Forward: First and foremost, out of respect for my current employer, I have to say that I have had a great career, and worked with some wonderful people who have become like family to me. I have also earned the trust of some very significant clients in the business world, and for that I am thankful. This life move for me is based on personal choices I have made in wanting to improve my life. But more so, I hope I can write this in a way that will make people think. Make people move. Make people wake up, take notice, personal inventory, whatever… and fucking live. Live for a living.
Are You Living?
Yesterday, driving through downtown Atlanta, an obviously stressed-out, frustrated lady in a VW Beetle, complete with namaste and peace sign flashing, frog stickers, flipped me off in traffic. There was a certain hilarity in the hypocrisy of the image she was trying to portray, versus her actual actions as played out in the streets of real life.
Then, looking at all the billboards along the highway, I noticed that every service company, every business school, every product, was trying to “sell me” with messages of meaningful acquisition via uber-simplicity, thus promising the greatest gain for the least amount of effort.
We’ve become a nation of comforts. And from my frame of reference in the bigger cities, a nation of growing perceived value in materialism, coupled with a lesser value in personal relationships. Real relationships. Not Tinder hookups, nor Facebook friends, nor Instagram followers, but real, honest, “go through some real shit together”-relationships.
And lastly, one of my biggest pet peeves, and until lately, my own personal struggles as well, the apathy of our daily lives. Most of us wake up, maybe exercise, but most likely that’s just an intention. We slug down some coffee, tea, drugs, or whatever else will get us together enough to face the day; and then, get in our heated or air conditioned cars, drive to our climate-controlled offices, send emails a’plenty, suffer through increasingly more mindless, meaningless meetings, all centered around some cause we most likely don’t even believe in, and smile and nod and share our talents for really no purpose at all.
…but hey, it’s a job right?
And we repeat this day after day, year after year, until something changes to change us. Or worse, nothing changes, and we die without ever really living in the first place.
If this is not you. I applaud you. You are the minority, …but I’m about to join you.
Not me. Not anymore.
After a series of dramatic life events, some out of my control, but many within my control, and just results of poor, self-centered decision-making, I found myself needing to tackle a few important things:
- To be a better a man.
- To work for something in which I am passionate.
- To work for something that gives back to a worthy cause.
While #1 is a long personal journey, #2 and #3 are easily satisfied by associating myself with an organization like GORUCK. I own, and swear by, their gear; I do the events, and I know, first-hand, the life-changing experiences that come from taking on these GORUCK challenges.
Who is GORUCK?
Most of you in OCR are at least familiar with GORUCK, but most likely know very little about the company, and the events.
GORUCK, as a company does two great things – it designs, develops, and produces top-quality rucking gear and accessories. The gear is made with quality in mind, not margin. Yes, it’s a business, but the primary goal is quality. GORUCK gear is made in the USA, has a ridiculously simple “break it and we’ll fix it” product guarantee on all rucks, and should you ever need to actually talk to someone, you can email, or speak, directly to a human being.
The second great thing GORUCK does it put on unique events designed to challenge individuals, and develop teamwork, through a series of physical, mental and emotional tasks, all rolled up into a 6, 12, or 24-hour experience. There’s even a 5K event, allowing folks to get a small taste of the vibe of GORUCK.
The world needs GORUCK
I am passionate about GORUCK because, again, as someone who has done the events, I can truly say that the experiences have contributed to changing my life. Perhaps the greatest thing GORUCK has taught me is the value and efficiency in teamwork. Outside of the Kill That 5K event, you will not get through a GORUCK event without participating, and contributing, to the team.
You walk away from these events smarter, stronger, and with a greater sense of life not being all about you. You learn to solve challenging tasks as a group, and get to experience the elation associated with that kind of success.
It’s amazing to watch participants during the post event “ruck-off”. You literally watch people change. People bond, shake hands, hug, talk about the crazy challenges they conquered, swear to do another one, on and on and on.
We are inherently social beings. We need each other. GORUCK gives us a way to play that out.
Just like every person on the planet could benefit from the kind of training the military delivers to young men and women, every single person on the planet can benefit from GORUCK events. While GORUCK event leaders (called “cadre”) are current, or previous special forces military personnel, the events they design are for everyone.
I love that. GORUCK really is focused on building better Americans.
Lastly, and so very important to me as someone who’s number one man in his life is a World War II veteran, GORUCK donates a significant portion of profits to veterans-related causes. This is the icing on the cake for me, and satisfies my #3 so very nicely.
We treat our veterans like shit. I’m appalled by it, embarrassed about it, and feel the need to apologize to every veteran I see who finds themselves having to fight with the government for medical and financial benefits owed to them for service. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have the freedom to write all my passionate tirades, or the freedom to do anything I do.
We owe our veterans everything they deserve and then some. The fact that GORUCK is not only built on this foundation, but also supports it greatly, makes it one of the greatest places I could ever choose to work.
So How About You?
What are you passionate about? Do you love what you do? Could you take your skills and seek out a company that shares in your values, AND could benefit from your experience? Or maybe, even start your own.
I get it. Some people will say, “hey, I do what I gotta do to pay the bills.” …and I totally get it; but so do I. I have a kid in college, family members to help support, life hobbies and adventures, general living expenses. I get it.
But nothing stops you from taking that first step and questioning it.
Stop right now. Think about who you would like to work for, and write down three organizations that satisfy your dream job, and make it happen.
Worst thing that happens, you learn something about yourself.
Best thing that happens, you follow your passion, and succeed.
Either way, you win.
Do nothing, and you lose to your dreams.
Live for Living.
Thanks for reading, and thank you GORUCK for believing in me. I plan to join you in creating the rucking revolution, because, again, the world needs GORUCK.
No, I’m not a mud runner. I am an obstacle racer.
Yes, it matters; and yes, there is a difference.
I love the sport, love racing and love being part of this fast-growing community we call obstacle course racing, but I can’t help but pick out everyday examples that I find odd, inconsistent or contrary to the true vibe of the sport of OCR, as I see it.
Cranky Bastard articles are full of arrogance, elitest, prima donna attitude, but hopefully, plenty of points to make those in our community think, and perhaps drive change where change is needed.