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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Get Up That Rope, Private!

Yesterday we saw the Senior class - the class that's about 4 weeks ahead of us in training - return from an obstacle course. They were battered, bruised and exhausted. The rumor is a few ended up in the hospital as well. They did not return from just any obstacle course, they returned from Nasty Nick, the Special Forces obstacle course. Nasty Nick is known for being, well nasty. There are multi-story towers you can only get up by climbing thick ropes. You can only get down them by sliding over ropes, either balanced on your belly or hanging from arms and legs. Parts are supposed to require balancing on a narrow beam high above the ground, while others apparently involve mud and water.

Way back in High School I used to be able to climb up a rope - barely. That was half a lifetime ago for me.

Today is Sunday. At this point in our training, Sundays are somewhat regulated affairs. People who attend various religious services go in groups at the appointed times. Services start between 0830 and 1100 depending on the faith. I had an important conversation with the Company Chaplain that I will come back to in a later blog. Those not at a service are generally assigned to a work detail. The duty Drill Sergeant (there is only one on duty for both classes) supervises the work details. Today, DS Bergstadt was in charge of us. He's normally assigned to the Senior Class. He also happens to be crazy. In a good way, but crazy nevertheless. For example, he's known for rappelling down the outside of the barracks to pop in on students at night to try and catch them in the act of doing the wrong thing. One time when a student dumped a load of dust on his students heads, he... You'll have to stay tuned to find out what happened that time (the student doing the dumping was me!)

Today DS Bergstadt decided that it would be a waste of valuable training time to put us on work details. Instead, he took us over to a rope climbing facility and proceeded to instruct us in the fine art of hauling our rears 30' vertically up ropes. The technique he showed us was to wedge the rope between the top of one boot and sole of the other, while reaching up to grab the rope as high up as possible. Then you just hold tight (don't pull up with your arms) while bringing your knees up to your chest. Lock your feet to the rope again, and stand up. Repeat until you reach the top.

The result of this training was - I had no idea how I would be able to complete Nasty Nick. I could repeat the climbing procedure no more than twice, getting me about 5 feet up the rope, before my hand strength gave out. With just a few weeks to go, I was very worried about Nasty Nick. On the other hand, I could not wait for the challenge.


At 11:45 AM, Blogger Tracy said...

Thanks for your help with the car issue. I provided loads of documentation and wrote a very impassioned letter and asked to see Honda's policy in writing. A few hours later they have now approved me to turn the damn car back in! Yeah!

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Eric Johannsen said...

Good for you!

It's good to see a company will step up and do the right thing if they think they have to ;-)

Hopefully others in the same situation will read about your experience getting Honda to comply with SSCRA.


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