We are joined again by GORUCK Business Development Manager and fellow GRT Kit Klein. In this episode we talk about all things ruck clubs including what some accomplished in 2017, the ruck club battle, and the changes being made to the ruck club program in 2018.
Ruck clubs are the foundation behind growing the rucking communities so it’s always great to hear what GORUCK has in store for them. If you run a ruck club, are thinking of starting a ruck club, or are a member of a ruck club then there’s some great info in this episode for you.
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Brian: I’m here talking with Kit, who has a major hand in the Ruck Club Program at GORUCK. I’m very excited that he’s joining us again today, because we’re going to be talking about what ruck clubs have been doing in 2017, what the ruck club program is like and any changes that are happening to it for 2018. Kit, how are you doing today?
Kit: I’m fantastic. My Eagles won the Super Bowl, so I am just on Cloud 9 right now.
Kit: Feel good. Feel good. It’s been a long time coming, so we’re really happy. Or at least I’m really happy and I’m sure all Eagles fan share the same sentiments.
Brian: I’m sure. I am absolutely sure. I was watching the videos of it and it looked like everyone out there was pretty happy.
Brian: I’m really excited to start talking about this. We’ve had just a large number of ruck clubs. The ruck battle just happened actually down in GORUCK HQ, where a ton of ruck clubs came together, so I feel like this is just such a cool program.
Kit: For sure. We’ve really seen such amazing things come from this in general. Just like you said, we had the first ever ruck club battle happen last Saturday. I was actually taking part in that as part of the GORUCK HQ ruck club. We ended up finishing in third place overall unfortunately, but it was a really, really cool event. That’s really different than a normal GORUCK event.
Normal than a GORUCK light, or anything along those lines, because of the team competition aspect, which really add a lot of fun to the overall event, because it just created this internal team camaraderie, you’re competing with other people, you’re trying to do – we had the first event, which is a deck of cards and finding out what rucks you’re going to do, to what exercise followed by a formal ruck, so ton, and then a bunch of other dragging activities into the ocean, tank tracks, the relays and ultimately culminating with a statue of liberty hold for the second and third place that seems to – we were in a tie, which we were.
Figure out who’s going to be the winner. Ultimately, it was an awesome opportunity, because then at the end of it, it was great to see all those community in one place and in some people’s travel all the way from Southern California, other people from up in the north east, the Midwest and then of course around Florida.
It was really awesome to see everyone get together in such a interesting and unique way for a GORUCK event, but then at the end of the day be able to share deer, talk about the ruck clubs. It’s now we showed a little bit better face to face and really just understand what everything is all about. Seems to be a decent person is a lot different than even just seeing them on Facebook or some other form of the internet.
Brian: What an awesome way to just get everyone together too.
Kit: For sure. I mean, I think we’re definitely going to look into ways to expand the ruck club battles in general. It is one of my goals to see what we can do to make that happen in other places, just because it’s such a fun event and it’s such a cool thing to happen. I would love to see they have more. I mean, I don’t know what that looks like or that would be impossible at this point, but I definitely want to look into that more and see what we can do, because I feel like the whole point of what I do and what our team does is to really make sure that ruck clubs are setup to success.
We’re getting back to the original point. We do such amazing things from the ruck clubs, whether it’s raising money for charity through the St. Patrick events, I mean ruck clubs come together for those types of things. Supporting different – like the calls we supported was a run to hill initiative for this ruck club battle, where people were donating their cab fares to the Christian Rufus Charity for that.
We’ve seen people come together on other service aspects in terms of donating foods to food shelters, rucking their cans to various locations and donating them, or just in general creating more of a community within their towns or their places they live and see people who might not necessarily get out to work out, find a ruck club and then say, “This is great, because I could bring my dog, I could bring my kids. It is I don’t have to go to a workout class and keep my kid in some sort of daycare. I can just put them in a stroller and go for a ruck, and so get a really good workout without having to leave them, or be apart from my family.”
