A-Rucking We Will Go

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Those of you that know me know that I couldn’t be further from the fitness spectrum. In fact, I’m like Pluto if fitness is Earth. I hate working out and always have. I keep thinking that’ll change and I keep kidding myself. I thought I’d get into running to work on cardio for the Idaho trip. Guess what? I freakin’ hate running. Apparently that hasn’t changed from high school.

Well, this week my buddy Will told me about rucking. Apparently I should have been doing this all along. Heck, it’s what I do in the woods. So I did what any good rucker would. I loaded up my pack with about 20 pounds and headed out to my favorite Jax trail, the Willie Brown at the Teddy Roosevelt area of the Timucaun Preserve. It’s been way too long and it felt great to be back. I really do love the area.

I also had the GPS, map, and compass with me. I learned something as well. In Florida, the minor elevation gain provided by a small observation platform doesn’t help you pinpoint landmarks very much. The marsh all looks the same from about 25′ up. 🙁 Alas, I did manage to take some decent bearings though I had to run them again because I misidentified what I used for my first target. Unfortunately the detail on a 7.5′ USGS map wasn’t enough to get a great, detailed location, I did pretty much pinpoint where I was. This was confirmed both with the UTM coordinates from the GPS and the posted lat/long coordinates posted on the platform itself.

After leaving the tower I ran into a guy who’d stopped on a bench to take a break. It turns out he’s heading to Montana next month for some hunting and he had some insight on Idaho. We had a great conversation and while it put me way behind on my time I’m glad we chatted.

I had to book it to get out of there by dusk when the park closes. I’d hoped to do another compass drill from the bluff overlooking the cut range but the foliage was too dense. It was probably just as well. I got back to my truck at 8:30 which is probably right about time for it to close. I wasn’t the only car left, though, so I didn’t feel too bad.

I managed to knock out a 3-mile ruck and it felt great. Now that’s exercise I can deal with. Heck, I might even get involved with this rucking stuff. Wouldn’t that be something?


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