beginning

beginning

I suppose it’s fitting that my previous post was called “quitting” because I’m about to quit this free blog and pay money to do litrly the exact same thing but over on my new site www.beeyang.com. That was an easy site migration because WordPress made it so. It’s like ten clicks from export to import. Fantastic.

The domain idea came about as I was getting motivated to plan and document 2017. What better way than to make a website so I can load all of my fancy charts on there and then never update it?

Which also made for a sweet post title of “beginning.”

Anyone that knows me will testify that I am not the most uh…driven person they’ve ever met. I don’t set goals and definitely don’t crush them because that’s not my style. I’m more into “hey that sounds cool let’s try it” and then not putting any effort into succeeding at the things because, again, effort. But something’s changed (hopefully) this time around and that’s meditation. I’m not the best at it (no spiritual enlightenment here) but I’ve been doing it for 5-15 minutes a day for the past few months and it’s been amazing. Near-daily practice has led me to worry less about things, focus on things that are important to me and overall, I’m happier.

img_1283

Through that practice I’ve decided to try something different.

I’ve never been a 1-5-10 year plan kind of dude because that sounds dumb and takes work. However, I’m going to try it for a 5 month goal and tell myself I’m dumb for trying it. It’s roughly a 5 month event instead of 6, 12, 24, 42 hour, monthly challenge. 1 – 5 year plan lol nope.

alcohol

Here are my goals that have been “sure let’s try it but not really” goals in the past.

Goals by December 31, 2016

151 DAY CHALLENGE:

  • 315 back squat
    • Back at 215 5×5 squat aka little bitch
  • 350 deadlift
    • 320 is my PB a few years ago and that felt like it went up easily. I put 325 on and it was like ‘lol nope look at you being a little bitch’
  • Lose 15 pounds
    • Gotta do something about all that beer I drink or drink but mostly not be a little bitch
  • Train for an ultra (nebulous)
    • Need to see how to do this with as little distance running as possible. I’ll have to follow Duennael Gelorme’s plan he did last year successfully. In keeping with the list theme, also not be a little bitch
  • <stuff and things>

There isn’t a penalty for not-completing this goal because in the past, I’ve had financial penalties (donate money to a cause you oppose) and I’ve just paid the money because I’m a terrible person who doesn’t feel bad about not feeling bad. I’m still receiving letters from the RNC asking for more money.

I made a Facebook group for some like-minded individuals who want to plan/dream/explore all the stuff and things and if there is room, have others join you. I’d really like everyone to make a list and timeline(s) of things they want to do and when they will do them so, selfishly, I may see your plans. Mostly though, it’s been fun to see everyone’s plans.

If you’d like to join please click here. It’s a more…serious group and not like the IABY group so uh…less shenanigans in there.

This is likely my final post on this site and I’ll be moving all the posting to my other site. I don’t think I have more than a handful of subscribers though so no big deal I reckon.

Unrelated but related: my buddy Jason told me he reads my posts in my voice/diction/drunkenness and he says it’s funnier that way. But how do people I’ve never talked to read it? Good question, let me know if you’re so inclined. I suppose it’s like me reading someone else’s posts and not having a narrator to it?

LINKS

 

quitting

It’s like 03:00 and we are “just walking” which is true for many but it’s a good jog for me. Damn near a sprint. It might be height related but mostly, it’s fitness related. Lack of fitness, rather. Maybe I’ll start working out the cardio muscles.

“Here’s a good spot to quit.”

“OK, this next light I’m definitely going to quit.”

“Soon as we crest this hill I’m done.”

“As soon as we down these coupons #donedeal.”

“Nah, definitely not training. Too much work. Also it wouldn’t be fair to these people.”

Those are a few of the thoughts going through my brain.

Actually…those are the only thoughts going through my brain.

the oatmealI’ve found that I’m always thinking about quitting during long movements involving cardio…or “walking” as you people call it, whatever. Especially when at a pace faster than my leisurely stroll during events, from Lights to Heavies or 5Ks to my lone successful 50K endeavor.

Regardless of my talk-about-quitting-but-dont-really-want-to proclivities, I’ve quit at least four events in the past few years. So I guess I’m like 27-4 event career in that regard. Probably more but these four stand out [I’ve quit many other things in my younger years but I’ve since blocked out that trauma ].

