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It may sound weird or crazy to some, but I was LUCKY enough to win an entry to compete in the Endeavor Team Challenge. In July of 2017 I was part of a four man team that competed in the San Leandro SWAT competition that benefits the George Marks Children’s Foundation. This is an all day competition that consists of six separate events with a 10 minute rest period in between each event. The event starts with a crossfit style workout, then into a 10 minute object carry with the goal to complete as much distance as you can in the 10 minutes, followed by a tactical medical evaluation (fastest time to apply two tourniquets to a bleeding victim), 6 mile run with object carry, 1/4 mile swim, 3 mile run to a gun range for a handgun qualification ending with a 3 mile run to the finish. Our four man team ended up winning the competition and one of the prizes was an entry to compete in the 2017 Endeavor Team Challenge which come to find out was only two months away!!
Looking back at the Endeavor Team Challenge I am humbled to have been provided that opportunity. Not having any idea what I was getting myself into, I thought I was well prepared to compete. Both my partner and I had previously done a few tough mudders with a big group of friends along with a couple of small Spartan races. We both enjoy running and working out so we figured we would be good.
When I am not preparing for a competition, my training regimen is pretty basic. I wake up every morning before work, usually around 4:30 and spend about an hour to an hour 1/2 at the gym. My workouts are more cardio based then heavy weight lifting and I will often do anywhere from 6 to 12 mile runs on the weekends. When preparing for the Endeavor Team Challenge in the two months time, we did what we could to up our workouts. We tried to get as many pack runs in as we could. We filled our backpacks with more weight then what we thought we were going to need and we would take off on long hikes / runs. The one big problem, although a great place to train, is that we live by the beach so there was no way to train for the elevation. We made sure to add a bunch of leg workouts whether it was pushing sleds up hill or doing hill repeats over and over. I found it very difficult to find the time to actually train for a long duration that would even come close to the 30+ hours of Endeavor.
I think I would start by wearing different shoes. I rolled my ankle in the first 5 mile trek and had to fight through the pain the rest of the way. My team could definitely improve on the mental challenge, I think we almost timed out on that event. Just better communication and direction. I also think I would pack less, was way overpacked for our first attempt. I figured better be safe than sorry but it sure made it harder to carry.
I loved the obstacle course. I thought the course was extremely difficult and really brought out the teamwork portion. In addition the navigation was something that I have never done before so I found it to be challenging but also rewarding. Other then that the whole Endeavor was a kick in the ass but also very enjoyable.
I would have to say that the best advice for anyone would be to make sure your mind is in the right place. I am a big believer in your mind controls a lot of what we believe we can and can’t do. I was surprised that only half of our field completed the competition. I know some were do to injury which is completely understandable but to just give up means that you weren’t mentally prepared to begin with. Always expect the unexpected, snow, rain, freezing temperatures, and know that self talk and teamwork can get you through more that what you ever believe you could do.
Thank you so much for the opportunity and continuing to keep the Endeavor challenge going. Hopefully I will see you again in the future.