Photo: GORUCK Selection class 015
I am an idiot.
At least, this is the reaction from almost every person who has learned that I have made the commitment to GORUCK Selection. Other comments go something like, “you will fail,” “you will never make it,” and “they will break you in the first hour.”
Even worse, I am a co-founder of this company, an obstacle racing media company, and I can’t help but feel like this puts an extra large target on my back for GORUCK, and the assigned Selection cadre.
But, I did not make this decision lightly.
I am not just adding this to my list of extreme events, expecting to just train, show up, and perform. I have bigger goals than that.
Why I am choosing to attempt Selection
From the GORUCK Selection website:
Patterned directly after Special Forces Selection, this event is a different beast altogether. The Cadre are actively trying to make you quit. This is our only event where we may performance drop you if you fail to meet the standard.
48+ Hours. Selection is an individual event. Our Cadre will enforce a standard adopted from our roots in Special Forces Assessment and Selection. Those participants who do not meet the standard at any point will be performance dropped at our discretion. Selection begins with a gear inspection and PT test.
Uh, nope, I’ve never had special forces training. I’ve never been in the military, and the one time I tested really well for Coast Guard Officer Candidate School while living in Hawaii, my grandfather vehemently discouraged me, reminding me that I was more of a “creative guy,” and not one who took well to being told what to do.
He was right, and my entire life, and career has been very, very evident of that sentiment.
I have never been a rules follower, and I buck everything I’m told with the belief that there is a better, smarter, more efficient way – my way.
Sometimes, this approach is to be applauded. Especially in business; but, not so much when trying to be a “team player,” or accepted by the masses or status quo.
This is the main reason I want to attempt Selection. I want to learn what I am truly made of. What kind of “tough” I really am …or am not.
I want to attempt something so very different, so much in contrast, to my natural personality and conduct.
I want to prove that I can endure. Not just “test my limits” – partly because I can’t stand that phrase, but also because I expect that my “limits” have never been set. It’s easy to do what you are good at, but far more challenging to attempt to perform in an area where you suck.
The last Selection class ended with candidate 037 ending up in the hospital. When I heard about this, I immediately participated in the community support to aid in his medical bills, but something about that process – the following of the event, the believing he was going to finish, the learning of his struggles, then eventual event failure, and then the need for medical care, all made the experience come to life in my head.
037 doesn’t know me. I don’t know him, …yet. But, I felt a brotherhood with him. A kindred spirit kinda thing. An understanding of what he went through, why he went through it, and what he was willing to endure to be handed that coveted patch.
I get it. I want it.
Accountability for a weak man
I have done a lot of seemingly cool events.
I have finished six, 100-mile foot races, and handful of 100K and 50-milers, and multitudes of 50Ks and shorter races, many of which are considered some of the most challenging events in the sport. I’ve completed Spartan Race Beast events, swam a few 5Ks, and will be heading out to a 31-mile stand up paddleboard race three days from today. I have raced in the Alps of Europe, the jungles of Nicaragua, the Cascades in Washington, and the grueling Rockies of Montana.
Hell, I even got a small taste of GORUCK on July 4, 2014, with the GORUCK Independence Day Challenge, of which I performed mediocre at best.
I have also failed as many great events as I have completed. Weakness has prevailed more than I like to admit.
But not this time.
For me, accountability is key, and one of the greatest assets I have for this experience is a media company, with a relevant, passionate audience, who will not hesitate to call me out as much as they might support me. I intend to document my training, my performance benchmarks, my goals, and my progress towards those goals, right here, at Obstacle Racing Media.
At the end of the training, I’ll let the community decide, asking the question – Do you think I’m ready?
A call for support
This is a huge undertaking, and I am encouraging, …no, I’m begging… for your support. Not support in the usual social media way of sugar-coated patronage, but instead support designed to get me off my ass and train like never before. Call me out when I appear weak, or lazy, or falling behind standard. In the comments section, offer and discuss advice, as well as suggestions for alternative approaches.
At the end of the day, we will be generating an experience log like no other, that serve other budding Selection candidates, now and in the future.
To me, this is what community is all about.
Christian “Cranky Bastard” Griffith is chasing GORUCK Selection, probably as the least qualified candidate in the game.
And so it begins.
Can I do it?