What is a Military Ruck and Why in the Heck Does BUBS Keep Doing Them?
about 1 year ago
Not everyone gets the chance to march stealthily through the dead of night on a mission, or feel the ebb and flow of a small group working together, despite pain and setback, to reach a shared end goal. Most people, when asked if they wanted to ruck 50 miles with 20 pounds of weight on their back, would say, “No thanks, I’m good.” But there was always one person who always said yes: Glen “Bub” Doherty. In that team spirit of daring adventure, it’s become a thing amongst BUBS team members to follow in Bub’s footprints and, in his honor, take on the GORUCK challenge. Because well...#GlenWouldGo. Rucking, which is rooted in the military, is walking long distances with a weighted rucksack. As one can safely assume, it requires strength, endurance, and character -- and builds it, too. Ryan Hayes, the creative force behind BUBS Naturals, recently took on his second ruck, the GORUCK Star Course, a 50-mile course through Los Angeles, CA. This was his second course, having already completed the Star Course in San Diego, CA in November. “I like difficult things that I have to think about for months before engaging in. I'm not lying. I like being uncomfortable because I tend to learn more about myself and my own willpower to defeat the things I mentally suffer from the most.”
And Hayes had, in fact, spent months thinking about it. Hayes first learned about rucks via TJ Ferrara, BUBS Co-Founder. Ferrara got an email one day in January 2019, from a BUBS customer, inviting him to do the 50-miler Washington, D.C Star Course with his group. “I must have got caught in the moment, because my first reaction was, ‘Sure. How hard can it be?’. The answer: hard; Very hard,” Ferrara wrote in his After Action Report. So Hayes, Ferrara and BUBS co-founder Sean Lake signed up for San Diego’s star course, last November. Ferrara, never one to mince words, told Hayes, "The first 20 miles is easy. The next 15 suck. The last 15 are awful... just fall forward and don't stop." And that’s just what they did. They fell forward for fifty miles, and they got their patch.
After they finished that one, Hayes signed up for the Los Angeles course. “Why not,” asked Hayes.” I set a goal at the end of the last year... 4 actually... 1) 3 Rucks and 2) Earn more patches than TJ. Can't do one without the other. Why have more than TJ? Again, why not?” Hayes trained, and trained, and trained. After a full day making all things BUBS beautiful, Hayes went home to his wife and kids and then, when everyone else was sleeping, Hayes threw on his pack and walked the streets around his neighborhood. “I think about a lot of things... but all roads lead back to my being grateful for being surrounded by a group of guys that were consistently supporting one another in a painful, but swift journey that pales in comparison to what anyone of our service men and women do on the daily here and overseas. That said, a great takeaway from our last ruck with nine guys was the awesome pair offs that happened along the way,” Hayes remembers.
“The group would naturally expand and contract, forming new mini groups of 1, 2, or 3 guys having conversations about any number of things... and that same group morphing into another, starting an entirely new one. It was great to see that group do that -- because it's not an experience you can really buy -- your only way in is to suffer with those alongside you.”And it’s that same concept, of one group expanding and contracting, shifting differently alongside others, that got Hayes through the Los Angeles course, albeit unsuccessfully. “What happened isn’t simple. Or maybe it is. Simply, I failed. Yes we were a team, but I failed myself. I’ve got myriad reasons why but the older I get, the more I realize how lucky I am to be alive and well - the easier it is to cut to the bullshit. I didn’t prepare enough. It’s easy. Either you swallow the ruck or the ruck swallows you. I got swallowed,” Hayes said. So that’s that then, right? Of course not. Because #GlenWouldGo. And that’s what we do at BUBS. The quote that kept going through Hayes’s head through Tyson’s, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” because it perfectly encapsulates a “ruck”. You DO IT, or it’ll DO YOU. Hayes could stay home with his family, stop rucking at midnight, looking like a burglar in the suburbs. Ferrara could have said, “Nah, I’m good,” when that first customer emailed in. But thats not what BUBS does. “I don’t like failing. But the truth is, I’ll fail again. But I’m a resilient guy and overcommitting out of love for a good challenge won’t ever stop. If TJ or Sean called me tomorrow and said ‘Get your shit together, we’re hiking Everest in December,” I’d have a snarky comment about how I’ll look better doing it.” But they’d do it. And probably will….because