01/11/2019 GAME NIGHT Backblast

“The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning” – Pele

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Yep, this was a Game Themed Ruck Event brought to the PAX by the Game Show hosts of PK and Malito.

No one knew what they had in story, but everyone knew that those two had some fun in store for the PAX starting at Jeffersontown Veteran’s Memorial Park.  PK and Malito had showed up early to get some prep in, and were waiting for the first of the contestants to show up. The time was 7:42pm and the first of the PAX began rolling in.  As time got closer to 8:00pm, the pre-ruck concerns of a low turn out were beginning to diminish.  PK and Malito had heard rumors before hand that a number of previous HCs were not going to make it out.   Snowmageddon was coming, wives were sending their men out for Milk and Bread.  Or the wives weren’t going to let their smoopie-poos out for a ruck, because PK and Malito are two big of bad-asses and they didn’t want them to get hurt.  We heard them all.  To those brave enough to come out, they were welcomed to an interesting sight. PK and Malito decked out in Game show attire.  Music was playing, a disco ball was shooting lights over the Memorial, and two righteous dudes were dressed like Game Show hosts wearing Suits and Ties.

image from ios

Everyone gathered near the seal while the Karaoke machine was blaring some tunes, Malito was drinking from his “water” bottle, and everyone kept asking, “Are you going to wear that the whole time?”  Once the time turned 8:00pm, Malito gathered everyone around the circle for the pre-ruck disclaimer. It was confirmed, all the HIMs that showed up, were there on their own free will.  They were informed to modify exercises as necessary, be safe, and they were to get ready a game themed beat down.  It was a sight to see, Malito signing out to the PAX, getting 30 men hyped for some fun. SMTM

PAX: OJ, Fanny Pack (R), Diablo, Pork Chop, Gilligan, Alexa, Chestnut, Meter Maid, Momma’s Boy, Piggy, Deep Dish, Nino, Retainer, Nice and Slow, Jolly Rancher, Huggies, Scubba Steve, FlowJo, Worm, FNG, Mr. Kotter, Snowday, Miagi, Big Bird, Jitterbug(R), Aerobie (R), Kilo, Catfish, Tony Malito, PK

With everyone circled up around the seal, time for a count-off and introductions.  30 HIMs, including one FNG.  Excellent!  Time for the first round.  Everyone got in plank, and were to say their F3 name, or FNG, and performed a merkin after each person says their name.  Thirty Ruck merkins later, everyone’s arms were warm.  Next round was similar to the first.   This time each person says their favorite board game, and then everyone performs a squat. Some PAX were not sure what board games were.  They said, spin the bottle, naked twister, strip poker, and a few others.  Those aren’t board games gentlemen.  Oh well, as least we learned whose house not to go to on their games nights.  With round one and two complete and everyone warmed up, PK and Malito let the PAX away from the seal toward the Jeffersonian, and then took a right into the dark woods of the Veteran’s Park.

A short mosey around the park, led everyone to the bottom of Veteran’s Hill. With that PK informed the PAX that this was the beginning of the Game of Ruck.  Similar to the game of life, we would be rucking through life, and facing life’s challenges together.  They were all babies in the game of Ruck.  Time to low crawl up the hill.  Butts down, on your elbows, and up the hill.  PK informed everyone that they would be separated into teams at the top depending on how fast they got to the top, so hurry up.  Little did anyone know, Life, and Rucks don’t care how fast you crawl.  Life is a journey, and everyone goes through the same hills and valleys.  The point is to not give up when things are tough, and work your way to the top.  As men began to reach the top, Malito parsed out the PAX among four signs, each with a suit from a deck of cards.

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Everyone was informed, that the 4×4’s were their team weights for the duration of the night.  These were their “bikes”, like the cars from the Game of Life.  The had to take turns driving.  With the teams set, and team weights handed out the journey was a foot.  The teams were led past the Jeffersonian, down between the baseball fields to the lower parking lot, to where they were presented with the first game board of the night.  The initial game board was supposed to be the Jeffersonian Parking lot. However, someone had to get married, rent out the place, and ruin the first game board for our Ruck.  Way to go Margot (sarcasm).  So a new game board was set, with a little pre-ruck scouting    (Side note, see the addendum below about PK and Malito’s adventure preparing the lower lot).

The teams lined up in the lower parking lot in their starting positions and were informed that the parking squares are the game board pieces.  PK brought a deck of Cards for exercises, and Malito had a die for moving along the board. PK, shuffled the deck in front of the PAX.  Just in case people don’t remember, he shuffled the deck in front of the PAX before the first game began.  PK flipped the first card, and the game began.  The suit of the card determined the exercise and what team was going to move along the board.  Malito rolled the die, and that determined how far the team was to go. Teams were to make it down the game board (parking lot) and back.

Exercises were determined by the suit of cards, and the number of reps were based upon the number displayed on the card.