  • The first time I quit was HCL001 in Seattle when I didn’t show up for the Challenge because it was cold (dumb reason in hindsight )
  • The second time I quit was at Survival Run: Hunter-Gatherer 50K– my most mentioned-in-person post! I gathered my homemade sandals and quit that sumbitch ten miles/ten hours in. It was hot and I was so over wishing for an injury/death on myself to quit.
  • The third time I quit was actually a Did Not Start (DNS) but screw that, I quit by not showing up again for the Rocky Raccoon 50 Miler. Perhaps I knew subconsciously that I wouldn’t finish. Whether due to not training or it being 50 miles, I didn’t start.
  • The fourth time was a few months later at the Hell’s Hills 50 Miler in Austin. I showed up and ran in my sandals and rocks/12mm sandals don’t work or I had bitch feet and was unconditioned. Either way, no go.
    • In between 1 and 2 I quit the 50K I eventually finished. I quit on laps 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

So I’ve some experience in quitting and it’s not fun. Since then, I’ve let go any anger I’ve had toward myself for being a little bitch from quitting those events but it’s still there in the back of my mind. Some cadre at GORUCK have said that quitting is forever and it’s a stink you can’t wash off. It’s harsh but it’s also true; also cadre be dropping some truth bombs at these events, damn.

But you can’t let that be the end of the story.

You gotta fight back and what helps is you can listen to 80s songs and montages.

Like this bad boy here because “Miyagi have hope for you”:

Try to be best
‘Cause you’re only a man
And a man’s gotta learn to take it
Try to believe
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it
History repeats itself
Try and you’ll succeed
Never doubt that you’re the one
And you can have your dreams!
You’re the best!
Around!
 – Joe Esposito

There’s also these sweet music quotes/action movie songs from the 80s mixes:

Blood Bros Vols 1-3

I’ve had lots of conversations with people about quitting. I quit my first HCL aka didn’t show up to the Challenge ’cause it was cold as hell. Others have quit due to bitch feet or injury but quitting is a part of life. Maybe not yours and definitely not his. Want to know who doesn’t quit? Check this out:

deathraceLook at this dude right here. That face has “kill me now so I can stop running” all over it. Talk about a gutsy performance. I’m pretty sure the writers of Armageddon time traveled to the future and saw this picture and were inspired to model Harry Stamper after Eric. I’d have quit if I looked this bad…just saying. But no, not mister “all go, no quit Harry Stamper” though. That dude don’t know what it means to quit. I mean, did you see Armageddon? Dude blew himself up (sorry for spoilers but not really it’s an old movie).

large_armageddon_blu-ray12That’s not a quitter right there.

One of my favorite parts of these events is being pushed to the point where you want to quit and you don’t know if you will make it – and you just hang out at that limit, that edge for a few hours 00:01-24:00 hours if I’m being honest. This point is stressed when we are doing cardio. I can deal with the PT pretty much all day. Not because I’m a PT Hero (obviously) but I mean, because I can cheat some reps and it doesn’t make me want to quit as much as a slight jog does. Push ups, squats, flutter kicks, eh, it sucks but doesn’t make you want to quit. Walking at a brisk pace…hardest event in the world.

So why do something that makes you want to quit? That you don’t know that you can even finish? One, I like to hear myself talk. Whenever it’s the middle of the night and everyone has their poopy faces on (guilty as well) I like to crack a joke and usually it’s to make myself realize that whatever “this” is we’re doing, it’s not that bad. It’s not always funny and I’m sure everyone wants me to shut the hell up but whatever. Two, I’ve found that I like to hang out on that edge of quitting where it sounds like a not-bad proposition. There’s a feeling where you’re all “hell yeah, quitting would be amazing right now. I could go back home and drink some Lime-a-ritas and not do this shit” and then you power through those feelings because you ain’t no bitch (usually).

nobody_caresI’ve heard from others that they would not do an event where they were unsure they would finish or couldn’t do it the way they want to – not running the whole half, not enough training time, I’m Bee Yang, etc. What’s the point in that? I get it, I guess. You want to make sure you’re perfectly prepared for it but shit, that ain’t going to happen most of the time. I always show up under trained and under prepared but that’s on me. If I waited until I was perfectly ready, I’d never do anything (resume, working out, big list, lots of words).

I will rectify that for my next event (Bomber Bash Light) and yeah, it’s just a Light and how hard could it be? I will be more prepared for it, and well, LIFE mofos.

 

life list

You ever make a life list? Bucket list? I didn’t know that was a thing until the movie came out and I was like “damn, bucket list sounds much better than life list” but I made my decision so I’m sticking with it. I used to have one with a bunch of weirdo things on it but now I have one with…less…weirdo things on it? I was chatting with Eric Wang worst ang and Sam All best ll and a few others this week and my takeaway is that shit, I’m going to die alone so I might as well do all the things I want.

