“We Are A Product Of Our Environment”  AAR from Ethan Simpson

“We Are A Product Of Our Environment” AAR from Ethan Simpson

We Are A Product Of Our Environment

It has been several days now since WE completed my inaugural GORUCK Challenge. I emphasize the word WE because the tasks that were accomplished go far beyond the physical and mental capabilities of any individual, especially mine. Twenty-six rucksacks, twenty miles, thirteen and a half hours, a dozen eggs, five logs, three full sized kegs, two pony kegs, a couple sixty pound sandbags, several sandy beaches, and one pier later the team building endurance event came to an end. The class I was a part of began as a group of individuals and came out as a finely tuned machine. A large part of this transformative process was bear crawls, bear crawls, and yes… more bear crawls. Bear crawls are clearly an excellent solution for any issues that arise within a team. Our Cadre, Jessie, didn’t believe in regular PT exercises because with a large group many people half rep exercises. Outside of burpees, the team didn’t complete a single pushup. What about flutter kicks you say? Nope. Just bear crawls…




On a more serious note, this joint destroying adventure is a gateway to a very unique community. GORUCK has created a bridge between the military and civilian lifestyle. Action, energy, and purpose all run deep in this society. One’s thoughts are molded and influenced by their environment. Choosing to be surrounded by elite individuals can only be beneficial in mastering physical movement as well cognitive tasks such as schooling and work. Since 2010 The GORUCK Challenge has been showing Americans that they are far more capable then they think. A citizen that has the propensity to accept nothing less than complete success is a better American. It is outstanding that a company employs over seventy Special Forces Cadre that truly care about imbuing this love for adversity in our communities, businesses, and individuals across the nation.

The GORUCK Challenge is a reminder that the human body is an incredible product of evolution. Millions of years have resulted in a vessel that has evolved to survive. We are well-engineered, infinitely complex systems. Throughout history the living conditions of our species have varied drastically. The difficult conditions of years gone by no longer exist. The modern American lifestyle does little to maintain a physically (I would argue mentally as well) capable body. Supermarkets have any and every nutritional necessity covered. Transportation is achieved through engineered vehicles. The average citizen hardly has a need for physical strength. The Challenge is a perfect induction of the tough situations we lack.





The best piece of advice I received came right before I left for the Newport Pier. Coach Schepp gave me the typical pre event alpha speech… melt faces… never quit… failure is for the weak… all the good stuff. However, what stood out to me was the phrase “count yourself among the strong.” My fitness community, APA, thought I was prepared and so did the Cadre so why shouldn’t I feel the same way? GORUCK and Apex Predator Athletics are special because they demand your best and nothing less. You are more powerful than you can imagine. These two communities offer tools and support that allow you to access that untapped potential. You are a product of your contextual demands. What does your environment require?

Embrace the suck.

– Ethan Simpson