Introducing Ethan Simpson

Introducing Ethan Simpson


Ethan Simpson is a member of the Apex Predator Athletics Research Team and currently studies exercise physiology at California State University Monterey Bay.

Greetings. As part of the Apex Predator Research Team, “Schep” has asked me to discuss my recent decision to sign up for a GORUCK Challenge. Before I dive into the details let me cover the basics. I am in my junior year at California State University of Monterey Bay studying exercise physiology. My hope is to receive a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certification from the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) alongside my bachelor’s of science. I currently intern as an athletic trainer for the University’s athletic department. During the summer months I spend anywhere between fourteen to twenty hours a week in the water. Training outside of the ocean is completed in my garage with all the necessities; rogue bar, bumpers, kettle bells, pull-up bar, jump rope, etc…

During the school year I am blessed with a great training partner to chase in the gym as well as academically. When I arrived home for summer the intensity of this push and pull just died out. I continued to train but my goals became the end as opposed to the means. At school a new deadlift or snatch personal record was the means to pushing or even besting my training partner, which was the ultimate end. We all want to increase our lifts but if that is where the goals end then the true point of fitness has been lost. The search for a new end began which finally culminated in signing away a good chunk of my life and the death warrant for the GORUCK Challenge.


Coach Graef crawls through a tunnel of bike racks while completing a GoRuck Challenge in Honolulu recently.

The event is a team based training process. Led by a Special Operations Cadre up to thirty participants are led through the host city. Twelve hours. Twenty Miles. Fifty pounds in a ruck. Through the night. Oh and if that wasn’t enough fun… after eight hours back strap privileges are revoked. The starting point is only announced a week before the event start and the route isn’t revealed until on site. I will be completing the event with a GORUCK Gr1. I have chosen to use bricks with “100 mph” tape as opposed to sand bags because of the weight increase when sand gets wet. Often I find myself seeking high functioning people. Too many have boxed themselves into what they can do and what they can’t do becoming conditioned to a sense of false security. I want to spend my time, energy, and passion with people that JUST DO because they don’t have pre determined limits. What better way to connect with a group that shares this outlook than competing with thirty individuals that consider twelve hours of Special Forces training “good livin’.” Wish me luck.


“The phrase ‘I can’t’ doesn’t mean anything to me anymore, not because of my ego but because I know anything is possible.” – Joe De Sena