Two Lessons from my GORUCK Tough Experience

I recently completed a GORUCK Tough event. It was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about myself and the power of the mind to overcome. Here are two of my key takeaways.

If you want to go far, go together

There is an African proverb that I think goes like this, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Teamwork is what the GORUCK experience was all about. As a team, we had to bring a flag and team weight to the event. As a team, we had to carry sandbags and jerry cans and ammo boxes. As a team, we had to carry “casualties” when they were down. We did all of this while rucking 15+ miles in the middle of the night in downtown Atlanta. We could only have done it as a team.

This carries over into business and personal life as well. I can never be the person I want to be without my team (my family and friends) that support me. I can never build the organizations I want to build without a great team to support them.

As much as I might want to jump ahead, take the reins, and do things on my own, I must always remember that effort will flame out too quickly. I want to go far, and I know I need my team to get there.

Limits are in your head

I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was at my max during the GORUCK event. Many times I was exhausted, and then faced another physical challenge to overcome. I had to force myself to keep going, and as I did, it got easier. I learned that my body would go much farther than my mind wants to believe. My physical limitations are in my head.

I remember reading a section from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography where he did the same thing when he was a bodybuilder. He was doing calf raises with a couple of hundred pounds and was certain that was the maximum weight the human body could endure for that exercise. Then, he went to see a friend (another bodybuilder) and in talking about workout routines realized this guy was lifting about three times as much weight in this calf raises!

With this in mind, let me ask this question. If Arnold Schwarzenegger, could under-index his physical ability by a factor of three, in how many areas of our lives are we under-indexing our physical abilities?

Let’s consider our other limits as well. You and I are almost certainly under-indexing many of our abilities. But, if we have the grit to push forward, we can reach new heights in those areas as well!

Photo Credit: Cadre JC from the GORUCK Tough – Operation Red Wings, Atlanta, GA – July 2018