With My Shield or On It!

“ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς” –Spartan moms in a time before enlightened parenting

 

I am ready to ruck! I’ve trained for weeks, obsessed minutely over man-toys Vitally Important Equipment Choices,™ and I just managed to give myself a second-degree burn with a piece of paracord that caught on fire. (Don’t ask.) But now I’m ready!

The event isn’t a race where participants compete against each other but a quasi-military model where we’re all on the same team and the fun is to carry out ludicrous challenges dreamed up by the race director. (E.g. “Next, jump in the water and then schlep your backpacks, a sandbag, and this telephone pole to the top of that hill. You have 30 minutes. Go.”)

I’m intensely curious about who shows up to such an event. I’m guessing it will be one part military types, one part mountaineers, and two parts people like me, hyperactive desk workers who did Tough Mudders and then asked, “Now what?”

Anthropologically, I wonder where these people will come from. These events are culturally very Red: run by ex-soldiers with commemorations of deceased service members, flag-centered ritualism, and plenty of American civic religion. And yet they are holding this particular event in San Francisco, the Vatican City of Blue America. I love juxtapositions like this and wonder whether I will meet a lot of other category-straddling Purple weirdos like me.

20180809_215349Gear is laid out all over the living room floor and I’m about to scrunch it into the pack like Tetris pieces. From toe to head we have: hiking boots with mesh sides (Moab Ventilators) to drain water; East German army socks and Fox River sock liners; yoga shorts that make me look like a pole dancer; tough Flecktarn shirt with huge pockets; Swedish surplus rucksack that was supposed to be a birthday present for Michelle Skadisdottir (sorry, dude!) that I pimped out and filled with the regulation 30# of weights; British surplus windbreaker; boonie hat (because the logs scrape your ears) with a headlamp; and pocket knife, Ibuprofen, and duct tape (because Macgyver).

20180809_215200In honor of my comrades at the Thursday Freedom Squad and CR&GC, I am packing our last can of fishcock. There is NFW I will eat it—it will be hard enough not to vomit if I have to bear walk up a hill backwards. No, I will be eating super-caffeinated German army chocolate and M&Ms, thank you, but I will take the fishcock along to be magically infused with Hooah Vibes© and then we can serve it out on a hilltop with mead when Son of Matt holds a blot for us.

I will be back on Saturday, with my shield or on it!

 

One thought on “With My Shield or On It!

  1. “Military types, Mountaineers, and hyperactive desk workers who did Tough Mudders and then asked, “Now what?”:

    You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.

    The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of weighted-march-loving people everywhere march with you.

    In company with our brave marchers and brothers-in-marching on other Challenges you will bring about the destruction of your ego, the elimination of identity politics of obsessed SJW’s, and liberty for ourselves in a self-actualized world.

    Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will tweet savagely.

    But this is the year 2018. Much has happened since the SJW triumphs of 2013-2015. Heterodox Academy has inflicted upon identity politics great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our long-form, YouTube offensive has seriously reduced their strength on social media and their capacity to wage war in print. Our intellectual diversity has given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of reason, and placed at our disposal great reserves of intelligent libertarians. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory.

    I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in rhetoric. We will accept nothing less than full victory.

    Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

    Liked by 1 person

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