This past weekend I participated in my very first Ranger Challenge competition.
It was hands down THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER DONE. Physically, that is.
And it felt so good to cross the finish line.
Because a) it was over. And b) WE WOOOOOOOOOON!!!
It was one of those races where we were neck-and-neck at the end, even though we had a substantial lead going in to the second-to-last event. But due to some poor planning on the part of the people in charge of the Functional Fitness Test, we were just behind UC Boulder on our way to the last station (poncho rafts). Thankfully, we had practiced a lot for this and weren't even phased when they told us we had to construct 4 waterproof poncho rafts and carry them to the bridge without them coming undone. After a slight set-back, we got the go-ahead while UC Boulder was still getting "no-gos." We booked it over to the bridge, they inspected our ponchos, and then we slashed the ropes, stuffed our ponchos in our rucks and took off up the super steep incline to the finish.
As we walked across the finish line, my heart burned within me. Tears came to my eyes as I thought about all we had just gone through together. And we had reached our goal. In case you're wondering, we had just rucked 25 miles with 40 pound packs on our backs. We started at 3am and only stopped for the skill stations which included land navigation, TCCC (first aid), hand grenade throwing, weapons assembly/disassembly, call for fire, radio operations, and the functional fitness test.
I am so proud of the team and so grateful for the opportunity I had to share that experience with them. Everything worth it in life is like that. It's so hard, but so rewarding.
Thanks, Josh, for recruiting me to be on this team and for constantly inspiring me.
Thanks, Allen, for being an amazing team leader and constantly encouraging us.
And thank you to all my teammates for carrying my ruck for the majority of the way, for pushing me and helping me every step of the way.
You all are my heroes.
I could not have made it across the finish line were it not for the dedication and perseverance, the strength and selflessness of these men.