Are you up for a Challenge?

The unifying experiences of SF are adversity, pain, and long walks in “the environment” with 100 pounds of lightweight gear in a rucksack. Sound like fun? OK, what if they cut the amount of weight, and focus the whole thing on team-building and not chest-beating? (We’re not big on chest-beating, actually. There are SEALS for that).

Then you probably want to look into the GoRuck Challenge. It is, by the way, conducted with a real ruck (a newer one than our old standby on the left, Gott sei dank) and led by a real special operations (mostly SF) vet. Using some of the techniques from SFAS, SFQC, and … combat to get to places in your skull and heart you didn’t know you had. You won’t get killed, you won’t flunk, all you have to do is not quit. “Individuals start the Challenge, a team finishes the Challenge. Together.” But they don’t promise “no suffering.” Per ardua ad astra and all that.

The company behind the GoRuck Challenge, GoRuck, makes some pretty excellent-looking rucksacks and stands behind them with a warranty that will make your eyes pop. Was the Challenge originally a promo tool for the gear? Maybe. I do know that the founder and company are generous donors to an excellent charity, the Green Beret Foundation.

Here’s a capsule bio of the founder, which should give you an idea of his sense of fun:

Jason joined the Army and earned his Green Beret after 9/11 for the paid vacations. His time with America’s best took him to Iraq, Africa, and Europe, and gave him bonds to last a lifetime.  Always inspired by the three rules of Special Forces: (1) Always look cool (2) Never get lost (3) If you get lost, look cool – and recognizing that most gear on the market broke rule number 1 – he founded GORUCK and later the GORUCK Challenge. He is currently either leading a Challenge or drinking beer at a Ruckoff with his chocolate lab, Java.

via Cadre | GORUCK Challenge.

As the kind of sick folks who keep an old LC-1 in the library (near the front door) for occasional doses of humility-through-exercise, we at fully endorse the GoRuck challenge. We’d even try one of the company’s rucksacks, but the problem is a good ruck hardly ever wears out, so we have about 150 years’ supply of rucks in the war and gun rooms, plus the hiking one by the door. We haven’t got 150 years’ worth of knees and ankles (in fact, we’re all out of left ankles already. Damned parachutes).