GORUCK Tough

I will eventually regale you with the full story of my GORUCK Challenge experience. It was, by almost any standard, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced yet also one of the most rewarding and educational.

For now, I’m exhausted, in pain, drained, and almost delirious with tiredness. So, such tales will follow, I promise. Let me just suffice to say that I had amazing teammates and every stitch of it was earned by them as much as myself. And that is, perhaps, the most important lesson that this experience teaches. It’s not about you, it’s about every other member of your team. It’s as much your job to get yourself through as it is to get them through (actually, more so). What gets you through is that they hold this same standard for themselves and you. And this is the very definition of teamwork.

Will Not Be Televised

If you are reading this today, I’m likely under some log, or weight, or human in the GORUCK Challenge. Not much more to say other than I will see you on the other side.

You Can’t

That’s what the world tells us.

“It’s too hard.”

“It’s too expensive.”

“It doesn’t pay well enough. “

“How are you going to support yourself?”

“Your chances are between slim and none.”

“No one really does that for a living.”

“That’s not a real job.”

These are the sorts of things that we hear. It usually starts after early childhood. When those dreams of being anything you want to be…

“I want to be an astronaut!”

Because your parents tell you you can grow up to be anything you want if you put your mind to it…

“I want to be President!”

Because they really do wish it to be true for you…

“I want to be a Mutant Ninja Ranger!”

Because they love you and don’t want you to believe otherwise….

“I want to be a Kangaroo!”

Usually begin to be crushed not too long after by the realities and the expectations of a world that tells us otherwise. By schools that teach us to conform. By companies that teach us to consume. By societies that teach us to blend in.

They do this in a variety of ways. They tell us any of those excuses above. They fill us with fear of failure measured against their interpretations of success. They promote the value of easy over hard, of cost over worth, of reality over dreams.

“You are [insert some perceived impediment here] so you can’t be an astronaut.”

“The chances of being the President, especially for a [insert some stumbling block here] kid, are so small you might want to try for something a bit more realistic.”

“There are no such things as Mutant Ninja Rangers.”

“Humans can’t be kangaroos.”

But most of all, they figure out every possible way to make us believe in one big idea…

“You can’t.”

But, here’s a secret I’m going to tell you. One that I wish I could travel back in time to tell my five year old self. One that I wish I could tell to your five year old self too.

The world is wrong. You really can be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it. Those that do so, those that dare to dream and who refuse believe in limitations always figure out a way. The kid who rejects such notions becomes the adult who shows it all to be a lie. And, for every “can’t”, I’m betting there is at least one example of someone who proves the “can too”.

There are examples of astronauts who were told they couldn’t be because of their gender. There are real-life superheroes who spend time dressed up in costume doing real-life good deeds and crime fighting. I’m sure we can find at least one person who lives as a kangaroo. And I’m sure our current President was told countless times he could never be President because of his race.

My point being is that, while it may not always be easy and the chances may be far against you, it does not mean what you dream of doing is impossible. That is what they want you to believe and it is a lie. And the sooner you believe that whatever crazy, outlandish, daring, brash, or, maybe even, important idea you have is possible the quicker you can get on with the work of finding a way to do it.

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