Again, it always comes back to the basics of rucking, where the great equalizer is weight and you can put more weight or less weight depending on your abilities and you all get the same workout. It’s just amazing to see those types of things come to fruition within ruck clubs and really just see them grow. I mean, a lot of people have started ruck clubs and they just become this massive forces in their own geographic area, where there is 50, 60, a 100 people that are coming out monthly to these various activities, getting together and having a beer, or rucking of course, or just fun ways to make new friends really.
Brian: That’s awesome. For those who are listening and don’t know what a ruck club is, what is the GORUCK definition of a ruck club?
Kit: A ruck club is basically somewhere that a group of people are getting together to go for a ruck. Regularly this is the basis. Our standard is about once a month we like to see the ruck club get out and do a ruck with their group. Most people do more than that. It’s usually maybe once a week, even sometimes twice a week depending on their geography area, where maybe cold or whatever.
We have crossed the gyms that do it. We have just regular people that meetup on a street corner, very much like early GORUCK. We have random gyms that maybe your typical hone wall gym that people just ruck from. We have fire departments, we’ve got team RWB chapters. There is just a lot of people that get together, but it’s basically all foundation on the rucking, getting together and putting some weight on your back.
Brian: That’s great. There can be some structure behind it, like it’s out of a gym or a CrossFit box, or a fire department. It can also be just a group of people who all like rucking and just so happen to get together and ruck together.
Kit: Yup. We see people from all different backgrounds. I mean, a lot of GRTs who completed GORUCK events in the past lead the charge when it comes to a GORUCK Ruck Club. Whereas, we also have a lot of people who see that we promote those ruck clubs on our website as places to go and ruck. That’s where we see other people coming from. Your gym owner and they’ll say, “Hey, I want to get my gym listed somewhere to come and ruck.” Then they’ll write in and look to become a ruck club as well.
Brian: One of the differentiating factors between ruck clubs is obviously the ruck club name. I’ve noticed a lot of ruck clubs have come up with interesting names, and some of them are pretty good. Are there any that have come by your desk for the application form to become a GORUCK ruck club that really made you laughed?
Kit: I mean, I think the one that I always think of is just the Bruckfist Club. It’s out in California and they basically get together and have breakfast and they call Bruckist Club and then their logo is like some breakfast food and all that. That’s about cool. Just getting on that idea that you can get together and do something fun in addition to the ruck. I think that’s always a really good strategy to make things more fun.
Then I’m trying to think of some other names. It’s just so many people that we have that have all the Palm Valley Ruckers, the Drewberries. They’re usually just something ruck club and then there is F and Mercy’s. Ryan Mercy signed up in the northeast. It’s a lot of good stuff out there with our GR Ruck Clubs. GRTs are super creative when it comes to their patches and the things they want to do. There’s never a shortage of a change in the ruck club community.
Brian: That’s awesome. I noticed you mentioned Palm Beach. They won the ruck club battle, is that correct?
Kit: That is. They did an awesome job. Their team was dominating on a lot of the challenges we had to face throughout the light and they were great. I mean, all the ruck clubs will put out and it was really cool to see everybody shoot for that goal of coming in first place and just do the best that they could to place. At the end of the day we just had fun, but yeah, they did an awesome job.
Brian: That’s awesome. Congrats to PBRC on that.
Kit: Congratulations to them.
Brian: Absolutely. These groups come together, they ruck, they have a good time training for ruck events, for GORUCK events, they send an e-mail, fill out the form on the GORUCK website to get registered with GORUCK as an official ruck club. What are some of the reasons why a ruck club, or just a group of people who are getting together rucking right now in a consistent basis would want to take the time to register with GORUCK?
Kit: We are moving towards a way to promote and support ruck clubs a lot better in 2018. In the past, what we’ve done is provide some gear discount, some event discounts, done some special sales, things like that that really give in ruck clubs an opportunity to provide the members with a benefit for being a ruck club.
We’ve also and just like I said earlier provided exposure to these gyms or ruck clubs. I mean, a lot of these ruck clubs, like I said they grow exponentially once they start the ruck club – they’ll just start something small and the next thing you know they filed for a 501C3 and are raising money for all types of charities. There was one I think that was from Houston that just did that. They have a giant ruck club in all different quadrants of the city and they just filed for their 501C3.
