So, in my hurry to leave on Thursday I completely forgot to grab my backpack when I was heading home. Unfortunately, that meant that I did not have my computer to write the post between my training and my reflection. I guess I will just use this post as well to talk about it.
There was not really anything to write about during the first part of the week, mainly because I was just resting for the weekend. I arrived at Camp Ripely at around 3:30pm on Thursday, checked in and received all my gear. The very first thing we did when we got there was run a surprise PFT, just like the one I ran before. The problem with this was I did not prepare as well as the last one. My pull-ups went back down to 17 because everyone was having issues holding on to the portable pull-up bars that they brought down. Crunches improved to 113, and my run time was about the same at 21:37. I felt really good on the run, and did not want to push myself too hard since I had 2 days after this. After the PFT we had our dinner, which consisted of 1 MRE, or Meal Ready to Eat. If you do not know what that is, this video explains them fairly well. Basically they are a very high calorie, high sodium meal that gives you all the nutrients that you would need to survive on in the field. After dinner we were “picked up” by our Sergeant Instructors, and the rest of the night was just running around and getting yelled at by them. Since I have already done half of my training, this was nothing new to me. But, the people without experience struggled a bit. We probably only ended up running around for about 3 hours, which was not that bad, before we were allowed to go back to our squad bay to go to bed at 10. I had to be up at 1 am for watch so I only got around 2.5 hours of sleep that night, but I did feel really good that morning. Friday morning we had another MRE before our hike out to the 3 courses for the day. The hike was 4.5 miles, and we finished it in around an hour. Even though it was only 40 degrees out, we all ended up sweating a lot, and drank lots of water. Once we made it to the courses we split up into our two groups. My group did the obstacle course first. This course was pretty much ropes, logs, bars and low crawling. It took around 6-9 minutes to finish The fastest time was 4:50 and I came in right around 7:20. After the individual run through, we had to do it in groups of 4, our time for that was 10:20. After the obstacle course we moved to the leadership reaction course. This is not physically challenging, rather tested leadership and problem solving skills. After we finished this, we had another MRE, and prepared for the hike back. We took a different path back and it was only about 3.5 miles this time. This hike felt really good, and I could really feel it in my legs. Once we got back, we had a few classes on Marine Corps history and land navigation, before meeting up with our instructors again for about another hour of running around and getting yelled at. After that, all of the physical activities for the weekend were done with. Friday night I was able to sleep a bit more, and I fell asleep at 11 and was up at 5. Saturday morning we got bused out to the land navigation course, and basically walked around through the woods for 2 hours before we went back, cleaned and got dismissed.
Overall, this weekend went way better than I expected. I am very happy with the way this project has helped me set goals and prepare myself for this event and eventually this summer. Even though I am done with this project, I will continue to do all the same things that I have been doing these past weeks.