It was the middle of the night and there we were, all 200 of us, in the middle of some park in Jax Beach, Florida, not far at all from HQ. The details of how we got there were pretty standard stuff. Ruck to the beach, play some games like who’s got goosebumps and cookies are always cold without their sugar. If you were warm we cooled you off. If you were cold, you got warm. We smiled and we laughed at the absurdity of how simple everything can be. There were relays and some won and others won more and a good time was had by all. We work for you, people. We warmed the ocean and then we told everyone it was time to go, but first — you have two minutes to do what you need to do, and the waves crashed and the smartest made sure there was no as in zero sand between their cheeks, and they told all their friends to do the same thing. And then we were all good to go.
Did it matter where we were going? I don’t think so. It’s about who you’re going with that really counts.
The Reunion means more and more to me with every passing year. GRTs fly in from all over the country, and the world (what’s up Japan and Canada and Switzerland), not because of the work, but because of the people. And because doing hard things with each other and then hitting the town is infinitely more fun than an exclusive date with rotating bar stool no matter how cool the decor or the drink specials. Focus on the people around you and you’ll have more fun everywhere you go.
So, back to that field and out came my million watt flashlight pointing up at us one by one, it’s a rave in the making with one button and the music in your head and that was my intent.
We’ve done a lot of work and we’ve done it together and that’s great. I could feel them expecting some sort of next new and interesting way to camouflage more pain. But — get closer in — it’s time to change things up. This is really important that you give it your all, everything you got.
30 second dance party right now, go!
Hips don’t lie sang Shakira and she was right. The flashlight turned the whole universe into some sort of rucking rave and nobody wanted to do other stuff like squats and the avoidance of pain is one of the greatest motivators in life. Remember that one, people.
So we gave it our all and Limelight in NYC before it got shut down had nothing on us.
To many, we’re the weirdos. But I say we’ve got it all figured out. The rest of the night we moved some more, linked up with Jacksonville Beach Police Department Officers, did our good deed for the day to hopefully inspire many more, set the world record for the longest rucking tunnel of love in the history of civilization, and got a police escort down Beach Blvd for the home stretch back to GORUCK HQ, where we set our rucks down and toasted to all who couldn’t make it, Cadre Roony (RIP) most of all.
The sun was out and the beers were cold and the flags were waving and we passed out patches on a perfect day in Florida, and it became one of those family reunions where, now that you’re here, you remember why you make the effort to show up. The world becomes a smaller place, as small as you can make it, and people of all backgrounds who might look so different to so many had done something awesome together, and it was a celebration of our family also known as a really big weekend and we did it right.
More dance parties followed and I’m more grateful than ever to be part of our community.
Thank you all for making this possible and here’s to many more.