Pathfinder Class 003
Eddie Vergara Roster 3-009
I came into Pathfinder Class 003 having done only two GORUCK Lights. GORUCK Light Class 212 in March 2014 and then Class 402 Red, Light, Blue 001 in August 2014. Despite crossfit and “training” with my ruck a few weekends before, my first event in Gainesville turned out to be 8.5 hours of torture that nearly ended me. I was definitely unprepared. Having the GORUCK bug I set out to train as my goal was to replace my Light patch with a Tough one. It was during this time that I moved from Florida to South Carolina and found F3 Nation. F3 run groups and boot camp workouts replaced my crossfit gym and I even began ruck workouts on Warrior Wednesdays. From F3 I found Team Spearhead. I wanted to be more involved in a community of ruckers so I entered their premiere Light event Red, Light, Blue 001. Again, I trained with F3 and rucked more on my own to feel more confident than my first Light experience. RLB 001 was still tough with Bert Kuntz as Cadre but I wasn’t physically devastated. I didn’t necessarily excel either. And I found that this was where I was missing out on the “fun” of GORUCK. I was too busy battling my physical demons to truly enjoy and excel in the event and I felt like I was less able to help my team.
Enter Pathfinder 003. I was excited to see this training program get put out there for me to join. Free? Get a patch at the end? Have every mile rucked tracked? Be held accountable for Challenges I would not have done on my own? Have a rucking community supporting you all along the way? YES to everything!
Pathfinder 003 didn’t disappoint. For the first time I had a training specific program that would prepare me for a Challenge or a Heavy. It systematically set me up for success in leadership of a group, enduring long hours under ruck and with a load, for pushing through mental barriers that had been with me. Before Pathfinder I never thought I could ruck 12 miles in under 3.5 hours or ruck for 26 miles in 8 hours. Midway through the training program I felt like my ruck never felt “heavy” and I needed to add coupons to make the training harder. The end result of Pathfinder is easily measured in miles and challenges (all of which is tracked in real time) but is best put to test by my actually completing my first GORUCK Challenge on 11/21.
Pathfinder 003 prepared me for my Challenge beyond measure. PT by Cadre will always burn you at some point, but miles under my ruck with coupons was, well normal after Pathfinder training. Physically my ruck didn’t pose a burden to my shoulders or legs. The physical aspect of the event became a non-issue. Mentally, Pathfinder prepared me to push through. What’s 20 miles if I’ve done 26? If I could go 10 miles with 40 pounds, then 4 flights of stairs with 80 pounds isn’t so bad. Because of Pathfinder training I was able to enjoy the Challenge for myself and to be of better use to my team. Pathfinder didn’t just prepare me to complete the mission, it allowed me to excel in it.
I’ll be using Pathfinder 004 to train for a Heavy in March. I have no doubt it will get me ready for that as much as it did for the Challenge. Don’t go at it alone, Pathfinder has proven itself invaluable to so many already. Pathfinder Training: Don’t just finish an event…crush it.