What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Things that didn’t kill us: inattentive drivers, ruck-on uphill bear crawling, tender breast meat, and a rando with an assault rifle on a dark trail.
Number of Pax: 4
Pax Names: Gut Check, Einstein, 8-Bit, Hooch
Warm-O-Rama: Wednesday Night Special is every other week. Except when we can't wait another week. 2100 hrs., Woodstock Amphitheater, shovel flag in the ground, and 4 men rucking out.
The Thang: We rucked a good pace through Hubbard Road and Serenade, so we could take a nice long PT break at Sam's Club. Themed PT for the evening started with some alliteration. Ruck-on SQUATS and ruck-off SIT-UPS at SAM'S. 30 of each, then 20, then 10. Ruck on, move out. At this point, despite reflective bands, headlamps, and bright red tail lights, with the WALK sign on and in the middle of the crosswalk, my brothers almost got run down right in front of my eyes. There is absolutely no substitute for awareness when it comes to our safety on the roadways, boys.
Down Professional Pkwy behind Stars 'n' Strikes, right on Stockwood for hills and some PT. Gut Check and 8-Bit accused a car passing by of wafting some wacky wind our way, so we paused at mile 2 for 10 "Mary Jane" Merkins and 10 "Doobie" Derkins, with the ruck on, of course. Stockwood makes a loop back into itself, and once we returned to a massive hill we'd just descended, it seemed just the right challenge to make mile 3 PT a 200 meter bear crawl uphill with the ruck on. Gloves would have been a nice touch.
Retrace our steps back out to Hwy 92 in front of Stars 'n' Strikes, make 2 other pedestrians mildly uncomfortable tailing them for 1/4 mile, then left onto the top secret driveway that cuts through to Heritage Walk. One last PT stop at the Chick-Fil-A Dwarf House for our final themed work of the night. Ruck-On Merkins (Tender Breast Meat), Single-Arm ruck side-rows (to bulk up those lil chicken wings), and (saving the best cut for last) ruck-on lunges for an exquisite thigh-meat finale. This progression from light meat to dark meat began with 20 reps of each exercise, then 15, then 10, and 5. It was a bit of a smoker.
Rucked (with more alertness) back across Hwy 92, through the Creekstone office park, and cut through the secret gate onto the Noonday Creek Trail. Two steps through the gate, and a dark figure is observed to our left walking our direction on the trail. IT'S TOWN & COUNTRY!!!! Dude who lives in his van down by the [creek] (and hence the name). Cameo appearance for 1/2 mile, before going back to fetch his van/mobile apartment and meet the men at Waffle House. Small detail - he was (for reasons unknown, other than his love for guns and the freedoms of life in Georgia) wearing his A.R. on his shoulder. Those men who don't know him as well were possibly a bit uncomfortable at this point. Perhaps.
Back to the amphitheater. 6 1/4 miles or so of good living under the weight of the ruck sack but free from the weight of the world. Great times with our brothers.
COT: We prayed for one another and for several in our circle of influence, and just before YHC uttered an "amen", my bride called to let me know it was time to come welcome a foster child into our home. We're here to give, serve, and love, and we can do this knowing we've been given so much, served so honorably, and loved so deeply, by the Lord Himself.
Naked Man Moleskin: Not even the PT work made my heart beat quick like that lady turning left onto 92 and not seeing us until the last second. Was she distracted by a device or just fixated on the oncoming headlights, wondering if she was safe to turn? It was a good reminder that we are not in control of what we think we are. And that no amount of preparation (adorned with lights and reflective materials) is enough. It is a combination of the alertness of mind (situational awareness) and ultimately the mercy of God that will keep us alive. That's it. So let's be alert. And let's be dependent on Him.
These rucks with my brothers make me stronger in body, mind, and soul. Thank you for joining me, Gut Check, 8-Bit, and Einstein (who responded to my last-hour call out). I am blessed beyond measure to call you my friends.