Here’s the list in no discernible order because well, thoughts:

  • Do resume – send help, thx
  • Visit all 50 states (driving through counts)
    • Visit all 254 counties in Texas (lol nope)
  • Climb Mount Everest  
    • I stayed in Breckenridge once for a few days and got altitude sickness at 8000′ and Everest Base Camp is at like 19K so lol nope.
    • Into Thin Air
    • Also cost and generally being in shape. Plus it’s cold.
  • 7 continents
    • Need to train for a half marathon in Antarctica…I’d be down with a 5k or something shorter. Like just walking around on it for a minute.
    • Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America
  • 5 oceans
    • Been in the Pacific, Atlantic. Need Indian, Arctic and Southern (but not swimming ’cause dumb)
    • I didn’t know there were 5 until I saw a commercial last year
    • Southern Ocean newest cean
  • See Northern Lights
  • Be awake for 24 hours (sup GORUCK Heavy)
  • Various cities
    • Paris
    • New York City
    • London (layover so…maybe?)
    • Berlin
    • Moscow
    • Washington, D.C.
    • Rome
    • Sydney
    • Tokyo
    • Seattle
  • Yellowstone (2017! BOOK IT)
  • Go into SPACE
  • Eat a fancy meal
  • Polar Bear Plunge
  • stuff and things

Where do you want to go today? Tomorrow? Next month? Year? What do you want to do? A lot of this was brought on by having a conversation about death. Last month our friend Momma Stump passed and it made me stop and think about death again. Did you live the life you wanted? Achieve all your dreams? Find happiness? Who knows? Hell, it’s my life, I guess I would know. Maybe, maybe not. I reckon it’s best to think about these things now, while you’re awake and conscious and able to think about it rather than to put it off later [note: make Will, living will and all that…later].

I changed my mindset about this sometime in high school or college, and this is embarrassing to admit, by reading one of those “fw:fw:fw:old people notes” emails that you’d always get and it would have lots of hokey advice like tell people you love and care about them, change your underwear, don’t save cologne for special occasions because every day is a special gift and shit like that. Very hokey but also…reasonable.

Damned if I don’t try to appreciate things daily.

Peter Andrada made a good post a few months ago about you living until whatever age and counting back as a countdown of sorts until you die. Do some math (or plug it into a handy online calculator) with the assumption of you living to 70 years old and I’ve essentially lived 50% of my life. From that, I’ve lived 12,630 days and if I die on my birthday at 70, it’s 12,939 days until I kick the bucket [edit: I’m not bummed or sad that I’m numerically halfway through my life, just something to acknowledge for this exercise. Thanks Joe!]. I’d better get after it, right after this nap.

I’m not going to tell you how to live your life but I will try because you’re not going to read this anyway so here goes: appreciate all the things in life because you are going to die. It might be from old age, it might be from some terrorist shitbag who will plow into you while you’re out celebrating. It doesn’t even have to be a terrorist. Somebody could be playing Pokemon and walk out into the street ahead of you can you swerve and end up in a ditch. Game over.

 

If someone is being mean to you regularly, you don’t need that shit in your life. You can fire them from your life. If I’m mean to you regularly, let me know and then fire me from your life. But keep in mind you can get fired, too. I’m going to fire a shitload of you people.

So go out and do all the things, or not, it’s your life.

Perhaps your life wants you to YELLOWSTONE 2017…maybe Belize, let me know!

crushing life

crushing life

I don’t have the most amazing life out there and certainly, it could be improved upon in many areas. I’m not the tallest, best looking, get to travel as much as I’d like, could stand to lose 5…35 pounds and I don’t actually know where I’m going with this line (other than to counseling) but for this past weekend I feel as though I absolutely crushed life. To me, that doesn’t mean you have the nicest things, the best Internet-curated-life or to even necessarily do all of the things you want to do (bet it’d be fun though) but it means to live your life, your way, mindful of all the amazing things in it already.

Me mindfully appreciating Sam
This weekend we had the First-and-Last-Annual Officially Dumb event in Euless and it came about because one night I got drunk and wanted to do an event in Euless so I asked GORUCK and it was like some serious coin for a custom Light and lol nope not gonna happen. So I asked my homeboy David if he’d like to help me run a free event with all monies going to charity and I could have my friends come over and we’d do the dumb things together.

This wasn’t a planning session but this is how they literally all looked.
Initially I wanted it to be a small group of 6-8 people who would eventually hate life and everything in it but apparently that’s not a good marketing strategy (thanks Catrine!) so I expanded it and made it a little bit easier. By “made” I mean “hey Dave please don’t kill us k thx” and I guess he didn’t so we did the thing that I’d come to regret trying to do.

