Friday, May 15, 2009


WOW, what a week it has been. Monday was all paperwork and equipment issue. Tuesday morning at 5am was the PT test. I did pretty well. Just slightly off my last test in C'ville (50 pushups, 66 situps, 16:08 2 mile run). Not bad since our last 2 weeks at C'ville were pretty light on PT. I think we had some classes Tuesday afternoon, but honestly don't remember exactly what they were.

Wednesday...classes in the morning. Lunch. Another class. Then we got smoked. About 3pm, 95 degrees and sunny. Pushups, pushups, scissor kicks (laying on your back, straight legs, with your feet about 6-12 inches off the ground, moving like a pair of scissors in the air). Then we did about 20-30 minutes of marching in formation around the yard. Then we ran in formation. Somewhere between 2-3 miles, I'm not sure. It was hot, very hot. Everytime someone couldn't go on and dropped out of formation we would keep going until the Cadre decided to turn us around and run back to the person and have them fall in to the formation. We did that about 10 times. I never fell out, but certainly felt like it and don't know how much more I could have taken.

Thursday...obstacle course. Overcast, but really, really humid. We raced through a dozen or so obstacles. Some were relatively easy (like crawling on our bellys under bars about 18" above the ground or crawling over telephone poles laid horizontally), but a couple were extremely difficult. "The Weaver"...on an "A" frame structure were horizontally-laid, circular wooden poles (maybe 1' diameter) that were about 3' apart. We had to "weave" ourselves through the poles...difficult to describe...over one pole and under the next without falling. So what you would do is while hanging underneath a pole with arms and legs wrapped around it (our backs to the ground...which had a thick safety mat), we'd swing a leg on to the top of the next pole, then an arm, then pull the other leg over and then the other arm. Very, very hard to do. Probably 6 poles on each side... 6 up, 6 down. I have some bruises/scraps from that one. Another one was hanging upside down from an inclined rope (legs and arms wrapped around it....our backs to the ground) and pulling ourselves about 50' a little rope burn from that.

Today...2 mile ruck march at 6am. In C'ville, we were doing 4 mile marches (but with a light load on our backs). The ruck (aka a hike with a big backpack) is done in boots with our rifles...about 60 lbs of added weight (I weigh 154 lbs) a 15-18 minute mile pace. My feet and legs did fine, but my back is really sore. I learned afterwards that I needed to position the ruck straps higher on my shoulders to take some of the weight of my lower back....lessons learned. This Monday 0520, we go 4 miles (to eventually work up to 10!!!!!!!!). That gives me 2 days to recover.

I have the weekend off. I am doing laundry right now (cleaning all the sand out of my uniforms). I plan to sleep, sleep and sleep with some eating in between! A good week, but wow, really physically demanding. The good news is that I am not only keeping up with guys 15 years younger, but am solidly in the middle of the pack. A good place for me to be!


  1. Tom... do the rucksacks have waist belts? Can you fashion one? Let your hips take the weight if you can manage it.... and if you have hips!

  2. Hey Ryan-

    Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, my hips blend into my sides and the waist belt really doesn't have anything to grab onto. I've adjusted the straps and am re-packing the load to bring it higher to keep it off my lower back. It may be robbing Peter to pay Paul, but it is the advice the Cadre have given. I'll post the results tomorrow! Good to hear from you, bro.