It’s pretty amazing to see those types of things happen and people like to get the exposure for being a GORUCK Ruck Club, an official GORUCK Ruck Club. Someone that we feel proud to support, because obviously they’re supporting us and we appreciate that. I think that in 2018, our goals are to provide them with more beneficial discount such as we’re going to have a monthly code.
Before we give a code out to the clubs and it would last for a certain number of months, now we’re looking to just have a single code for each club that last a month for their events, that’s a way you can get a discount on their events, then that will expire into the month giving them an opportunity to get that out there and for that month give them a little bit more incentive.
Then we’re also doing specific gear discounts each month. Before it was – you had to earn it and then you lose it, but now if you’re part of a ruck club, we’re offering a special discount on specific gear. If you’re saying, “Hey, I want to purchase some piece of gear.” You look and we send out a monthly e-mail. Then in the e-mail you see that piece of gear. Okay, awesome. I can get an excellent discount on this piece of gear, because we are more focused on those types of offers that we can extend.
Then if there are those opportunities for full quarters, they’re like, “Hey, I don’t see any gear that they’re offering currently on sale,” then we can work with people on large bulk discount as well. If they’re saying, “Hey, we want to purchase a bunch of – some piece of gear and a high quantity,” then we can talk about that as well. It’s just as simple as shooting us an e-mail and we can see what we can do for you on that end.
Brian: That’s awesome. Definitely great benefits right there.
Kit: Then we’re also looking to provide a playbook. One of our big goals this year is what we’re going to call the ruck club field manual. It’s going to give basically ruck clubs the playbook or the route that they can take to really be successful. We’re finalizing that as we speak. We’re trying to come up with something that is useful, but also informative and provides just enough information to get over some of the humps that people might say, that understand where we’re coming from on the things that we need to get done, but also just what we can do to beset support them.
Our ruck club field manual is going to be a nice tool that will have hopefully in the next coming week, be able download off of our site, for ruck clubs, the potential ruck clubs. We also just again, it’s focused on the rucking aspects, because we really want to work with groups that out there rucking. That being said, if there’s already a ruck club in the community then we might direct a newer ruck club to the already established ruck club depending on the geographic location. Like some locations are much larger, so it might make sense to have two ruck clubs in different parts of a city.
Other times, it makes more sense to just join people up, because they’re only 10, 15 minutes apart and it’s probably easier if they just end up joining forces and maybe having different chapters around that city. We’re trying to really give support in the sense of guidance and just overall understanding of each other through the ruck club program.
Brian: That’s great. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of clubs who are really excited to hear that there’s going to be a ruck club field manual, because I know one of the humps that some clubs have gone through is they’ve got the person who established the club, and probably one or two friends who they ruck with. They’re just not sure how do they – not really advertise this, but how do they get more people in who want to ruck and train for GORUCK events, because it is very specific. It’s not like running, where everyone knows what running is and you can find running clubs everywhere. This will be great. I’m very excited about this.
Kit: Yeah, I think it will really help to – just like you said, provide a little more guidance with what to do in the beginning stages, what to do when you’ve got something rolling, what to do when you just need some basic guidance. I mean, we have built into it how to former ruck, like what that might look like. I think I had mentioned that before in our previous podcast that we’re building that document that I mentioned into this field manual, so that way people can get an idea what basic skeleton of a ruck put o might look like. Then building off of that into more successful things; how to use the GORUCK logo, simple things like that as well to give people just more understanding and more control, so that they can say, “Hey, this is what I’m able to do as a GORUCK Ruck Club.”
Brian: That’s awesome. I think that’s exciting too that you’ll be in some part redirecting new inquiries about ruck clubs to already established clubs, because I can imagine that five ruck clubs with two to three people each might be a little less fun than run one ruck club for those 15 people rucking together and having a good time.
