I've been training for OCR specifically for the past four (almost five) years now. The training requires such a wide range of skills, and an immense time-commitment to perform at peak levels and place in the top field at races. Running, heavy carries, crawling, jumping, climbing, swimming...it's all a part of OCR, and it's so fun.
This year, in part thanks to the restrictions due to Covid (I know...there isn't a whole lot we can thank Covid for), a new opportunity began to present itself. Every single race that I had on my schedule was cancelled. I'd planned on blasting through some Ultra's in 2020 after having taking 3rd place overall at the Mill Spring Spartan Ultra in November 2019. New Jersey was on my list, as well as Ohio and, along with about 10 other shorter races, my eyes were set on the Spartan Ultra World Championship since it would be back in Vermont and I could afford to make the trip. Well, as we all know, it was all taken away. I started wondering what other opportunities might be out there.
I've researched the military (Army specifically) extensively in the past. Part of what's awesome about OCR is the challenge it provides. It's a mental challenge, and a physical challenge. Well, one thing many people know, but some of you may not, is that many of the obstacles that you experience at races were derived from military obstacle courses. The military has been using obstacles courses for a VERY LONG TIME to help soldiers get into shape and prepare them for tough physical challenges.
Within the military, there are extremely challenging routes that soldiers can take. Challenges that go for days and weeks. Challenges that put the mind and body under extreme stress and demand performance at a high level. Within the military, you'll also find some astounding athletes. People who work hard every day and are at fitness levels that are hard to imagine. Think of people like Robert Killian and David Goggins.
Well, I'm all about challenges, and something about the Army in particular has been engrained in me since I was young. I didn't consider any other branches of service, and, after a bit of a complicated process, I've officially enlisted in the United States Army. My goal, while in service, is to go as far as I possibly can. I mean that both professionally, physically, and mentally. Just like in OCR, I want to see what levels I can reach, and I want to an opportunity (pray that I get the opportunities if you would) to tackle the most challenging courses/schools that the Army offers.
I'm not leaving OCR, and I'm not leaving Trio Fitness OCR. I'll still be training for OCRs and participating in races whenever possible. I'll still be coaching clients, creating content for the OCR community, and planning out ridiculous training goals. There is such a massive crossover between the physical demands in OCR, and those in the Army, that I feel confident that each will make me better at the other.
I spent several months preparing for some of the more specific physical changes I'd incur in the Army (I was preparing even before I was sure if I wanted to join, and even during the enlistment process before I knew if everything would clear properly). I started rucking (a staple in the Army), and ended up doing about 250 miles of rucking, building up initially from a 20lb vest up to a 50lb backpack. I increased my strength over the course of several months by adding in 20lb and 40lb weight vests to my training. All the gyms were closed, so I relied on TRX, Weight Vest, Calisthenics, and a 445lb Tires for my strength training. I put on a few extra pounds of muscle (to help with carrying heavier loads), and I think I'm about as ready to go as I can be.
My Dad's dad served 3 years in the Marines during WWII. My dad spent 3 years in the Army doing missile defense. My oldest brother spent 3 years in the Army and served in the Army Rangers. One of my wife's grandfathers spent 3 years in the Army, and her other grandfather retired from the Navy after more than 20 years. I guess I'll just keep the lines going for a while longer!
OCR has a very strong community of current and prior military who participate in events, have clubs/groups, and even put on events (think Bone Frog Challenge). I'm excited to join the military community, challenge myself in different ways, and God-willing, excel through hard work and consistency.
Trio Fitness OCR creates OCR training programs for athletes within our sport who want to improve their speed, strength, and endurance. We have custom programs, and different levels of training to match the goals of each athlete we coach.