Why I Want to Work for GORUCK

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Forward: First and foremost, out of respect for my current employer, I have to say that I have had a great career, and worked with some wonderful people who have become like family to me. I have also earned the trust of some very significant clients in the business world, and for that I am thankful. This life move for me is based on personal choices I have made in wanting to improve my life. But more so, I hope I can write this in a way that will make people think. Make people move. Make people wake up, take notice, personal inventory, whatever… and fucking live. Live for a living.

Are You Living?

Yesterday, driving through downtown Atlanta, an obviously stressed-out, frustrated lady in a VW Beetle, complete with namaste and peace sign flashing, frog stickers, flipped me off in traffic. There was a certain hilarity in the hypocrisy of the image she was trying to portray, versus her actual actions as played out in the streets of real life.

Then, looking at all the billboards along the highway, I noticed that every service company, every business school, every product, was trying to “sell me” with messages of meaningful acquisition via uber-simplicity, thus promising the greatest gain for the least amount of effort.

We’ve become a nation of comforts. And from my frame of reference in the bigger cities, a nation of growing perceived value in materialism, coupled with a lesser value in personal relationships. Real relationships. Not Tinder hookups, nor Facebook friends, nor Instagram followers, but real, honest, “go through some real shit together”-relationships.

And lastly, one of my biggest pet peeves, and until lately, my own personal struggles as well, the apathy of our daily lives. Most of us wake up, maybe exercise, but most likely that’s just an intention. We slug down some coffee, tea, drugs, or whatever else will get us together enough to face the day; and then, get in our heated or air conditioned cars, drive to our climate-controlled offices, send emails a’plenty, suffer through increasingly more mindless, meaningless meetings, all centered around some cause we most likely don’t even believe in, and smile and nod and share our talents for really no purpose at all.

…but hey, it’s a job right?

And we repeat this day after day, year after year, until something changes to change us. Or worse, nothing changes, and we die without ever really living in the first place.

If this is not you. I applaud you. You are the minority, …but I’m about to join you.

GORUCK HQ

Not me. Not anymore.

After a series of dramatic life events, some out of my control, but many within my control, and just results of poor, self-centered decision-making, I found myself needing to tackle a few important things:

  1. To be a better a man.
  2. To work for something in which I am passionate.
  3. To work for something that gives back to a worthy cause.

While #1 is a long personal journey, #2 and #3 are easily satisfied by associating myself with an organization like GORUCK. I own, and swear by, their gear; I do the events, and I know, first-hand, the life-changing experiences that come from taking on these GORUCK challenges.

Who is GORUCK?

Most of you in OCR are at least familiar with GORUCK, but most likely know very little about the company, and the events.

GORUCK, as a company does two great things – it designs, develops, and produces top-quality rucking gear and accessories. The gear is made with quality in mind, not margin. Yes, it’s a business, but the primary goal is quality. GORUCK gear is made in the USA, has a ridiculously simple “break it and we’ll fix it” product guarantee on all rucks, and should you ever need to actually talk to someone, you can email, or speak, directly to a human being.

The second great thing GORUCK does it put on unique events designed to challenge individuals, and develop teamwork, through a series of physical, mental and emotional tasks, all rolled up into a 6, 12, or 24-hour experience. There’s even a 5K event, allowing folks to get a small taste of the vibe of GORUCK.

The world needs GORUCK

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I am passionate about GORUCK because, again, as someone who has done the events, I can truly say that the experiences have contributed to changing my life. Perhaps the greatest thing GORUCK has taught me is the value and efficiency in teamwork. Outside of the Kill That 5K event, you will not get through a GORUCK event without participating, and contributing, to the team.

You walk away from these events smarter, stronger, and with a greater sense of life not being all about you. You learn to solve challenging tasks as a group, and get to experience the elation associated with that kind of success.

It’s amazing to watch participants during the post event “ruck-off”. You literally watch people change. People bond, shake hands, hug, talk about the crazy challenges they conquered, swear to do another one, on and on and on.

We are inherently social beings. We need each other. GORUCK gives us a way to play that out.

Just like every person on the planet could benefit from the kind of training the military delivers to young men and women, every single person on the planet can benefit from GORUCK events. While GORUCK event leaders (called “cadre”) are current, or previous special forces military personnel, the events they design are for everyone.

I love that. GORUCK really is focused on building better Americans.

Lastly, and so very important to me as someone who’s number one man in his life is a World War II veteran, GORUCK donates a significant portion of profits to veterans-related causes. This is the icing on the cake for me, and satisfies my #3 so very nicely.

We treat our veterans like shit. I’m appalled by it, embarrassed about it, and feel the need to apologize to every veteran I see who finds themselves having to fight with the government for medical and financial benefits owed to them for service. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have the freedom to write all my passionate tirades, or the freedom to do anything I do.

We owe our veterans everything they deserve and then some. The fact that GORUCK is not only built on this foundation, but also supports it greatly, makes it one of the greatest places I could ever choose to work.

GORUCK Challenge

So How About You?