I was posing.
I say “regret” trying to run an event because one… I’m lazy. That’s pretty much it. I mean, there’s little to no work involved save for setting a date, time and having David coordinate the PT so I’m not sure what I was bitching about but according to Linda that’s in my wheelhouse.

appreciate the support homegirl
I asked some peeps and a few said they were interested so after getting some pro-tips from Jimmie I decided to start this at 04:00 on Saturday (heat reasons) and people were like ‘nah’ and I was like ‘yah’ and so it was. So Friday night we were drinking all of the beers and knock on the door Cristina shows up from out of nowhere (Miami actually) and the night just gets more fun. She brings these hideous shirts that people have ordered and they are just as ugly as when she showed us proofs online but hey, friends are here! Sam and Jill show up from Tulsa and I actually don’t remember most of the night because I was hydrating with beers for the shenanigans about to ensue.


So the event details aren’t important because they almost never are but there was sweating, cursing my name, PT, beer, vomiting, carrying things, team building and low crawls with your hand behind your back!

I was like hey we are going to low crawl with our hands behind our back across this volleyball court. Patrick said to demonstrate so I started and then all eleven people were like “nah we’re good bro” and then they started kicking dirt on me. Then they grabbed my leg, pinned my hands behind my back, opened my shirt and shorts and dumped sand on me.


…😳

 

Pat apologizing for putting dirt on me so we hugged it out.
Pat volunteering to be the first in the sand pit next time.
So we endexed and covered five miles over five hours and it was absolutely fun. I spent quite a bit of time trying to enjoy my time with my friends who took the time out of their busy lives to come to my corner of the world sand spend some time with us. To be in the moment, as it were. Even when the moment meant digging dirt out of my shorts because that’s where they put the most of it. It was put there with love and not to be mean, right?

Thanks for this great shot, Evan!
I got stole this from cadre Marcus where he said “family is the family you’re born with. Friends are the family you choose.” Kinda hokey but I can say unequivocally that I have a great family.

Fuzzy’s is the best post-event.
Thanks again to Nick, Tonya, Tonya’s brother whose name eludes me even though I asked him 10x, Duennael Gelorme, Madeline, Evan, David, Samantha, Patrick, Houy, Christina, Chase, Jill, Cristina best Ina and Sam. Well, except maybe the giant bear of a dude on the left. Just kidding Sam, you’re cool people.

Where does the shirt stop and where does Bee start?
So I guess living my life, my way, mindful and appreciative of the amazing things in it means to spend quality time with my friends forming great memories (save for Friday night). We ate, we drank, we did dumb things like PT in the middle of the night and ran backwards and well, just had a good time.
Thank you, each and every one of you. Those who came out, those who donated and those who inspire others to crush life. Shine on mofos!!

Also my friends inspired random strangers at a grocery store to stop and tell them they lived the shirts. litrly the worst shirts.

shine on mofos
SCARS

SCARS

After close to four years of grey manning I finally got a SCARS patch! RIP babby’s first ruck.


Roughly 20 events with that particular GR1 and it’s taken me to:

Dallas

Kansas


Shreveport


Austin

Culebra



Ft. Worth

Oklahoma City


Normandy


Washington DC

New Orleans


Charleston


I will say that without getting…how you say, blackout drunk, signing up for my first event (and what I thought knew was going to be my last event about 3 hours into it…lol) and buying this bag that I would not have gone on all of those adventures to those cities I’ve always dreamed about in this short period of time.
You could say I’m pretty happy with that purchase. Not because it’s a cool bag and can hold all my stuff but because it helped me meet a ton of amazing people. I don’t actually like any of them but I pretend to so they can insult me and call mean things on the Facebooks ’cause I like the attention I guess. Another reason I don’t like them is they’re also really, really expensive to hang out with. We can’t like, just watch TV or something. If I want to see them I’ve gotta get flights, hotels, pay for events and there’s possibly a bar tab to cover but that last one is a wash because I might be doing that anyway… maybe.

 

So I read The Art of Happiness a while ago and I want to say it talked about being thankful for whatever object comes into your life (I could be misattributing this). That you should tell that object, or perhaps acknowledge internally, that the object is going to be with you for a finite amount of time and that you should thank it for the time you’re going to spend with it. It’s hokey as shit, I know, but I did it with that ruck and lots of other things and what do you know, when it’s time to let go it’s a lot easier. I do that with nearly everything I buy now. So I sent my ruck to scars and may have included some fancy beer when I returned it and they wrote me a nice letter and gave me some free swag but the beer isn’t mandatory and more of a thank you.