Hearts                       – Ruck Swings

Clubs                        – Ruck Flutter Kicks

Spades                     – Squats

Diamonds               – Merkins

After almost making it through the entire deck, it was clear no one knew who had won.  The impromptu game board had a fuzzy finish line and everyone was getting beat.  Didn’t matter, three team reached the finish point. Time to hand out the awards.

First Place                – Ruck Flag

Second Place          – 20 lb ruck plate

Third Place              – 40 lb Sandbag

Fourth Place           – 60 lb Sandbag

After the prizes were handed out, the teams were then lead up Old Taylorsville Road into downtown Jeffersontown.  Next stop in the game of life was Thoroughbred Hall. All teams were required to stop at Thoroughbred Hall, as it is an old Church.  Just like in the game of life board game, PAX were informed to partner up for the next bit of PT.  Everyone got “married”, their bike was upgraded to a car, and the team weights had to be carried with a partner for the rest of the night.  But that was not all.  There was more prizes and fun in store.  Everyone got down into plank, stared longingly into their partner’s eyes and performed 25 pickle pounders, in celebration of getting married.  PK did not like the way Malito seemed to be enjoying this moment.  Plenty of mumble chatter going here, and it was time to keep on rucking.  We were also getting concerned, that had we stayed any longer, the policy would have been by to tell us to move along.

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Next the teams were to head down Watterson Trail rd, along the walk path to Sky View Park.  Once all teams arrived.  Game board two was ready.  Same scenario as before, different exercises. PK began with shuffling the deck again. The Diamond team was complaining about not having their card pulled so much last round.  Life is hard, quit complaining.  This time the parking lot had a distinct finish line, and Malito’s brown water was making him smell funny and his die rolling suck.

Hearts                       – Mountain Climbers

Clubs                         – Freddie Mercury

Spades                      – Overhead Thrusts

Diamonds                – Curls

Once teams had made it to the finish line, teams were congratulated for making it this far, and had earned a Payday.  Time for some lickies and chewies.  PAX enjoyed some good mumble chatter.  Malito regailed everyone on his lunchtime adventure with Chestnut and Pork Chop at Mission BBQ.  Something about Chestnut’s kid being carried around Mission BBQ by the Master Chef, like Simba from Lion King, and Chestnut being treated by the Mayor of J-Town. Definitely a good reason to make the next ruck, or make the next 2ndF event.

After a good rest, PK informed the teams that it had been 9 months since they got married, and their pickle pounders were successful.  More prizes were awarded.

First Place                – Congratulations! It is a boy! One Coupon to be placed on a Car

Second Place          – Congratulations! It is a girl! One Coupon to be placed on a Car

Third Place              – Congratulations! Twins! Two Coupons to be awarded, one placed on each Car

Fourth Place           – Congratulations! Twins! Two Coupons to be awarded, one placed on each Car

From this point, the PAX were lead along a path behind SkyView park on the J-Town Bike-Walk path.  This is where it seemed that everyone in the PAX became bewildered.  No one knew where they were, and they were quite surprised at the path that they were on.  Just like in the game of life, it can be disorienting, but it was good to see PAX taking in their surroundings and enjoying the time with one another.  Just like that, all of a sudden, the snow began to fall.

Not sure if teams were moving extremely fast (OJ and the Spades were crushing it), or if Malito’s magic of rolling “sixes” during the second game board, we were ahead of time.  At this rate, we would be at our endex early.  Retainer pointed out, that there was no rule saying we couldn’t get there earlier than planned.  Nice try, but I am not buying it.  You know what they say, “When Man makes plans, God laughs.”  Time for another audible.  PAX headed down Marioneth, crossed Taylorsville Rd, took a right rather than the left originally planned.  We were headed down to Patti Ln. Heard plenty of chatter about the nice big parking lot in front of the bowling alley.  To everyone’s relief, we took a left, and headed the other way.

Once down Patti Ln, we arrived at Jeffersontown High School.  Another great big parking lot.  Naw, just kidding again.  This is where you drop your kids go to high school.  No worries, we were not picking up any more coupons here.  No additions for girlfriends, unexpected grandkids.  Just time to get some more miles in.  Teams moved down Old Six Mile Lane, to Lynnwood Way.  Heard plenty of PAX who thought we were lost (cough – Aerobie).  Have no fear PK and Malito know where they are going (well PK at least).  We passed some interesting J-Town residents, who wondered what we were doing.  They were walking around in the snow in their pajamas.  Yeah, we are the strange ones.  It is snowing, get some clothes on. Then after they got into their house, they began to hang out of the bottom half of the front door screen.  More of J-Town’s finest.

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Once on Lynwood, we gathered the teams up again for another light rest and some good mumble chatter. After everyone had a nice breather, we began the rest of our route again.  Down Lynwood, to Taylorsville Rd.  We passed under the Historic Jeffersontown Gas Light Square sign.  The journey of ruck and life was getting close to wrapping up. We proceeded down College Ln, so guess what your kids are now in college.  We made it to Tully Elementary, and the last big parking lot on our ruck.  No worries here, time to drop off the kids, because now that they are out of college, you are at Tulley for Grandparents day!

