Monday, April 23, 2012

GORUCK - the frightening visuals

I woke up to a text message this morning, and when I tried to roll over to check my phone, I couldn't. After a tremendous amount of effort and pain, I made it, and it was a text from Lily telling me rolling over in bed hurt. 

My soreness is at the level where scratching an itch hurts. This is a new level for me.

My friend at work laughed hysterically at the sight of me attempting to walk down the hall. I wrote my daily objective on a piece of paper and had a student write it on the board because lifting my arm to use the chalk was too hard. 

Here's a little peek (by no means all inclusive) into the night that brought on such pain. Obviously, the pictures are dark and it's hard to see me, but I have a red headband and Lily has a lime green one. I start out wearing a white shirt and bright yellow gloves but soon everything is covered in mud. 

At the beginning, they checked our packs to make sure we had bricks, money, and ID. Lily and I are looking at each other like "what on God's green earth are we doing here?".

We started out with a classic: pushups. Eric asked if he told us how many we were doing. Well, we counted, but he didn't tell us where we were stopping, so I'm not sure that was helpful. Also we kept messing up and having to start over.

And still looking around.
Shortly after we began we headed into the water for the first time. 

Just getting in to the water would have been no fun. We low crawled through the mud first, then bear crawled through the rocky marsh and the water. Then we did it again.

Jackie low crawling through the mud like a champ.
Next was a super fun exercise: inchworm pushups. Doing pushups with 40 lbs on your back isn't challenging enough, so you line up and you are also lifting everyone in front of you, with the added bonus of a crotch in your face, and a stranger looking at your crotch.

I pushed as hard as I could and my arms were shaking like crazy but I couldn't even do one. Sad.

I might pretend to be a badass with my sneaking headphones into races where they are prohibited and all, but I'm really terrified of getting in trouble. When the man in charge says you have 3 minutes to cover yourself in mud OR ELSE, I don't play around.

Others sat down, I dived in facedown.

A true friend helps you rub mud all over your body
in the middle of the night.

And has fun doing it.

When Lily gave up, I enlisted strangers who were my new
friends to cover every last spot. I was really afraid of getting yelled at.

Remember when that shirt was white?

I spent my Saturday night having strange men carry me through crowded streets.
After getting so dirty, it was only natural that we had to clean off.

With the drunks watching, Lily and I held hands and jumped right in. It was COLD.

 I'm in the middle, smiling on the outside, crying on the inside.
After more marching and carrying each other, the real fun started.

45 feet long, 1450 - 1600 pounds.
Lifting it had to be done in stages. First to the knees, then to the shoulder, then up above the shoulder (or for us short ladies, over our heads).  We'd carry it a few hundred yards, then take a break, then start again. Watches weren't allowed but it was at least a 2 hour process, probably more.

Seriously, you want us to lift this thing?
The first lift of many

3/4 of the way up

Still working on it

We're moving!

I busted out my classic marathon face for GORUCK. 
After we were finished, Colleen couldn't wait for her next one, which she's already registered for, and Lily and I swore we'd never do that again. This picture sums that up so well.

That was also right around the time Lily swore she was quitting, planned to call her hotel to send a van to pick her up, and we had to beg her to stay.

Finally, we were done with the telephone pole, and took a picture sitting on it. We should have been elated but as you can see, it was still pitch black, meaning we had hours and hours of more good living ahead of us and we had no idea what was in store next.

Several challenges later, the sun was up, people were out and about again, and we were at what Lily and I thought was our final destination. We were expecting the cadre to say we were done, but instead he started explaining our next mission. The look on Lily's face says it all (she's in the lime green headband on the left, the cadre, or man in charge, is in the camo kneeling on the far right).

 More fun, more rain, then finally we could see the finish. Of course, seeing it didn't mean it was going to be easy for us to get to it.

Looking to see if Eric happened to be driving by so I could escape and trying not to cry

I saw the camera and tried to smile here.
I didn't quite make it happen.
 WE MADE IT! Finally, we got to the end point, and the cadre announced we had completed the challenge.  I love that the photographer caught this picture. I can't repeat verbatim what I was telling Lily, because it's way too R-rated for this blog, but the gist was "we are getting out of here and forgetting this ever happened".

