Ruck BEAST Squad features interviews with members of the community to highlight their lives, training, gear, and insight. Hopefully as you read through this you’ll be able to take away advice that will help you train better and perform better that upcoming events. In this issue of Ruck BEAST Squad we get to know Sara Wallace!
Q: Tell us a little about yourself to get us started.
A: I’m 43 years old , live in Leland NC, I’m a Life Coach and work with kids with learning differences. After 23 years of marriage, I have found myself in a new place being single facing this world and all the changes that come with it.
Q: Where did your GORUCK journey start? What was your first event? What stands out from that event?
A: My GORUCK journey started as one of self discovery and healing. I separated from my husband of 23 years in August 2019. I was lost… everything I knew has been turned upside down. One night in November, I did a google search and came across rucking. As a runner and avid exercise enthusiast I was intrigued. At the time, my goal for myself was to meet new people, spend the night in a hotel by myself, and find out how strong I was. They say if something scares you, you should do it… so I picked an event in Charlotte, signed up, pulled my Northface out of my closet and borrowed 2 bricks from my friends fire pit. I started training November 5th. I walked 2 miles with my ruck. Then I googled training for a GORUCK event, watched videos and printed off the GORUCK training schedule. I watched the movie and read Ghost Soldiers…I was ready for the Great Raid Light. January 18th rolled around. I drove to Charlotte by myself on a rainy Saturday. I was nervous, scared and almost turned around twice. I pulled into the parking deck at 1230, and waited. Cars slowly pulled in. People started gathering. I found the courage to get out. I grabbed my Northface (instant sign you’re a newbie) and walked over. Debbie is the first person I met and David was the second… these two were my lifeline during the event…and I realized I was hooked. The community was the most amazing part of this. It started with 21 strangers and 2 Cadre. It ended with 21 teammates under the leadership of 2 fine men who shared their love of their country and military history with us. Back at my hotel, after a hot shower, I went online and I signed up for 5 more events in 2020. This was my thing and these were my people.
Q: What was your most recent event or events. What would you like to tell us about it / them?
A: My most recent event was in February 2020 OSS OP Green Up, Washington, DC, Cadre Bo After 6 weeks of Pathfinder training, I exceeded my expectations, met some incredible people (one was 8 years old) and carried some heavy stuff. I was raised in Annapolis, MD and DC was a stomping ground for me as a teenager…so to ruck it and see it this way was moving. The greatest part…drinking a beer on the National Mall celebrating another personal success.
Q: Favorite Ruck?
A: For events Rucker 2.0 Midnight Blue with my Zero Fucks Given patch. For everyday, GR1 21L Blue and Red with my Marine Corp patch (my dad was a Colonel in the Marines and would have loved rucking with me)
Q: Proudest accomplishment as a GRT?
A: Showing up to my first event in a strange town and not knowing anyone… leaving that event after seeing Charlotte in a whole new way with 20 friends and a community of weirdos just like me!
Q: How many events have you done? What’s your favorite event or type of event? Why?
A: 2 Lights. Favorite event…the next one…
Q: Why do you continue to do events? What keeps you coming back?
A: The people, the cadre’s and the challenge of the unknown.
Q: How do you train for events?
A: Currently enrolled in Pathfinder….highly recommend it. (rucking lots of miles per week, WOD and checking in on my GRT community to encourage them to #keeptraining)
Q: Best Rucking and / or GORUCK event advice you have gotten?
A: Be positive, smile and rainbows and glitter go along way in the rain (David Tasillo) Next time sign up for a harder event
Q: Other than packing list items, what is a must have in your ruck for events?
A: Caffiene Beans and an egg (even if Fagan isn’t the cadre)…other than that…pack light!
Q: A book or a few that have impacted your life? Why?
Q: What other hobbies do you have?
A: Surfing, skiing, reading, hiking, skydiving, traveling, cooking for friends and hanging out
Q: What’s the best purchase under $100 you’ve made in the past 12 months.
A: Wireless earbuds (for long rucks) and Jack (my rescue dog from the pound) so I don’t have to ruck alone!
Q: How has rucking changed or improved your life?
A: Rucking has helped me focus on what is important, find a community and a healthy activity. Everyone can ruck! I have shared my love of rucking with a 14 year old boy, on the Autism Spectrum, that I work with… he’s never been part of a team or earned a trophy… BUT to the Cape Fear Rucking Club he is The Boss and part of the gang. Everyone has included him, looks out for him and encourages him to choose the harder thing!!! Now we ruck about 25 miles a week together and he has a purpose when he rucks with Jack. My goal is for him to earn his first patch at a light!! Counting on my GORUCK community to help him find his place as part of the #GORUCK community.
Q: How do you recruit new people to ruck, or do events with you?
A: When people say they want to spend time together, I let them know when I’m rucking and invite them. They have already heard more than 1 conversation where I have raved about it. I also have 2 extra rucks, extra plates and a northface with bricks for those who want the real rucking experience.
Q: Best Beer to drink after a ruck?
A: A cold one
Q: Advice you would give to someone before their 1st Light?
A: Prepare, pack light, be open minded, do your part, don’t fucking quit and be ready for the time of your life…. you are either going to love it or hate it
Q: Advice you’d give to someone before their 1st Tough?
A: Not sure… waiting to do mine… so I’ll take any advice I can get
Q: If you get overwhelmed during an event how do you refocus on the task at hand?
A: Ask for help or start talking to the person next to you…GORUCK is a team event…
Q: What’s the next event or events on your calendar?
A: I was supposed to do my first tough May 15th. It was a Savage so tough + obstacle course…waiting for the coronavirus ban to lift…I ‘ve got 4 more after that!
Q: Any parting shots? Things the community needs to know?
A: My notes to self after The Great Raid…my first GORUCK Light event
- Meet new people, learn their names
- Be nice to the people in front of you, beside you and behind you… you don’t know when you’ll need them
- You can learn a lot from good and bad leaders, next time you may be the leader and people will be judging you
- If you get lost, ask for directions
- Choose the harder thing
- Carry heavy shit, it makes you stronger
- Being part of a team is always better than trying to go at things alone
- Take care of the baby egg, some day you may be the baby egg
- You only get one chance to be the newbie… so look, listen and observe
- Everything in life is a lesson good or bad… you will learn from it
- Be prepared..not over prepared or underprepared… trust yourself and go for it
- Don’t be the gray man
- Rainbows and glitter go a long way in the rain (be positive, someone needs the encouragement)
- A cold beer and a patch make it all worth it
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Do the work, ignore the stares and be proud of who or what you spend your time with
- Do strange things with a bunch of weridos… then you won’t care what people think of you