Today I had the honor to participate in a local memorial event to recognize 9/11/2001. This was the fifth year for the event in which participants climb 2,071 stairs within Nippert Statium at The University of Cincinnati. This number symbolizes the stairs of the 110 floors each of the World Trade Center towers had. The amount of time to complete the event is 56 minutes. This was my first time attending the event and I must say, I was awestruck.
The number of people that attended the event was amazing. The event started at 6:34 this morning, I arrived around 5:30 and met with a local group that were going to ruck the stairs rather than simply running / walking. We each carried a pack, ruck sack, with us with a 30 lb weight plate. The goal was to complete the 4 laps that the event required.
As I was going through the repetitions up and down the stairs, they were making announcements of the events that transpired on that day in history, and the names of those that lost their lives scrolled across an electronic screen I began to recount where I was on that day. I was actually on that exact campus just a few hundred yards away. I walked right through that stadium on 9/11 to go to class.
The stairs began to wear on me quickly and I was only halfway through my first lap. Then I saw a group of young ROTC students with Xavier University’s Air Force ROTC program. That picked my hopes up for a bit and I went on. The harder it got for me the more details I remembered about that day. The more flights I did the more I thought about those that lost their lives, seeing the names I began to take a step for each one just to push on to the next. At the end of the time I did not complete the 4 laps needed to commemorate the total number of stairs. I did complete two full laps of stairs knowing that after that event was done I still get to go home and hug my family.
This day is always going to be a day of remembrance in my family. Today, I was lucky enough to commemorate it among some amazing veterans, active duty, and future military and first responders.
This past weekend I decided it was a great idea to sign up for another event through GoRuck. In case you aren’t familiar with GoRuck they were founded by a retired Green Beret who wanted a way to test the gear he was making and selling. These events have since expanded to a very extensive team building and fitness event. The event this past weekend was located in Columbus, OH and was hosted by four Cadre, each from a different branch of military Special Ops. It is truly amazing what each cadre brought to the table as they shared a sliver of their experiences and expertise.
The event was, so far, the hardest physical event I have done in my life. The outcome and what I carried with me from the event was worth every bit of the pain. While most that are on the outside looking in may think this is purely a physical exercise, it is much more than that. These events not only help you to test yourself physically but mentally as well. They are designed to get everyone out of their comfort zone and teach each participant that while one person may be able to complete all the tasks, it only matters if everyone completes them together. So they also teach an incredible amount of team building.
The event I took part in I only knew one other person there, I came away knowing roughly 32 people and having a better understanding of what it takes to make sure everyone has the same goal in their mind and that everyone knows what needs to be done to get to that goal.
The best part of all is this event was only the LIGHT version. It was like the sampler of what their main events are. The biggest reward of everything that happened that day is the fact that there were 72 people from all walks of life that got together in a park and everyone walked away a better person. GoRuck prides itself in building better people and so far, I haven’t seen anything but 100% delivery on that.
Whether, you are doing a burpee in a mud pit. (see below)
Or trying to make it through a seemingly endless leg lift with a ruck on, the only thing you have to worry about is making sure that you keep the person next to you going because they will in turn do the same. You’ll be impressed with what you can do when you get rid of the “can’t and won’t” from your vocabulary and learn to ask for help, you can and will achieve the impossible.
As for me, an event like this allows me to refocus and makes me see the forest through the trees of day to day life.
This weekend, myself and many others are going to be participating in an event held all over the country, the Go Ruck Light event. This test of toughness (mental and physical) is put on by former military personnel and it is based around one of the things they do a lot of at the beginning of their military training. This is a 7 to 10 mile event that will take up to 4 hours to complete. It is not like a race or any other obstacle event that we have ever done. This is an event where the leader, or Cadre, will lead you through the miles and many physical exercises along the way all while carrying a 20 lb weight in a ruck sack on your back. This not only tests individuals but it also requires the entire group to work as a team to ensure everyone finishes and everyone is together.
While I feel that I am under-prepared for this event physically, my mind is prepared to find out just how much I really can do and it will be at the end of the test that I realize the benefits.
Not many of the tasks I am responsible for at EXAIR require that kind of physical toughness and some of them require the mental toughness. But one instance I am always prepared for is the customer that calls and thinks they have the weirdest application and that there is nothing to solve it. We actually have this experience quite a bit and it helps make what we do more interesting and fun. With our diverse background and extensive knowledge, chances are we have experienced the application or we have seen something that is very close. This helps us to be specific when recommending a solution.
EXAIR feels that the best solutions can also provide information on air and dollar savings as well. The best savings information can be provided if our customers are willing to provide us details about their current application, and there is no better way to provide us the details than to take advantage of our Efficiency Lab. It is a free service letting you to send in a sample of your current blowoff product (typically homemade nozzles, open tube or pipe, snap together coolant hose, etc.), in return we will test it for you with our calibrated equipment and provide you a detailed report on air volume, force and noise. Then you will know the specific benefits of your recommended solution.
The fact is, we go into every conversation with the mentality of only providing solutions. If we can’t provide it, we will try to direct you to someone that can.