words the emotions I felt while looking at the city I’ve lived in my entire life, my New York. I remember that day like it was yesterday and will never forget the men and women who were lost… ever.
We then locked arms, and stepped into the East River, sat down, and began doing flutter kicks. Then we did some more. Once we came together as a team, Jason asked us to turn around and face him.
“We are only halfway done now. This is where the real test begins. Welcome to the GORUCK Challenge.”
I’ve sat in front of this computer for the past hour and a half, trying to put into words what I felt during the final stage of our Challenge, but for the life of me… I can’t. I can’t tell you how I felt crossing Manhattan Bridge with a teammate on my shoulders. I can’t tell you how I felt chanting “U S A, U S A, U S A” while making our way through Manhattan. I can’t tell you how we all felt when every single one of us made it to the statue of George Washington at Union Square. I can’t truly explain the tears, the laughs, the smiles, the hugs… I can’t. It really is impossible. This weekend was unforgettable in every sense of the word. We started with 41, and finished with 41, as a team… together. Thank you for the experience. I will remember each and every one of you.
We are now GORUCK Tough.
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Here’s what’s on tap for Tuesday’s WOD classes:
5 rounds for time:
100 meters walking lunges 30 in-place lunges (15 each leg)
15 handstand push-ups