Monday, December 30, 2019

By the Numbers

Image result for 2019 pictures 

Sixth annual yearly numbers recap

Physical activity

738.04 miles ran,rucked or walked. Hit my goal of 700 miles. That's about 300 more miles than last year. Next year I hope to hit 1000 miles for the first time in about 5 years.

165 workouts that's an average of 3.17 a week, Hit my goal of 3 workouts per week. Next year will raise the goal to 4. 

10,000 push-ups and sit-ups and 5000 burpees for the year.  Hit my goal on this. I will keep this goal for next year and add 2500 pull ups.

69 BJJ sessions and 156 hours of training. That's an average of 1.32 sessions/3 hours per week.  Hit my goal of at least 1 session per week. Currently on a 125 week unbroken attendance streak. I will set my new goal at 2 times per week.

18 No Gi BJJ training sessions for the year. My original goal was 2 session per month. I averaged 1.5 times. I will keep this goal the same.

2 BJJ competitions. Got a 1 gold and 2 silvers. I am probably on hiatus from competition for awhile.

4 GoRuck events 3 Lights, 1 Tough and a 26.2 mile Star Course

1 25K Race. I rucked it with 30 lbs 

Mental Activity and Personal Training

13 books read. My goal was 20. I will keep this goal the same. 

1 BJJ Seminar. Week long seminar and got certified as a Gracie Survival Tactics Instructor 

1 Home Defense Tactics Class

1 K9 TCCC course

1 Land the Plane session. I have probably attended this curriculum at least 10 times. Still the best bang for the buck in the self defense realm. 

My own training suffered a bit this year, since I took a full time teaching position. Ill try to do better.  However teaching is a form of training so there is that. 

Teaching Activity and classes taught

3 Community Stop the Bleed classes 

3 CPR classes

1 Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support Course

1 Advanced Medical Life Support Course

1 Emergency Medical Responder Course

2 Emergency Medical Technician Courses

1 Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Course

1 Paramedic Course

3 Active Shooter Response Courses

6 Casualty Care 1 Courses

1 Casualty Care 2 Course

3 Introduction to Defensive Pistol classes

3 Intuitive Defensive Shooting classes

1 Intuitive Defensive Carbine classes

3 Seminars spoken at- Hiawatha EMS Day, Jones County EMS Day and Critical Care Paramedic Refresher

Writing and Podcasts

2 Podcasts episodes produced

14 Personal blog entries

19 Professional blog entries

Slow year on the writing front. No published articles for the first time in a few years. Will get back up to speed in 2020. My personal blog will hit 10 years in 2020. Are blogs still a thing?

EMS and PD

246 EMS calls. I took a full time job as an EMS instructor at a local Community College and quit my full time Paramedic job. This caused my personal call volume to drop some. I also took over as Service Director of a rural ambulance service. Still working about 24 hours a week as a Medic.

116.5 hours worked as a Reserve Police Officer. 

Random Numbers

37 years since Army enlistment
15 years since Army retirement

31 years since Ranger School graduation

29 years since Special Forces Qualification Course Graduation

13 years since becoming an EMT

5 years since becoming a Paramedic

32 years since marriage

That's it. Another great year

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

12 Months 12 Pictures 2019

I started this last year. This will be the second annual













Saturday, December 7, 2019

I love GoRuck I hate GoRuck

GoRuck is a gear company that has events. GoRuck is a event company that sells gear. Its the age old chicken and egg controversy.  GoRuck was originally a company making high end backpacks( rucks) that started using events to market their product. The events took off and then so did the gear and so on and so on. From the Goruck website . I originally heard about GoRuck around 2014 and looked at their original "Radio Ruck" as a everyday carry bag. I didn't buy one quite honestly because it was pretty pricy. Fast forward 6 years and I own 4 GoRuck backpacks of different sizes, A GoRuck Kitbag, a GoRuck gymbag, 2 pairs of GoRuck boots, and a GoRuck pullover. They saw me coming a mile away. I have almost $1000 in GoRuck gear in my house yet I don't consider myself a GoRuck fanboy. That is the dichotomy that is GoRuck.

