May Ruck Back Blast 5/25/18 Tours Of Louisville

Ok, this is going to be a bit lengthy so grab a beverage and try and enjoy.  I’ll try and take you exactly through the events of the night.  It will be like you were there sans the calloused and blistered feet.

Due to the peer pressure of Kilo, I caved and took the May ruck.  I knew I couldn’t do it alone, so I entrusted the highly qualified GRT veteran Wham!  We’ve been tossing around ideas for a few weeks.  I knew I wanted to cover a decent amount of mileage and together this is what we came up with for the PAX.

Qadre’s – OJ & Wham!

PAX: Hot Wheels, Snowman, Old Bay, Mouth, Catfish, Double Down (R), PK, Kilo, Newman, and one 50lb sand bag, and an American Flag.

Conditions: Hot – 87 degrees at the start

Start location: Mary T Meagher Pool parking lot

Before we started I marked everyone’s right hand with a red X.  It’s the symbol to end slavery, much like the puzzle piece for autism, and the pink ribbon for breast cancer.    I’ll explain more later about our 3rd F aspect here later in the blast.

To get the blood flowing and welcome them in we did:

10 Man Makers oyo

20 Copperhead Squats IC

20 Flutter Kicks holding ruck above your head IC

Next we moseyed around the corner and I asked the PAX to line up next to each other on their six and interlock their elbows with their rucks on their chest

10 Big Boy Sit Ups on my count – this needed teamwork

Next we put the rucks back on and made two trips up the hill to the fence via bear crawls and crawl bears back down.  We all agreed it was further than we thought as coming down you’d think you were there and you had another 10-15 feet to go.

10 minutes in and it was time to hit the road.  We counted off 1-11 and I told them that we needed to alternate the bag in order for the first 3 hours and the last hour, whatever beast wanted to carry could do so.  This would change later on…

I told the PAX we’d have to hit certain checkpoints along the way.  No surprises or anything and there were no rules on how we got there.

Checkpoint 1 – The Big Four Bridge, which is 3.5 miles from our start point.

We took a right on Frankfort and we were off and running rucking.  All through the evening we got those “What are you guys doing?” comments.  “Is this some kind of Memorial Day thing?”  Ok so that got old but whatever.

We arrived at the Big 4 Bridge and escaped any gang violence that would most likely be on the horizon later that evening.  Pic op and it was on to the next checkpoint.  The Belvedere.

Looking at our pace/time, I knew we were off maybe 10-15 min here so we got after it.  As the PAX were starting to stretch out, I was in the front with Newman and let me tell you, this guy should not be judged by his size but by his grit and determination.  He took that sand bag and started a brisk sprint.  I was like, umm ok I can’t let you just take off and leave us all so he and I ran along the river, passing Joe’s Crab Shack, watched as the Belle of Louisville took off for an evening cruise, up the steps to the Belvedere and we were gassed.  The rest of the PAX arrived and we dropped the rucks for a snack and some more hydration.

Wham! Challenge

Wham! took us to the other end about halfway down the Belvedere for a two team challenge.  Five PAX on each side would line up along the columns on each side and take off single file along the columns (like a balance beam) and then sprint to the end.  Winning team would be rewarded shortly.  I was in front on our side and Old Bay in front on the other side.  We took off and my man OB shot out of there like a rocket.  I looked over and he might as well been on the USA gymnastics balance beam team.  He was gone.  His team won as we finished sprinting the last 20 yards (heavy breathing).

Wham! then had us remove our rucks and put them on the ground in front of you.  Next we did a minute burpee jump over your ruck burpee challenge.  When finished he asked us to take the number we did and subtract it from 25.  We then did on his count the remaining numbers via merkins that would take us back up to 25.  Wham! does ruck merkins with ease (stud).

Here’s where the winning team got a little relief.  The losers had to carry the winner’s rucks for a period leaving the Belvedere.

Next checkpoint – Louisville Slugger Field

– Now I knew there would be a Friday night game when I was choosing the route I wanted to take the PAX on in planning this.  What do they do on Friday night games?  Shoot fireworks!  I thought it would be cool to be right there as they went off.  Well we mistimed it by about 8-10 minutes.  They started going off as we left the Belvedere, boo.  I was hoping to be closer.   Still they were cool and were still going off by the time we approached Joe’s Crab Shack.

Looking at the time, I knew I had two more PT checkpoints to hit and we were behind.  Navigating downtown traffic really slowed us down.  I entrusted Mr. GPS (PK) to navigate the fastest way back to the highlands. So we took Main all the way through NULU down to Barrett.

As the PAX was starting to slow on our journey, I reminded them of their red X and all of the hopeless and trapped women enslaved into sex and prostitution.  It is a real thing and it goes on everywhere.

We made it to Dog Hill and I told the PAX this would be the last checkpoint as time was getting late.  In listening to the awesome stories from Toledo, we heard about the infamous elephant walk.  Each person would bend over and put one hand in front of him and the other through his legs and grab the hand of the person behind him.  The goal was to march all the way down Dog Hill and back up.  We made it to the bottom and called it there.  We needed to make up some time in order to finish close to the 4 hour time limit.

**What happened on Dog Hill was one for the books.  As we approached, we could see 3-4 young kids halfway down the hill.  Mouth immediately laid into them with a barrage of questions including sex and drugs.  I heard one of them give the stock answer “no sir, we don’t partake in that.”  Then they had to watch 11 men who looked like a human centipede mosey down this hill in the dark.  I can’t imagine what they were saying as we did this.  Needless to say, we all got a great laugh with the banter back and forth with the kids.

Next checkpoint the finish – Frankfort Ave Beer Depot

Alright OJ, let’s wrap it up.  30 min to go and we had a little over two and a half miles to go.  We exited the park and headed up Grinstead drive which seemed like forever.  We did eventually hit the fourth checkpoint I had planned on as I was going to do something on Seminary Hill.  We did that back in January with Zartan and I thought it was the toughest thing I’ve done since joining F3.

Arrival at FABD at 12:12 am.

Ohh and I can’t forget to mention the PK change. I swear it’s like he goes in as Clark Kent and comes out Superman.

Was it tough? Yes.  Am I sore today?  Yes.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely. I consumed 60 oz of fluids and only had one gel.

F3 recap – The Victory House in Paducah KY

The Victory Through Grace House is a non profit organization that houses women that have been rescued out of slavery and sex trafficking rings. My mother donates a lot of time there.

The HIMs of this group donated nearly $300 to which I’ll purchase a VISA gift card for the house.  I thought that would be better than a HD or Lowe’s card as many of the women that come to the house have little or no clothing.  The House can do whatever it wants or needs with the money.  Just know that they are bringing girls to Jesus and empowering them to start new lives.  I’ve met a few of the girls that have made it out of some dark places and it’s truly a joy to see.

Post Credits Scene**********

Kilo and Hot Wheels stopped to get their cars prior to arriving at FABD.  So we all decided that he’d take our rucks back to our cars and all we had to do was walk back.  Easy peazy right?  No ruck weight, just a .25 mile walk down the back end of the reservoir fence.  Whew!  What an incredible evening.  Uhh Ohh! What is that?  It was a barbed wire fence.  We were trapped.  It would be a 25 min walk back around the reservoir to get to our cars.

Mission Impossible theme plays softly in the background…

Mouth and Old Bay found a section at the bottom of the fence that we could pull up about a foot and a half or so.  So we shimmed under the fence back to the rides.

Mouth has a knack for saving the PAX (GPS) late in games.  😉

I had fun working with Wham! coming up with the ruck and I hope the PAX enjoyed it.

I love this group

-OJ

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