Farewell, first bag-as-a-backpack, hello dismembered-corpse-of-a-first-bag-as-a-sweet-wire-holder-thing!!

meditation best ation

A few months ago I started listening to this podcast called 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Dan and it got me interested in meditation and meditating um…infrequently. It’s a great podcast where he talks about what got him into meditation (panic attack on-air while hosting some popular TV show), his practice and interviews other meditation practitioners. He also takes a skeptical approach to it and it’s cool that he is Buddhist (but not smells and bells type) so I can relate to some of his approach.

before_after_meditation
before and after meditation (I’m lying)

For my personal practice and “sit” time, I started out aiming for a five minute session once a day. That first day of the first week was awesome. I woke up at 04:30, set my phone timer for five minutes and sat on the ground. This is not a verbatim transcript but it might as well have been of my first sit – “OK be cool. You got this. Five minutes is easy. Unless you’re in front leaning rest (push ups) with your ruck on. Or even with your ruck off. I need more push ups in my life. Man, is five minutes up yet?” I glance at the timer. Litrly 30 seconds have passed. This isn’t going to go well. More thoughts like that enter and exit my mind and it turns out, that’s OK.

One of the persons interviewed said that, with this kind of meditating (as opposed to transcendental meditation ‘TM’) that whatever it is that pops into your brain, you acknowledge it, and let the thought go on about its way. No need to clear your mind because that’s not easy at this level of meditating.

So roughly 8 weeks into it, I’m caught up with the podcast (haven’t listened to the guided meditation app that he has as well) and when I sit, it’s five minutes (8 minutes when I’m feeling saucy) and the results are pretty good.

  • I’m less stressed.
  • I care less about things.
  • Things that do bother me bother me less.
  • I am quicker to apologize to people.
  • More appreciative of people in my life.
  • Go Cowboys

For those that know me, they know that I have a relatively easy going demeanor. I don’t actually interact with people outside of chat groups or messaging apps so they may not be able to tell but I feel less assholish (asholey? ). Maybe not to them.

All of that is just to say that Ed is a jerk and I hate him.IMG_0528

 

I remember reading Ed’s Death Race review and he talked about meditating on top of a parking garage like a weirdo so I never paid it much mind. But he reached out to me yesterday to see if I’d be interested in “running” a meditation challenge for the month. I’d been kicking that idea around in my head because that’s easier than running a 100 miles but didn’t think anyone would be interested but Ed can read minds now, apparently. Meditation – It Just Works™

IMG_0529

So how about it, 31 days of meditation? How hard could it be?

  • 5 minutes a day the first week
  • 10 minutes a day the second week
  • 15 minutes a day the third week
  • 20 minutes a day the fourth week

350 minutes for the month of July (1-28) or 410 if you think you’re a bad enough dude to meditate with yourself. I won’t guarantee that it will work for you because most of you who read this are jerks for reasons but it’s a good way to test the body and mind.

I’ve included a simple chart for you to check off your meditating. Remember like everything else in life, this is a competition so the harder you meditate the more you win. Kidding.

5 Friday 01-Jul
5 Saturday 02-Jul
5 Sunday 03-Jul
5 Monday 04-Jul
5 Tuesday 05-Jul
5 Wednesday 06-Jul
5 Thursday 07-Jul
10 Friday 08-Jul
10 Saturday 09-Jul
10 Sunday 10-Jul
10 Monday 11-Jul
10 Tuesday 12-Jul
10 Wednesday 13-Jul
10 Thursday 14-Jul
15 Friday 15-Jul
15 Saturday 16-Jul
15 Sunday 17-Jul
15 Monday 18-Jul
15 Tuesday 19-Jul
15 Wednesday 20-Jul
15 Thursday 21-Jul
20 Friday 22-Jul
20 Saturday 23-Jul
20 Sunday 24-Jul
20 Monday 25-Jul
20 Tuesday 26-Jul
20 Wednesday 27-Jul
20 Thursday 28-Jul
20 Friday 29-Jul
20 Saturday 30-Jul
20 Sunday 31-Jul

Facebook event!!!!

Big Cinnamon

Big Cinnamon

Turns out that if you do enough of these events in your life, you meet some cool people and forge some wonderful friendships. I mean, I guess I could just go out and socialize with the unwashed masses but that requires going outside just to go outside so…no. With friendship come memories, memories of hating life while carrying things, lending a helping hand or just talking to someone. In Denver, I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with my GORUCK bff and travel buddy Jenks. He is a pretty cool dude (obv you have to be if you want to roll with me) and what better way to learn about him than through out-of-context quotes??

“Bee I don’t need you to tell me how to drive. I need you to tell me where to drive.”


“Oakley’s are awesome until you take them out of the box. Or use them outside. Or wipe the fingerprints off and you have one grain of sand on your T-shirt.”
“Jenks you have two 280/281 patches in here.” -bee

“Yeah I bought four of those because I thought I was never going to do another one again.”

“Two minutes of heaven is better than…two minutes of not heaven.”
*sees Brian putting cinnamon in his coffee*
“I don’t do life changing things often, but when I do, I do them on a whim.”