What are you passionate about? Do you love what you do? Could you take your skills and seek out a company that shares in your values, AND could benefit from your experience? Or maybe, even start your own.

I get it. Some people will say, “hey, I do what I gotta do to pay the bills.” …and I totally get it; but so do I. I have a kid in college, family members to help support, life hobbies and adventures, general living expenses. I get it.

But nothing stops you from taking that first step and questioning it.

Stop right now. Think about who you would like to work for, and write down three organizations that satisfy your dream job, and make it happen.

Worst thing that happens, you learn something about yourself.

Best thing that happens, you follow your passion, and succeed.

Either way, you win.

Do nothing, and you lose to your dreams.

Live for Living.

Thanks for reading, and thank you GORUCK for believing in me. I plan to join you in creating the rucking revolution, because, again, the world needs GORUCK.

 

2014 Cranky Bastard 5K Race Results

Results will be updated every couple of days until 11:59 p.m., December 31, 2014, at which time the race ends, and we will not accept any further submissions. Please submit all race times to Queen of ORM at val@obstacleracingmedia.com

5K Treadmill Race Results

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5K Outdoor Race Results

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2014 Cranky Bastard Virtual 5K Race

2014 Cranky Bastard Virtual Race Medal

We are a bunch of liars

When we launched the Cranky Bastard Virtual Race last year, we said it was only going to be a one-time event.

That didn’t turn out too well. We had to cap the number of participants due to the number of medals on-hand, so some people did not get to race, and thus missed out on what could most likely be one of the coolest pieces of 5K finisher hardware, ever.

Here’s another thing we learned – People prefer 5Ks. For those just coming to us, a 5K is more accessible and fun; and for those of you fire-breathing speedsters, a 5K offers the opportunity for maximum speed and strong competition.

FUN FACT – Last year’s 5K winner was the 2013 World’s Toughest Mudder, Ryan Atkins. Any of you speedsters gonna chase him down?

It’s big. thick and meaty

Truth be told, we clown Cranky because he is so vocal about disliking medals. We think he’s just trying to be cool, but what better way to taunt him than to create the thickest, highest quality, solid piece of hardware that is so heavy, you have to sign a disclaimer to wear it. Ok, not really, no waivers …but it’s a damn nice medal  – if you are going to bother to offer a medal, make it be something unique and desirable. The Cranky Bastard 5K medal is all that.

Register now – It’s simple, fast and easy

  1. Register online. Same inexpensive entry as last year – $25 (Only 200 slots available)
  2. Decide on treadmill, or outdoor division
  3. {optional} Talk trash on the Facebook event page. Taunt your friends
  4. Break out the Garmin, Suunto, or mobile phone GPS tracking app
  5. Run your 5K. Run the distance as many times as you want, but submit only once
  6. Submit your race time to the Queen of ORM (must include screenshot)*
  7. Watch the rankings pages for your inclusion in the online rankings
  8. Collect your medal **
See the 2013 results – and a funny note about that, the Cranky Bastard Virtual Race actually got picked up by Athlinks.

* To be eligible for rankings, you must submit proof in the form of run tracking data, screenshot, phone picture, etc. If you have any questions, please email val@obstacleracingmedia.com. We will take submissions through 11:59, January 7, 2015.

** This is a USA-only event. Due to the cost of shipping medals, we must limit participation to USA address runners only. Medals will begin shipping at the end of the race period, January 7, 2015. 

 

 

Christian (a.k.a Cranky) is Chasing Selection!

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Obstacle Racing Media’s very own Christian “Cranky” Griffith, has announced he is chasing 2015 GORUCK Selection! What is GORUCK Selection you ask? According to the GORUCK Selection website:

“GORUCK SELECTION

48+ HOURS, 80+ MILES
AVERAGE PASS RATE: < 10%

Patterned directly after Special Forces Selection, this event is a different beast altogether. The Cadre are actively trying to make you quit. This is our only event where we may performance drop you if you fail to meet the standard.”

Still not sure what GORUCK Selection is? Check out what happened in the latest Selection class here: GORUCK Selection 015

CRANKY…Why?

Cranky is asking for everyone’s help in holding him accountable while he is training for this goal. Is he really ready to take on this challenge? Will he put in the work to succeed? That’s why he needs you, yes YOU!

Your support, your encouragement, your “kind” words (sometimes he may need a swift kick in the ass)…are greatly appreciated as Cranky takes on this epic journey.

He will be posting a training blog that we can follow along with which will feature such things as: training, advice, resources, and most of all your ENCOURAGEMENT!

Cranky’s journey is extremely interactive! Without the help and support of his fellow OCR friends, he may not make it to the end. It is up to YOU to help push Cranky to his goal…

FINAL GORUCK SELECTION CANDIDATE! 

Check out his first CALL FOR SUPPORT and rally together to support him in his amazing epic/crazy (some may say: insane, idiot, death wish) journey for GORUCK Selection 2015!

