What the Ruck?

Does running bore you? Are you up for a challenge? Want to burn 3X the calories as walking? Then what are you waiting for? Get the ruck out there!

First of all, what is rucking? As our friends at Go Ruck put it, rucking is cardio for anyone who hates running. (Count me in, for sure!) If you’re looking to be challenged further than ‘just a run’, then rucking is calling your name. What’s more – with the proper spacing, it’s social distance approved!

But really, what is rucking? Rucking – in its simplest form – is walking with a backpack on. Chances are, most of you are already doing it. Ha! See, not so bad after all! Oh but just you wait.

Last year, our team packed up and headed to the airport where we met up with our friend Kevin Flike – some of you may remember him from our Wounded by War documentary. If you haven’t watched it yet, take a break from reading and check it out! Really – it’s worth the watch!

We left Providence early that morning with our film crew +1. We landed in Littleton, CO where we met up with the folks at Go Ruck – an American brand with Special Forces roots specializing in reliable performance apparel.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Man, that statement never rang truer than it does with these guys! In the second Behind the Scenes video from our Go Ruck Heavy Hitter Event, our film crew met up with the ruckers in a dark, moon-less, cold Colorado parking lot. It’s 1:30am; just past the half-way point on their 24-hour trek. With the hardball (asphalt) lit by only their headlamps, the cadres briefed their team on their next objective. They would be navigating harrowing terrain wrought with danger and enemy bogies. They’ll need to run security while they transport a tool to defuse, decompose, and dilute the fusion fuel in a nuclear warhead.

Sandbags slouched over fatigued shoulders; the team pushes on. “I’m trying to teach you something – as leaders – you have to … think for yourselves sometimes.” What a lesson to be learned here! These cadres certainly know what it means to lead. Each of these men had previous experience in the US Armed Forces; through deployments across the middle east and around the world. In their roles, they were put under extreme duress and physical exertion, but they’ve learned how to effectively lead and succeed. Every event in this 3-day ruck experience had been directly pulled from a mission or experience one of the cadres had in their deployment.

Sunrise. It was the last day of the Go Ruck Tough event and – from the get-go – we could see it was going to be an uphill battle. Seriously! The light at the end of the tunnel was a just mere pinpoint. It was 6am and our film crew joined up with the ruckers as they weaved their way along the ridgeline of a dusty rocky mountain. For the final stretch, Kevin took command. Pointing down from the mountainside, Kevin explained to his team their objective.

“Alls we have to do is get down to that field right there. We’re gonna get there as one team. We’re going to consolidate gear. We’re gonna pull security when we get down there. Does everyone understand me?”

Seems easy. Don’t be fooled! The team faced heavy (fake) sniper fire as they approached their objective only after fighting against wind that could easily have blown anyone off the edge of the trail down to their demise (not fake).

After being exposed to this riveting weekend of unexpected encounters and physical endurance, our team has so much respect not only for our men and women serving to protect our freedom and the battles they fight on our behalf, but also for the men and women who stepped up to be challenged by these Go Ruck Events. We learned so much just from documenting this amazing event! I can’t even fathom the exhaustion felt and lessons learned by the challengers during this 3-day immersive experience. We tip our caps to them! Great – let me emphasize that – GREAT job, everyone! And let us extend our congratulations and happy retirement from 27 years of active duty service to Cadre Ricky!

Hope you enjoyed this article and these videos! If you have any questions for us, shoot us an email at hi@focusforwardmedia.com and if you’d like to see more of our work, take a look around our website.