Rucking in the park. So, originally when I signed in for the journey to Athens there was an option – Athens walk through the night – sightseeing in the dark. For the trip was a present, M. asked if I wanted to book this – yet – I had planned on GORUCK – so I said no. Turns out, GORUCK didn’t take us through the city. Yet we learned to know the Niarchos park very closely.

Weights for fly-in agents organized, me in my airplane, arriving at ten-something, had the option to check in early. So I dumped the contents of my GR2, kept what I needed, got some extra water into the bladder, collected a bag of electrolytes, reflectors, headlamp and found a way to Syntagma – there, supposedly, was the bus A2 going off to Niarchos.

Only…no bus. Me, waiting, not daring to go away to grab food. I had had a minimum breakfast and a Pretzel in the plane. So basis for rucking for 6h. No bus. Well. Still no bus and I decided to find a taxi.

The driver brought me to the park in a few minutes, I paid, met with the agent bringing weights. We all met, set up our RES Europe flag. Settled weights into the backpacks. I sprinted shortly to the next cafe to get minimum food. And we all went into the park to the meeting point.

Cadre Barbarossa. Long curly beard. Clearly to be recognized. One agent was still missing, but we slowly did our roll call, line-up, ruck check, and WoD with a remember their names-workout and a finite number of burpees. A large finite number.

Carrying people was the main theme. Around the park. We organized, tried different approaches, three-people-carry, four-people-carry. Our muscular team missed a 40-kg person. But we had to rotate anyway.

Feedback session. Improvement needed with communication. With „staying together both, ENL and RES“

Electrolytes were our friends during the event. Water is super important, but salt tablets and electrolyte powder gets the body to run in hot conditions. Sweated salt needs to be replaced.

Challenges. Here it comes – Bear walk, Tunnel of Love, Glyph guessing, Local history, Plank, Portal Capture, Ruck hold. Not necessarily in this order. 8 ENL vs us 7. For the Bear relay one of us had to go twice.

This is – again – about the grit, as my former triathlon coachee was once posing it – sticktoitness. And – just as important, about team work. We had a second round of carrying a person around the park. This time less rotation, more communication, still not perfect – but hey, who’s perfect. Both teams stayed together, carried their people.

For some reason (I wonder why) this GORUCK event went by much much faster than MUNICH… could be that Munich was 12 hours or such. We arrived at a 4:2 score for the RESistance, – one more challenge but we knew we had won. The tunnel of love had required some skin sacrifices, the whole event had required some resilience against rain. We were soaking wet all evening. (but as my friend and fellow smurf once said: smurfs are water proof starting level 14).

Note to self – practice some more planking and bear crawling.

All together – this was a really really good team – we had brainy people with grits and strength and determination. Team GORUCK Titans. Yeah – when in Greece, name after Greek mythology.

We collaborated. trusted each other. Grew to know each other. Thanks, Titans, thanks, cadre. And thanks, Greek organization, for facilitating the materials and support.

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