Only one small hiccup here.  Because of the pre-ruck adventures, PK forgot to leave his car at Tulley.  Snowday, being the HIM that he is, helped out and said, “my truck is at RecBar.  If we carry this stuff there, we can load it into my truck.”  Another part of life, is being there for one another, when things get tough, or when they don’t go they way that you expect, it helps to have HIMs like we do that are always there to help.  The PAX showed true grit to get through the cold, snow, and heavy workout for the night.  Everyone picked up their cars and kids, and kept moving to endex, RecBar.

Once there, everyone loaded the team weights, and circled up for count-o-rama, naming the FNG, and intentions.  It was Game Night, our FNG mentioned that he bags farts for a profession, so we named our FNG Turd Ferguson.  Intentions were given, and thanks to all the PAX for showing up for a snowy beatdown. We covered 6 miles for the night, and had plenty of interesting conversations.  We brought everyone forward, no one got left behind, and we truly left no man where we found him. Thanks again, we had fun, and believe we got better together.   If you made it this far in the backblast, and haven’t made it out to a ruck yet.  See you at the next one.

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The Pre-ruck adventure of PK and Malito

PK and Malito met up at 6:45pm to prep for the ruck that night.  So many things to do and check before ruck.  We laid out the 4x4s, set the signs in the grass at the top of the hill, and placed the lights on the signs.  Time to check out the rest of our course.  CRAP! The Jeffersonian parking lot was chock full of cars.  Our first game board area is full of cars.  What are we going to do?  The perfect straight twenty space board is ruined.  Now what?  Malito said, “We should just use the lot down at the bottom of the baseball fields. Do you know that one?” PK replied, “Yes, I do, and that lot is too small.”   Malito look up at PK, and then said, “No, the lot is plenty big.  Besides, we can just make them go up and back.  Let’s go stash the prizes.  I want to get me another beer. Hey, where are we going after that parking lot?” PK thought to himself, this night is going to be an epic adventure.

They loaded up the concrete coupons into PK’s car and drove around to the lower parking lot.  What in the ASS?!! Another car? All by itself? Parked very oddly in the lower parking lot, and somebody is sitting inside. What was this guy doing down here? We drove around the car in the lot, and then he flashed his light at us.  Oh, I see what is going on here. Does he want to talk? Oh, this guy wants to make friends.  Malito turns to PK, and says, “Hey, do you want me to go talk to this guy?” Without missing a beat, or thinking too much about it, PK replied, “Sure.” Now hindsight is 20/20, and neither one of those ideas were any good, and we probably should have taken a good look at what was going on.  We weren’t thinking about anything too much, we were only thinking about how awesome our ruck was going to be and we didn’t want some ass-whole to spoil our night.  Malito began walking to the car, while PK was dumping the first round of prizes off hiding them under the trees at our newly established finished line.  Malito got about halfway to the vehicle, then turned around and said, “Um, I don’t think that this is a good idea for me to go over there.”  In the light of the gloom, PK replied, “Yeah, you are probably right.” Finally, some clear thinking! “I don’t want to start my ruck with 5 in the chest.  Let’s go to the next spot.  Where are we going again?”

We got back in PK’s car and began to drive away.  As we were leaving the lot, we could see the guy get out of the car, shine his phone light, and begin to walk over to where our prizes were.  Oh Shit, this is going to get real.  This guy is going to mess with our prizes.  Plus, another car just turned into the parking lot. PK decided, I am not leaving my prizes out there from some toked-up punk to snatch and ruin our ruck.  So, we pulled a U-turn and began to head back to the parking lot. “Um PK, what are you doing?  I really do not feel like getting shot tonight.”  PK took a right off of Ruckriegel onto Old Taylorsville Road instead of a left into the parking lot. We were going to have a stakeout and see what kind of shit was going down.

As soon as we parked, one of the cars drove away.  It was silent in PK’s car then, time seemed to go by slowly, and it seemed that the ruck was going to start any minute.  Plus, Malito was getting thirsty.  What are we going to do?  It was now or never, we made our move and drove over to the lot again. This time, we took a closer look at the surroundings.  The vehicle that was there when we started scouting our route was still there, however there were no passengers this time.  PK turned to Malito and said, “I solved the mystery!  There was no drug deal going down.  The passenger was getting picked up.  The Car has a flat tire.  We will see if it is still there later, and we will just work around it.”  We had a good laugh about the situation and figured we missed that fact on the first go around because our minds were focused on the epic ruck we were about to lead and we were both thirsty.  Strangely enough, the vehicle was picked up by the time we got back to in on the Ruck.  So with our game board set, and prizes in please, Malito turned to PK and said, “SMTM.”  With our prizes safely placed, it was time to get back to the seal, start up the Karaoke machine, and have a brew to relax our nerves before we crushed the ruck.

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