It all started from a friend, a colleague, a peer . . .
From being bored with the same routine, from plateauing time and time again . . .
I wanted to get healthy, I wanted people around me who cared . . .

They called it constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity . . .

It's about taking the first step -

It's called CrossFit and I friggin' love it!

Monday, June 11, 2012

GoRuck and CrossFit

So what does the GoRuck Challenge have to do with CrossFit?  In my eyes and in my humble opinion, everything...

CrossFit touts itself as training for the unknown and unknowable, and guess what?  The GoRuck is the unknown and unknowable.  When you research the GoRuck, as so many folks have, you come across hundreds of blogs - all different, hundreds of pictures - all tough looking, and you start to develop your own frame of reference.  If you are lucky, you may even know a few folks who have gone through it and you get to pick some brains like monkeys grooming each other.

Your picture starts to become clear . . . 

It was never a dream of mine to want to attempt this challenge, I had participated in the Warrior Dash in Pennsylvania last year - that is pretty much the extent of my "extreme racing" .  Crawling through mud, running through trails built into the forest, and wading through hip high freezing water that left most men with dangling raisins was the most extreme I wanted to come to grips with after my military experience.

Boy oh boy did I get a flash from the past in participating with my GoRuck crew in San Francisco. 

But I digress for the moment, lets back peddle.

A very gracious offer was extended from the night class that I had worked with for almost a year - join them in San Francisco for the GoRuck Challenge.  And join them I did.

So what did I know:
8-10 hours
15-20 miles
Calisthenics and Rucking

What else do you need to know?

There are no secrets to the GoRuck, just different, individual experiences.  Someone could tell you everything they did and you could end up doing something entirely different.

I can tell you this because a friend of mine told me this - get used to putting miles on your feet with weight - I could not agree more.

Perform calisthenics with your ruck on, get used to the weight and were it sits on your body when you move. 

Don't overtrain - easier said than done.

What I can be sure of - CrossFit works as a training modality for the GoRuck.  Sure, you are going to have to involve rucking three to four times a week, big deal.  Interval train - rucking isn't a sprint, more like a shuffle, sometimes a jog, with periods of fast pace walking.

And the one thing you can't train for is failure - muscular and mental.  The latter being the worst.  At the end of a CrossFit workout, its the end - go home, bath, live to fight another day - your probably never going to do CrossFit for 12 hours straight (and if you do, sincerely, good luck). 

Your mind works in mysterious ways, once your body fails you during GoRuck, your mind starts to see the negative and it can be difficult to push past that - especially given the time domain.  It can affect your attitude, your performance, and your peers.  Mental failure suppresses what your body is capable of doing and can influence you to short change yourself... the one obstacle that can defeat you is yourself, first and foremost.  However, the GoRuck has a very interesting concept involved that is both ingrained in most CrossFit gyms and has become part of CrossFit culture - working as a cohesive unit with those around you will allow you to grow faster as an individual - both physically and mentally - than working by yourself.  When others are still going, you find that last bit of energy to get one more rep and keep yourself above water.

Are you catching the theme yet?

Most GoRucks are completely different experiences for different folks.  Some find it the most challenging thing they have ever done while others have started to develop a taste for something that they have been missing and want to do more of.   

I do not want to delve into too much detail, if you have questions, feel free to contact me.  I can say that it was different for everyone involved except for this, we did not finish the GoRuck alone, there were 19 + 1 when we started and 19 + 1 when we finished. 

On a side note, I had the support of my fiancee there when I started and when I finished - and when I rucked for 3 months prior to this challenge and I truly believe that it helped me push during training and during the event.

My friends put together one kick ass trip that I will never forget, and this is my way of saying thank you.  You worked hard to get through the evening, to get through the hills, and to finish with what looks to be below, as huge smiles.  Thank you for the trip and thank you for the memories.   

Class 180, started at 9 pm and finished at 9:30 am June 2nd-3rd in San Francisco, CA.
GoRuck San Francisco Class 180
- Coach Tony
(A Former TL)

"No matter how far you walk, how hard you work, or how bad it hurts, you'll always get to where you need to be."
- Unknown Author


  1. Hey Tony, great read! Lot of good info there. Look forward to doing the Newport one.
    Brian L

  2. Really Nice Information,Thank You Very Much For Sharing.
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