Ingress introduced me to this crazyness, but I got hooked – whenever I tell someone, that I am roaming the landscape carrying a 15kg backpack, letting some cadre command me to do exercises which tend to hurt (hurt as in exhaustion hurt, not injury hurt) whenever I tell this to someone, then they question this. Why? Why would you have someone command you. why is this something someone wants (WANTS!!) to do. And even pays for.

Because.

I wrote about „Zero“ in an earlier blog. Zero means – be prepared for stuff to change. Don’t estimate a time when an ordeal is over. Accept that you be engaged longer than anticipated. This was the very first Goruck Ingress (Stealth) event I participated – and it went on for twelve hours, no water involved because the Cadre’s fave fountain had some weird needles on its floor. Nevertheless, twelve hours of two teams playing each other, but staying Human with each other. Twelve hours including short runs, heavy PT, carrying people, carrying a ruck (duh!!), and at the end „inheriting“ someone else’s ruck plate and carrying it home as replacement for the own sandbag. Plus the sandbag. Lessons learned. Zero and – everyone here is to be treated as team, no matter which faction. We payed with extra PT, because one of the two lessons did not arrive everywhere.

But this got me hooked. This is not about commanding drill sergeant giving orders, enjoying other people’s hurt. This is about life. About endurance. About endurance together, about asking for support, in case necessary. Not the old Prussian way I grew up with – never ask for help. When I stumbled over someone’s ruck, I had multiple hands helping me up. (on the side – we figured – I must have been the oldest in the crew – funny, it did not feel that way)

Endurance here is different than in any triathlon, where you endure alone, work with mantras. „I think I can I think I can“ or „Every hill a victory“ Needless to say – it also differs from my bike touring. There’s a true team – some being navigation specialists, some being good carryers, some entertainers, some fit with first aid, all respecting each other and none complaining when one „only“ carried the half empty water bladder. Because we all participated in taking turns. True team. True support if needed.

We started out with a Deck of Cards hour-and-a-bit of PT, plus a few rounds around the lake. Cadre Cleve had picked two exercises which I am perfectly fine with and two which busted my arms. Brick laying (with – put your ruck up in the air, Lunge, lunge…) and Body builder with pushups – of course – with a ruck on our backs. From my side – I admit, no perfect execution of all of it – but like in any race – always the question to myself: „is there any reason not to do this as asked?“ – Many a time my arms screamed „yes“ but whenever they did not, my ruck also was in the air. Well, those arms screamed a lot – I’ll need some training here.

Then rucking. No first settin up sandbags. Some heap of sand was sacrificed into our bags, and we had weights of about 120, 80, 60, and 40 pounds, plus a plate, a group weight, and a water bladder. For ten people less than signed up. Yeah! Carrying this stuff was not so bad – at least if you could buddy up for the 120 or 80. And – no harm in calling out if one needed support – amazing how quickly the body recovers ad is ready for the next load.

Changing leadership. Rucking is also about leadership and not everyone is comfy about commanding. I definitely am not and – heck I have to learn – this is also valuable for professional life – or for life.

This bath in the Isar. Hydroinspection it was called I think So we were all in pushup position in the Isar, diving underwater. After once I asked Cadre to take over my glasses. In Linz Stealth one guy had lost his in the Danube – and I like my glasses. After that the cold water didn’t bother me, also the rolling over not so much. Water’s my element – and of course I had to think about last year’s Vlissingen hikes where the North Sea waves swept me off my feet and with the ruck underwater and me crawling up on all fours. Very slowly. holding my breath. This time my electronics were safely on land. No pixel message that there’s debris in my charging port.

12km through the beautiful city of Munich. Some information about Green Beret anniversary. Many stories from real Military/Spec Ops life. About courage. About team. About obedience vs. using one’s assets. Commanding – this traces through the whole event but one of the later stories or lessons was about leadership in the manner – to always tell „them“ why. Commanding without purpose is just commanding. But communicating the purpose of the mission – this is essential and is kind of the basic lesson in communication. Pure obedience (like my ingress friends think, Goruck is about) vs. following to realize a common mission. Transfer to school classes – kids do learn stuff if they know why… same thing, I guess…

This was a heck of an interesting ruck. Some stealth assembly inmidst of everyone at the Marienplatz. Just a few pics in shortest time. Move in, unpack flags, post, click, go away. A minimal taste of Spec Ops. Assembly at the Bavaria. Or vomit hill… Everyone seriously earning their patch. 70 years of Green Berets. A very special one.

To my campground, setting up a tent, having a quick shower and then off to the Beer garden. Hey I am in Bavaria ­čÖé A very nice evening with the team, a calm night, continuing with breakfast with a good part of the team – and then off home. Stopping somewhere for Second Saturday Ingress missions, sacrificing a Jarvis for a badge, then REALLY off home. What a weekend!!!!!

In a few weeks I am back for Stealth and ingress anomaly. Thanks, goruck, thanks team, thanks Munich Rucking Club!

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