My GORUCK clothing options, depending on the weather.

Today is the day of my GORUCK event. Four to five hours of exercise for a little patch. Crazy, isn’t it? When I did my marathon last year, I was OK up until I started making my way to the start line.

This year, I’be been a big ball of nerves the past few days. And to be honest, I don’t like being that way. Just letting it go or letting things evolve naturally isn’t what I do. It’s not what I have done for … gee, I don’t know … 35 years or so.

But this “normal” skill is something I have to do. During taper week, I was able to let some of that readjusting just flow. I stayed home and watched my kids be kids, because I don’t do that much when I’m in training mode. I cleaned my house a bit, which all athletes know is hard to do when you’re exhausted from getting ready for a big race/event.

I think the unraveling came into full swing on Thursday. The weather went from 80-degree days to 50, and my throat wasn’t happy. So I was doing everything I can to keep from getting full blown sick. I can get sick after my GORUCK.

That night, the kids and I had the most fun we’ve had in ages. We dressed up in costumes and went to the symphony.

The Wheeling Symphony warms up for a night of John Williams music.

The theme was the music of John Williams. As a kid, I remember watching the Boston Pops on PBS as he conducted. Somewhere in between architect, president and fashion designer, I wanted to be a conductor and music writer like he is.

As we listened, Mountain Kid 3 quickly fell asleep. Wearing his Ninja Turtle costume and curled into a ball in his seat, I couldn’t believe we were here, he’s in kindergarten and is growing into his own. And I closed my eyes, as I was taught by a third grade class and my grandfather, and just listened.

I am working hard to be more of a listener in general. When you listen to music, the composer tries to convey an emotion — excitement, sadness, etc. Our local symphony did a great job getting those emotions across.

I started to think of how much my grandfather would like the concert. He was a certified electrician and general handyman. He rigged an elaborate speaker system up though out the first floor of his house. We’d often come to his house with some opera or Broadway musical (he was a big fan of Andrew Lloyd Weber) blaring from the system with him either asleep on the couch or nodding, eyes closed, in his favorite chair.

The fifth anniversary of his death; and the day I decided to try to live healthier, is five days from today (the time stamp on this post).

But as Yoda says, we listened to his theme at the concert, “There is no try, only do.”

I have been putting things off that are generally easy, as of late. It’s been a combination of writer’s block, fear, loathing, and just general lack of organization.

But some of it, stems from some things that changed my mindset and approach to life as a child. They happened when I was young, 11 or younger. While we all can’t live in a bubble, if certain things happen to you and you don’t properly deal with them, you can create your own bubble. They are behaviors and mindsets that you use to protect youself, perhaps so the memories of those bad things don’t come back again.

In some ways, I’ve been using the defense mechanisms so I wouldn’t have to deal with certain tasks, people, etc. 

I fully realized what I was doing was I collected my GORUCK gear. I couldn’t find a glove. I had given the pair to one of the kids to try on with his costume for the symphony the night before and now it was missing.

During the search, I bend down to look inside the couch. It’s a sleeper sofa and we often lose things in there. Mountain Kid 3 was helping and for whatever reason decidedto jump as he’s putting the couch cushion away. His blonde-hair covered skull hit me right in the nose. The pain and tear were instant.

It was a painful event for both of us. I was crying, he was apologizing and crying. I told him it was OK and ran upstairs to the bathroom, telling everyone I needs some spac for a few minutes. It felt like I broke my nose. 

I closed the door to the bathroom and just started crying. The weight of everything I’ve been doing for the past few months just fell. And my tricks that I’ve used to guard myself, they disappeared.Vulnerable isn’t a fun place to be at, but at that point in time, I needed it. 

I had worked myself into a frenzy trying to complete my checklist. The event doesn’t start until 2 p.m. I had time. Why was I so worked up about not being able to find a stupid black glove, so mad that I made it seem like my life depended on it?

The middle son, my mini-me in terms of temperament, sensitivity, etc., came to the bathroom to check on me. He let me do my thing and gave me a hug when I emerged from my fortress of solitude (it’s the only room with a lock on it). Again, in being in the moment and taking in his gesture, I was able to see what a great kid he’s become. I’ve missed a lot of those moments.

I’m not sure that doing the GORUCK light will be one of those events that would be like doing a marathon is for others. It may not be life changing. The sky may decide to stay grey and my mind will still be hazy and my path unclear. My marathon was a long running activity, a great experience but not mind-blowing.

But I know the training and tapering for the event has been an eye-opener. I hope by doing this team activity I can learn more about myself and teamwork, skills I have had trouble mastering because of my defenses.

I’m dedicating this GORUCK to:

  • Kirk D., on Instagram as mettleforger. He was an accomplished athlete and Team RWB member who died after a recent SEALFIT event. His videos and comments on my posts motivated me during my training.
  • Kevin B., my dad. He tried to keep me on this athletic/fitness path. It didn’t work quite how either of us imagined, but I’ll get back on track.
  • Lewis “Gene” B., my grandfather. As a kid, I wanted to be like him and my grandmother when I grew up. He’s the reason I always have a song in my head. Right now it’s Sia’s “Unstoppable.”

As usual, I’ll try to work up an event recap. Now to try to get back to sleep.

GORUCK flowers from my husband.