*immediately dumps too much cinnamon in his coffee*

“Big Cinnamon. Military Cinammon Industrial Complex. We’ve fought wars over cinnamon.”

“I have this medical condition that precludes me from seeing hipsters.”

*tries to run over hipster in crosswalk*
However, my favorite comment/quote of the last two months though has to be after DC Heavy –

Cadre I’m black on o2

Cadre I’m black on o2

It’s nearly pitch black and I’m standing there on the side of the road, snacking on Immodiums trying to be cool but if you know me, that’s not actually possible. I say “nearly pitch black” because you people like to wear your headlamps and turn around and blind everyone and kill their nightvision. Damn it take an astronomy class, you’ll learn about that real quick. I hear some people I know from a nearby group so I walk over and say hi to Dan from Puerto Rico best ico and some of my new teammates and Dave arms me with a pump action, paintball pistol. Everyone is standing around, talking about what is going to happen or what to expect, experiencing our usual pre-ruck jitters and I’m over here hoping I don’t have to fart so I’m not too nervous. Eventually we are told to head over to another area, outside of the parking lot and we form up. Queue more standing around, forming up into our squads and counting down the time until sunrise. Apparently the cadre were on a coffee run so that meant we got to stand around and get our gear sorted out.

 Out of nowhere (ostensibly the parking lot), the cadre show up and start telling us we are bad people doing bad things in a bad place while using bad Russian accents. Kind of hard to take them seriously when you’re laughing at their terrible accents and whatnot but hey, low crawls. Sure thing. In pants and on a smooth deck? Not a big deal. Go backwards? Sure? They did insult us and call us names and make us low crawl over the deck toward the parking lot we just left (psst…hey it would have been faster if we never left the parking FYI). We’re all made to form up into two lines and start hiking up the road but that we have to put our hands into the belt of the person in front of us. Luckily for homeboy behind me I don’t have a belt on so he gets to put his hands down my backside and feel my silkies.

  

As we’re walking, Cadres Mikhail and not-Mikhail (Danny…ail?) make the rounds and start telling us we’re going to be hurting in a bad way and how we’re not going to enjoy our short futures. One of them talks to me and then tells the class I’m a Korean sympathizer and that I turned them all in. First of all, no. Second of all, I’m not Korean. I’m actually Chinese/Laotian best tian so…so I got promoted to being Korean. Turns out there’s another Asian in the group so we get jumped into the Korean Street Gang™ We eventually get to where our their Welcome Party would begin when the Cadre ask for their Korean Street Gang™ to come to the front. Kelli goes up, I go up and the Cadre keep yelling at someone in with a headband on “Get over here Street Fighter” and so I run up to him to get him to come by, maybe he’s hard of hearing…or maybe he’s not Asian. Have you met Jonathan Hurtado? I have…turns out he’s Columbian? I reckon you just gotta not be able to pass for a local I guess. No wonder he didn’t want to join the gang…he eventually saw The Light.

So the Welcome Party starts. Those who were singled out for extra good living got to come hang out with the KSG™ and they had to do headstands in the mud, more PT and then less PT and then more PT. ALL OF THIS WILL STOP IF YOU WILL US WHERE YOUR CAMP IS. WHERE ARE YOUR WEAPONS? WHERE IS THE CLOSEST MCDONALDS? (Seriously, some of us are hungry and want to know.) WHAT IS YOUR NEXT OBJECTIVE? Some of these people are tough to crack aka impossible so they send for more people to be interrogated. Flutter kicks, pushups, mud boarding, Roman chairs, dragging through the mud, more headstands. Nobody breaks. KSG™ gets cold so we ask for PT and we do about a minute of jumping jacks (10 seconds for me) and then we are all to form up. Chris Way is giving us a briefing when we come under attack and have to evac to the woods. This turns out to not be a smooth move because uh, oxygen. Or lack thereof.


CADRE I’M BLACK ON O2.

Nobody cares 😨. More hiking, more bitching, more not-breathing and we get to a pond/lake called Dude Hole. Elevation 8700 ft. Oxygen content, not enough. https://www.google.com/maps/place/39%C2%B051’39.2%22N+105%C2%B024’47.7%22W/@39.8608971,-105.4154477,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d39.860893!4d-105.413259

 

We hop in the water where it’s cold everywhere (but not here) because we are still somehow children. At the top of Dude Hole there are some rocks called Dude Throne (elevation 9200 ft. Oxygen content, still not enough. Plenty of gasping for air though. They’ve got that in spades). So as one giant class we trudge across the water’s edge and up through the cliffs. I actually felt pretty good here. Last time I was at altitude for more than a couple of days I got altitude sickness and was the biggest bitch so I guess the only difference is…I had altitude sickness last time? We climb up and take this sweet picture – thanks Kimmie! Thanks Colorado for not having o2.