My first GoRuck Event in 2016 GoRuck Light 1264

One of my issues with GoRuck is the gear. And really its not the gear. Its me and the gear. GoRuck brilliantly markets their gear and events to the GoRuck community. They have built up a community of "GRT" around their events and gear that is vocal and loyal. Its built on a feeling of exclusivity that I will talk about later. However lets be honest GoRucks gear while very durable isn't really the best thing for the actual task at hand. I also own an actual OSPREY backpack for hiking and it is infinitely more comfortable and utilitarian than my GoRuck bags. GoRuck uses a frame sheet rather than an actual frame which provides some support but essentially you are just carrying a large bookbag. However when I am hiking for training it is my GoRuck bag I use. Why? Because they make it so easy to just throw some weight in it and go. Its simple.

I own 2 pairs of GoRuck Macv-1 boots. I don't use them to ruck in even though GoRuck claims they are the best for that activity. Why they are very comfortable, the soles are flat much like sneakers. The lack of aggressive tread keeps them out of my rucking rotation. I prefer to ruck in trail shoes. I wear the boots everyday to work however. So why if the gear is pricey and not really the absolute best do I own so much. In a word..Sales. GoRuck a few times a year launches incredible deals where you can get their $300-$400 items at 30-40% off. That is about $100 on most items. They also offer a year round 25% discount for active,retired military, and first responders. That's how they get me. They allow you to stack discounts and it makes you feel like you are getting quite the bargain. So even though you know that they are treating you like a 17 year old Private buying from a used car salesman you buy anyway. It makes you feel kinda dirty.

My second GoRuck Event in 2017 GoRuck Light Class 1487

Lets talk about GoRuck events. GoRuck says their events are modeled on Special Forces Assessment and Selection. All events are led by Cadre that have served or are serving in US Military Special Operations. Green Berets, Navy SEALS, Air Force PJ, Marine Force Recon/Raiders and many other "Special T shirt" units are represented. Some true American Heros. The founder of the company himself spent 2 years in 10th Special Forces Group my old unit. However this is my problem with the events. The events are definitely "modeled" on SFAS but it is not SFAS and that is the rub. I get irritated when a "GRT" that has drank the koolaid ( many out there) acts as if they have completed selection when for the most part they have completed the equivalent of a hard workout. They main difference is that there are no real consequences, You quit or fail at a GoRuck event you hang you head and go home. You quit or fail at SFAS and your military career takes a 180 degree turn never to be the same. GoRuck  is not real life and it definitely is not living and working as a special operator which I did for 14 years. As I always say "Everyday is a selection event."

What those events are very good at, if you keep them in perspective, is building teamwork and getting folks from different demographics to work together. The mainstay of most events is the equivalent of activities I did during "team week" of selection. Carrying lots of heavy shit, never taking your ruck off. Paying attention to detail, solving leadership issues, completing seeming insurmountable team tasks and staying awake. I recently completed an event where through out the wee hours of the morning four of us carried a 400 lb log for 5 miles. As the log was crushing my soul I looked up at the moon and started smiling. This moment frozen in time reminded me of other similar moments in my life. I was totally happy in that moment. Total teamwork and happiness is something missing from most of our everyday lives. With less than 1% of the US population serving in the all volunteer military its something people crave but may never have experienced prior to GoRuck.

GoRuck Light 2496

GoRuck Light 3038

Naperville 630 Ruck Club Custom Light

Minneapolis 26.2 mile GoRuck Star Course 
GoRuck Tough 3258
GoRuck Light 3320
I joke with my friends that I have "retired" from GoRuck. However  I ruck all the time and my entire workout program is based on sandbag and ruck workouts, bear crawls, burpees, pushups, and other stupid shit that they make you do at events. Recently in silent protest I bought nothing on the most recent sale. I didn't register for any events in 2020. But I have my eye on one this summer none the less. It is what it is.