Tokyo, October 21-22 Tough and Basic. Cadre Danny.
Tough 9pm - 8:30am
Basic 9:30am - 3pm(?)
TLDR: didn’t die.
Left rotator cuff injury; all advice was to skip the event. Really didn’t want to do this event. Head not into it.
Team needed me so I did it.
Startex: Get into formation waiting for cadre and my water hose is broken. No spare (2 is 1 and 1 is none). So I’m already about to drop. Half a liter of water in a bottle though so I figure I’ll make it work (I did; toilet break I swapped bladder water into bottle and bought extra bottles at 7-11).
Cadre speaks no Japanese so me and Dai are on translation duty.
Good news: We won’t be TL.
Bad news: We stay on Cadre for all debriefs and comms.
Roll call; favorite drink (Ginger ale!), safety briefing, med check: one asthma, couple of injuries including me with useless left rotator cuff.
Cadre: “which shoulder?”
Cadre: “since when?”
Me: “Recent. Last week diagnosed.”
Cadre: “…well…that’s gonna suck. Other arm and legs are fine yeah.” (This is called foreshadowing).
Did some basic PT (lower body is fine, upper body Cadre swapped me into one armed everything or squats and lunges) and interesting squad movements in formation. One participant gets a bit dehydrated/overheated but sits for a bit and is ready to go.
Finally time to load up on sandbags and get some miles on. Took us three tries to get a perimeter, sandbags filled, and back into formation on time. Many leadership lessons learned and earned with squat holds.
25 people 9 sandbags and then we “found” a 3-man log (that we use for practice and cadre had us place it on the route beforehand).
Did some ungodly Steps of Success at the shrine for an hour then took a knee and shared stories of Why.
Now time for some distance. I rode the 80lb sandbag for a good mile in total before the movement ended. Then a PT test75: ruck getups, 75 ruck jumps, run 1000m, 50 getups 50 jumps.
Cadre: “Your shoulder’s no good don’t use that arm.”
Gee thanks very helpful.
Getting the ruck overhead with one arm is not fun.
Also the “short run” ended up way too long because we missed the turn around marker and ran all the way to bridge, turning a 500m and 500m back into something closer to a 2km.
More movement. Because of my shoulder I couldn’t really help on the log so I got 80 and 60 duty quite a bit. By sunrise we made it to the beach.
Good: drop rucks and sandbags.
Less Good: completely submerged repeatedly for some beach PT for another hour.
Wet (meh) and sandy (horrible.)
Sandbags now linked with carabiners in a giant worm of hell. Another mile along the beach to take a photo by the mini Statue of Liberty. Pep talk by cadre…more sharing our Why…endex?
Nah let’s go back to the beach.
Three squads red on point secures perimeter at endex, white (me) and blue on the follow.
Rode the 80 all the way in, joined the perimeter, waited for blue, and finally patched.
We went so long we had to delay the start of the Basic by half an hour. 😃
Inhaled two clif bars, got another liter of water from the vending machine, squeezed the water and sand outta my socks, then back in formation.
Sixteen repeated 6 fresh and 8 year old Ezra trying to earn a patch and some Transformers so 23. Cadre has Ezra map out some lines on the sand and we break into squads for several filler bag toss competitions and relays. Losers get in the water for PT. Somehow all the new folks who hadn’t done the tough managed to be on the losing teams so they are all soaked now too.
Cadre assigns Ezra Class Leader and we ruck out to the old coast fort. Circle up and upper body PT for an hour. I do everything one handed which is as awesome as it sounds. YK tries to Blue Falcon us with exercise suggestion but Jesse cuts him off and provides circled group ruck curls for Blue Falcon Light.
Then we ruck out across Rainbow Bridge (awesome view terrible ruck the ). The 80 is gone but now it’s two 40s. Ezra and his mom are on Point / Nav so we got 21 to handle 11 sandbags and three logs so not much down time with nothing to carry.
Cross the bridge, pee break and water check and I get some jelly beans so blood sugar spikes nicely because I was kinda losing it on the bridge.
Set off for another couple miles to get back to the park and dump the sand in the sandbox. Already started 30 minutes late so we are behind schedule and Cadre motivating us with some Sense of Urgency (honestly not helping we are pretty crispy toasted by now.)
Back to the park finally; dump the sand and somehow total leadership breakdown loss of control can’t dump the sand, sort all the sandbags, and keep a security perimeter so we DO. IT. AGAIN. Legit ready to drop by now lol I hate this sandbox. Which is in the middle of a playground; moms and kids seriously confused when we commandeer.
Finally sorted, short ruck with a piece of log clutched in my arms like a baby back to the startex park.
Only now it’s Saturday afternoon and full of people picnicking and there’s a DUDE PLAYING THE BAGPIPES.
Not gonna lie pretty badass to struggle back into final formation in the park surrounded by people drinking beer and munching potato chips on a blanket whilst some dude in a kilt squeezes out “Scotland The Brave”.
Last PT for the sandbag cleanup silliness then patched. Beer and potato chips appear.
Naps and photos are taken.
Sustain: squats and heavy barbell good prep for riding an 80.
To be honest I did a good job protecting my shoulder but wow my legs got some extra love. Traps and lats hurt like expected from the ruck and the the 80 but I think I was well trained for that.
Day after I’m feeling my hips and calves.
Every Endex should include live bagpipes.
Find some boots that Don’t Suck.
Grease up the thighs and gooch with some runners glide or something to lessen the burn.
Also don’t do events with a serious injury…?
Tough Basic AAR
Tokyo, October 21-22 Tough and Basic. Cadre Danny.