 

Go Pound Gravel

Foreword: It says alot about Matt B. Davis, and our entire ORM team, to support my inclusion in this media company. My writing can downright make OCR enthusiasts uncomfortable, and even angry at times; yet, Matt and team ORM support me because what I talk about is real. It’s real stuff, really happening, and that we all see, in a sport we all know and love. It doesn’t always create feelings of sunshine and kittens, but ORM understands the importance and value of artistic freedom, rather than buckling under the pressure of just wanting to be liked among our community peers.

Love it or hate it, our unique content is what separates us from the handfuls of promo-code pimps, and I’ll champion for artistic freedom over popularity, any day of the week.

Lack of Athletic Integrity

Awhile back, I wrote an article about cheating in obstacle races, and more specifically, the huge number of participants not performing their burpee penalties when failing an obstacle during a Spartan Race.

“Oh, I’m sorry, you’re under-trained and 20 lbs overweight? by all means, skip the penalty, here’s your participation token for a job almost well done.”

“And by the way, see that dude with one leg, a ruck sack, and full fatigues? Sucks for him, too, but he did it.”

Do the Task or Stay Home

Now, recently, we’ve all seen the image floating around Facebook of the dude I like to affectionately refer to as, “Gravel Guy” – the dude who empties his bucket in what appears to an effort to make the challenge easier.

Spartan Race Cheater "gravel guy"

And once again, this topic of participation integrity comes up in the social sphere, and also once again, I have some very strong opinions on this topic; HOWEVER, I most want to address some of our community’s response to the post.

“And Go…”

I am proud to call Margaret Schlachter, of the popular OCR blog community, Dirt in your Skirt, a friend; and, I believe it may have been her that posted the image first. She made no judgement at the time, just linked to the image, and simply said, “And go…”

And people did.

Facebook Spartan cheat post

However, what struck me the most was the OCR community’s response to such actions. First, one must assume, as did almost all the respondents, that the participant did this in an effort to make the task easier, and thus cheat. Making this same assumption, I would like to randomly address some of the comments that resulted from the image.

“I always say its your race worry about your actions.”

Or another, “Why does it even matter? It’s his race. You’re not running to beat him. You don’t know his story or struggles. “

It’s not your race. It’s not my race. The race has a race owner, director, and the format has very specific, written rules, regarding participant conduct. I believe this comment to be indicative of the “I paid my entry fee, I can do whatever I want” culture. It has no place in OCR, nor sport at all.

His story and struggles are again not relevant. The rules of sport and participation do not change based on your personal circumstances, interpretations or whims of the moment.

“unless in competitive wave, the experience is personal”

What??? So, if someone doesn’t pay the extra money for the first wave, they are not competitive? How exactly do we define who is competitive and who is not? See above. The experience might be personal to you, but its not your race to do whatever you want.

“No one here can judge him.”

From a sporting perspective, he absolutely can be judged. For an athlete to be disqualified in legitimate sport, there is first a case made for the infraction, both sides share their perspective, and a “judge” decides whether or not the athlete will be disqualified or penalized. If I see a photo of a participant cheating an obstacle, I feel perfectly justified to judge that action as such.

He might be as sweet as a pecan sandy, as a person, but he’s cheating an obstacle in athletic competition.

“You people need to find something better to do with your time! Be supportive, not rude!”

Seriously? Be supportive of what exactly? cheating? taking a shortcut? displaying poor athletic integrity?

I get it. There are some topics that fire people up, and some that just don’t have that same effect. But as someone who believes strongly in athletic integrity, I’m glad some of us are taking the time to share the perspective that cheating, and tolerance of such, puts a black eye in the game for everyone.

“This post could be very embarrassing for them and they might not come back into the game.”

So what? Then dude shouldn’t have emptied his bucket in front of official photographers. Hopefully, the lesson learned for dude was not to cheat. If he wants to continue to cheat, then I hope he, they, whoever, don’t come back.

In trail racing, if you are caught cutting the course, you will be DQ’d. Plain and simple.

If you purposely dump your bucket in a Spartan Race, thus “course cutting” your obstacle challenge by choice, you should be DQ’d.

A Simple Concept.

It makes me crazy that this is such a difficult concept for some in our community to grasp, and especially when you consider the roots of OCR, and the strong influence of police, fire and military conduct.

Do the task or stay home.

Can’t do the task? Do your burpees. Take your lumps. Go home, learn the task, and come back to fight another day.

It’s that simple.

That’s not just a lesson in OCR, that’s the basic premise of living a successful life.

Cheating is universally unacceptable in sport.

OCR should be no different.

 

2013 Cranky Bastard Virtual Race Results

Results will be updated every couple of days until 11:59 p.m., January 31, 2014, at which time the race ends, and we will not accept any further submissions. Please submit all race times to Queen of ORM at val@obstacleracingmedia.com

Register Now Post Your Times (and talk some trash)

2013 Cranky Bastard 5K Race Results

Age Group Winners – Men

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2013 Cranky Bastard 10K Race Results

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Register Now Post Your Times (and talk some trash)