 After we took our scary, on high picture we split up into three teams. One stays up top and learns to rappel, one other learns some sneak attack stuff I’m going to use on all of you and the other half learns how to get lost in the woods while carrying items that litrly keep you from getting lost in the woods aka Land Navigation. Then I got shot in the stomach with a paintball gun.


 

I don’t really want to talk about the rest of the event as it’ll give away too much but it was a really fun experience. Someone said we should do a Jedburgh but I’m just a hater so that’s not going to happen. Like many of my other GORUCK experiences, you get to meet people from all over the country and find out why they hate their free time, money and apparently, oxygen so much that they’d fly out to Denver in the middle of summer to do this. It’s fun.

Jenks throwing in the skinny arm.  

As Jenks said, “two minutes of Heaven is better than….two minutes of not Heaven.”

7-11 Hot

7-11 Hot

Two weeks ago some spots opened up for the Red Dawn 100 weekend up in Colorado, hosted by buddy John Steele. Jenks had been telling me about it and asked me to go but I wasn’t interested and I told him to shut up and go away.  I’d never seen the original Red Dawn (saw the 2012 over though), so I bought it on Amazon and then signed up for the event. Not because I wanted to do the event so much as it was a chance to hang out with my peoples. 

As soon as I was confirmed in, I got invited into another group chat (yay…?) and was inundated with packets and guides. You need to do this, this and this. Learn this. Acquire that. Wear 80s clothing. 30 page PDF full of information and I went “nope, not reading that” and proceeded to ignore it save for the packing list. 1″ tubular nylon webbing, paintball mask, paintball gun…no patches? Not your average GORUCK event, that’s for sure.

After coordinating travel arrangements with Brian and Jenks and Jon by basically latching onto Jenks like the liberal leech I am, we fly in Friday morning to Denver. Brian, living in Arkansas and not near a major airport, drives down and we have dinner with some local GRTs but not before he got to experience rush hour in the Dallas area. We get up at the crack of dawn after my fifteen alarms wake Brian up (but not me) for ninety minutes and head to Denver where we meet one of my work bffs, Megan.


She was kind enough to pick us up at the airport and take us into downtown Denver where we had lunch and I may have had a beer. We  have like 6 hours to kill until Jenks can get there to pick us up, so we went to a movie theater and take a nap. We chose to watch The Nice Guys, which was an excellent movie but it had the problem of us not being able to nap on the reclining chairs in that sweet, sweet air conditioning (important later). Movie being over, we head to REI where Brian and I discuss our common love/hate of the place. It’s awesome because well, it’s REI and it’s terrible because, well, it’s REI and you can rationalize buying every piece of gear in there because you “need” it. Then we went to Proto Pizza which was delicious but perhaps had too much cheese on it (more importanter later) and then we went and chilled in the park until Jenks could pick us up.


We meet and Jenks gives us a stinky shirt hug (he was at Firearms Day all day) and then takes off his shirt to change into some new freshness but a bus comes by and Jenks gets worried so we pile in the Fundra (Tundra) and head toward Black Hawk. Damnedest thing happens next, it turns out that we’re in need of beer and water so we pull into a 7-11 where Jenks parks front and center. Jenks climbs out (still shirtless mind you) and hops in the bed of his truck to look for a clean shirt. As he’s searching, a very attractive lady walks by and Jenks says “oh don’t mind me, just changing my shirt” and she looks away, slightly embarrased. Fifteen seconds pass by and another pretty lady walks by and Jenks says “dad bod by Jenks” and flexes a little…to either us or her, we’re not sure. She either heard him and ignored it or was afraid to say something. Thirty seconds after that, still-shirtless-Jenks-is-still-standing-in-the-truck-bed-desperately-looking-for-his-shirt when another hot chick walks by and Jenks starts to panic. He can’t find a shirt because it’s buried in the bottom of his luggage (where he put it) and he can’t get to it quick enough. He finds a shirt finally and says “what the hell, do hot girls just hang out at this 7-11?” 
Yes. Yes they do, Jenks. 


Eventually, we get to Jon’s cabin where he creates some delicious burgers which I skip in favor of Bud Light. We meet some other teammates and then begin to prep for our ruck in 6 hours. Paintball gun, US flag, food, glow stick (untz untz untz) and bunch of other things I don’t need but bring anyway because I have to overpack and carry it around Golden Gate Canyon State Park because I hate my life and want to make it more difficult. All packed, we settle in for the night only to wake up 4.5 hours later to get out of the cabin at 03:15. 