We lined up to get our patches from the cadre. I'm putting pictures of the four of us girls up so you can see the dichotomy.

Jackie: looking excited and proud

Colleen: looking impressed and satisfied

Me: looking barely alive and unsure what's happening

Lily: looking like she can't decide if she should take the patch or drown him in the harbor
 Once we got a little chocolate cake in us, we were all smiles.

Team Bitch - the shorties who had to take the end of the pole.
 All jokes aside, I'll repeat what I said yesterday - this experience was amazing. I may not want to ever find myself underneath a telephone pole again, but I'm so glad that I did it. If you are at all considering it, as some people commented that they were, GO FOR IT! You won't regret it. I may have wanted to get the hell out of there at the end because it was tough, but that's how it's supposed to be. I couldn't have made it through without my awesome crew though.

Had to remove a photobomer who snuck in behind Colleen

 We are having a caption contest. Write a caption for what Lily is thinking in this picture.


  1. Lily-"whatchu talkin bout Willis?". The guy next to her (bent over) -"I think I left my balls with the telephone pole" Kristin

  2. haha - that was totally what my caption was going to be! At the time, I thought she was thinking "OMG, I hate Jackie and I can't believe she talked me into this, I'm never going to speak to her again" But we made up afterwards so its all good.

    Alyssa - this post was so funny that I literally laughed out loud and cried. probably not as funny if you weren't there, but omg- a great great recap!

    I've drank the kool-aid so if any of you are considering doing this, i'm doing the one in rehobeth beach in october. Anyone want to join me for a night of good livin'?

  3. Lily has mastered the art of dagger eyes.

    If looks could kill, Lily would be on death row.

    So who took all the pictures? And also did they feed you??

  4. Congratulations on finishing the challenge and earning your patch. Your write-up was comic gold.

    I'll be doing my first Goruck in August.

  5. Alyssa...this have been the hardest even yet and produce AWESOME material for your blog... I am with Jackie I laughed so hard I cried!!!!!

    and I was totally devastated we still had one more stop...yay to good living!

    However, I was feeling strong with the running and just thinking we were so closed to be done was fantastic!!!

    Great experience.....lets see who has the best caption

    and Kristin that was funny!!!!

  6. Lily has the best facial expressions. I feel like the caption should be "In the jungles of Columbia, you call ME cadre!"

    I would have been that person giving the guys in charge back talk and getting everyone to do extra push ups. You would have loved it so much.

    1. oh man - kara your caption is HYSTERICAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WISH lili would have said that to him - it would have been epic

    2. Man I should have made it clear to him where the heck I was from then he sure would not have made us carry the light pole.... we needed you there Kara ~

  7. I can't top "whatchu talkin bout Willis?". It was what first came to my mind too!

    Crazy, crazy, crazy! Kudos to you for completing it! I am not running out to find one in my area though. ;)

  8. I think she's thinking "You want us to do what?!"

    Great job again Alyssa! You ladies are amazing and obviously some of you got a little bit more pleasure out of this experience than others.

  9. You are amazing and I'm in awe. That's the kind of thing I'd like to do, but likely never will. Carrying the utility pole really has me freaked!

  10. Bwahaha, Lily's facial expressions are amazing. I love the recap, but I am definitely never, ever doing GORUCK. My survival instinct is way too strong for that. But hey, now you can say you are as BA as Katniss, right?

  11. Lily's facial expression is awesome! I am still convinced I don't have to do this. Good for you for trying it! You are way BA!

  12. I seriously do not understand you. I thought I did, but this post changes things. What a ridiculous weekend.

  13. that looks absolutely insane. are you sure you never want to do it again? i can't imagine why???

  14. Just hearing about the various pushups and lifting things makes my arms feel tired and shakey. I love Lily's expressions... I want to know what your next meal was after completing this crazy challenge.

  15. Wow! I can't think of anything else to say, just wow!! You ladies are hardcore!! I don't think I want to try that, it sounds crazy! But I loved reading about your experience!

  16. Took you what, four months, to finally appreciate that Stone Mill was fun, huh?

  17. I love the look on Lily's face when she is getting her badge. So funny! It's cant' believe you guys did this! CRAZY!


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