At 03:08 I feel a rumble.
03:10, some gas escapes.
03:12, “hey uh…I gotta use the restroom. I don’t think we’re leaving at 03:15”
03:13, “oh! gotta go!”
03:18, I think I’m done.
03:21, I’m definitely not done.
03:22 I’m done. Someone walks by the restroom and asks what died inside me.
We head to the start point and as soon as we stop I gingerly get out and start popping Immodium AD like it’s going out of style because I’m afraid. 


Very, very afraid. 

Stupid, delicious pizza. 

[ ] Yes [ ] No

[ ] Yes [ ] No

The obvious answer is “uh, yeah I want to quit because 12 mile ruck marches are dumb. I’m dumb. GORUCK is dumb. Also, that wasn’t particularly fun and another thing, I feel some blisters forming on my feet.” but my mouth is faster and I immediately, regretfully answer “fuck yeah” and so does Ross. We’re told to get in line and a head count later, we were at 68/72 remaining. Then came the fun part, we were split up into two 36 person platoons by the GORUCK Heavy class 114 Draft. 


First off, I’d like to thank my family and friends for allowing me to be here today. Without them I wouldn’t be in DC and drafted in the 8th round. More importantly, I was freaking pumped to not be picked last. But not so fast, at the end of the draft it turned out that there was a miscount and I was traded away to the other team because the other platoon because reasons. I suspect they didn’t have enough Asians on it. Bitch, I got feelings. It ultimately didn’t matter though as both classes ended up doing SIMILAR events (different order), walking our asses all over DC, got to experience almost dying of heatstroke and do four Hero WODs (using our rucks for weight), one for a fallen Marine, Navy, Air Force and Army service member. Speaking of WODs, that shit sucked. I might have to join CrossFits. 
Making the event harder was the weather. I bet it was beautiful if you were out in it for like an hour but since we were there for about 12 hours in the light, it sucked. The sun was just brutal. It was only 88 but I’d swear it was 100. We’d walk along the avenue and you could immediately FEEL when you were in the sun or in the shade (not just because you could see you were litrly in the shade). There wasn’t a cool breeze to be found anywhere in downtown and we didn’t get wet until about 2 hours to go and like all fun classes, we got to carry jerry cans around filled with water. Am I done bitching? Not even.


Post-event-woe-is-me initial reactions: my feet hurt because I have bitch feet and also have not attempted a 12 mile ruck march in approximately 2 years, I need to buy newer Leukotape because the old ones lose their stickiness and had the sticky stuff peeling out, untested boots for said ruck march suck, blisters everywhere (ask me for pics) and give me victory beers. I’ve read about people with post-event-blues but I don’t know if I have that. I am more like “hell yeah I don’t have to worry about that event anymore.” Not that I was dreading it, just more curious about how it was going to go (it did not work out so well for me).


We actually got lucky and had the easy Brian for our Heavy and we didn’t have to do either of those, fortunately. I’ve read he likes long walks up a mountain and other dumb shit so I was happy. Brian is a hilarious dude and he was joking with Earl Granville when he went to talk to him at roll call and said “Do you go up on stage and my name is Earl and I wish I had joined the Marines.” LMAO. Less LMAO-y, the Challenge class got massacred by him later on though. Better them than us. 
Cadre Danny gave us all forearm tattoos. I asked around and some people were like “yeah I don’t know what’s up with that” and as soon as I mentioned the team weight everyone was like “that makes so much sense! that thing sucked” and it was quite litrly the worst team weight I’ve ever carried. Kevin said it was 70 lbs and my forearms believe it. Just not a good way to carry that without straps. I’m doing more biceps curls in case I see that again. I was talking to Ross about a Challenge I’d read about online in Baltimore where the police were called and it turns out Cadre Rob was leading it when someone called and said there were protestors. The police rolled up and asked what they were protesting (I suggested they were protesting nice, relaxing Friday nights and money in their wallets) but they heard about GORUCK and gave them police escorts through town.

Remember when we were going to quit but didn’t? Ross told me later that if I had hesitated for a split second longer about continuing, he would have quit. 


Of course, the event was soul sucking and terrible but I didn’t have any single bad point where I said “I hate GORUCK, screw this event, screw me and my terrible decisions and screw you, dark ass trail where I could get murdered” you know? Well, I said that last one but other than that, amazingly the mental game was strong. 
GORUCK Heavy is designed to hurt you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It did most of that but again, it’s still the best team event ever, hands down. I’d do them all if I didn’t have to pay for them.
Let me leave you with a quote from my friend G about his own 100K race last weekend (Infinitus anyone?) he crushed/was-crushed-by this weekend which absolutely sums up my thoughts about my Heavy this weekend, “I feel good about the effort, not about the performance.”


Guess I could’ve just quoted that and not written so much.