Kit: Right. We definitely want to do that. If you’re a part of a ruck club and you’ve got two or three people and like, “Hey, this is great.” But you realize that across the city that you live in, there might be more people that are rucking, then maybe it makes sense to join up. I mean, again it’s very geographic dependent, because even here in Jackson, our city is one of the biggest cities in the United States by land mass. It’s like you could have someone at the beaches and someone downtown and it would almost be like a completely separate area, because it’s just so far with traffic and whatever else.
Here, I can understand that. I mean, like I said if there was someone off the beaches, or someone else where there could potentially be another ruck club, it might not make as much sense, because then you’re just taking away where it could be an awesome opportunity to meet new people as well. They already got something going. It’s much easier just to build on that.
Brian: Absolutely. I mean, we both know traffic is a huge factor. Something might only be 15 miles south of me, but it can take over an hour to get there depending on the time of day.
Brian: I’m really excited about what’s coming in 2018. This is going to be a really fun year for ruck clubs. Are there any plans to send bomber back on the road to go and visit more ruck clubs and do those write-ups?
Kit: I mean, we’re looking to – one of our other goals is to support rucking events this year, to own rucking, to be the face of rucking. We’re actively reaching out to rucking events, or things that makes sense to be a part of, whether it’s five case, or where we can get a rucking division built in, whether it’s half marathons, full marathons, working with local ruck clubs again to say, “Hey, guys. I got a really cool thing going on in my town. There is a solid presence there. We want to see if you guys would be willing to help us out there.”
Then we’ll vet those and see what makes sense. We’re actually making plans to go out to the baton memorial death March out in New Mexico in March. We’re going to have a tent. We’re going to be setting up there and camping, I believe. I’ll be out there. I think bomber and Nick, our videographer/photographer.
We’re going to have a pretty solid presence there for that event alone. Then again, we’re going to try to get out some other stuff this year as well that makes sense where we can potentially show our support of the rucking community. That’s another really cool thing that we’re looking to really grow this year is just having some presence.
I mean, obviously unfortunately just not feasible to get to every event. Bomber will definitely be out there when he can be. You’ll see us around for sure. If you ever have any cool rucking events that are going on in your city, we’d love to hear about them. Shoot us an e-mail and we’ll see what we can do about getting out to them, or being a part of them in some way.
Brian: That’s awesome. I’ve noticed in recent years that there have been some 5Ks, some half marathons, and even some full marathons that have added a ruck division. Do you see GORUCK in the ruck club component being a factor in more races adding that?
Kit: I like to think so. I mean, I think that the more that we get out there and have a presence, the more that we’ll start to see that grow within races. Some of the larger races definitely look at something. I mean, the Boston marathons always had a rucking division for years now. There is definitely other places that have that, but we’re really trying to be more proactive in finding them and just finding places that want to work with us that fit well.
Unfortunately, not everything fits timewise, or everything along those lines, but we’re definitely interested in seeing what else is out there. I mean, we want to be the face of rucking. I like to think that we’ve had some effect on the number of ruck divisions there are. Hopefully, we’ll just help that to grow more.
Brian: Very cool. Do you see yourselves working with local 5Ks, or organizations like that to create a rucking division?
Kit: Absolutely. I think that, again there’s a lot of 5Ks. I mean, you go around in your local city and see what’s going on on a weekend, I guarantee you’ll find one 5K happening. For us, it’s when does it make sense, maybe in conjunction with some other event? Is it a larger series of events, things like that that will really make the rucking division make more sense to us.
That’s really where you’re going to start to see some of the GORUCK up. Again, it’s going to be something that we’re going to be beta testing at first. We want to jump in too deep and just say, “Hey, we’re going to go media at every rucking event and the world will have a presence there and have this event.” It’s like I said earlier, it’s impossible, but we definitely want to be around for the bigger ones, so things like the baton which is a lot of cool stuff going on there. Such an amazing event to be at.
I think there’s actually going to be some of the survivors that will be there. It’s just going to be a really, really special event to be at, and we’re looking to find similar things that make a lot of sense for us to setup our tent and get out on the road for.
Brian: Absolutely. For those who are listening and weren’t around for it, GORUCK actually had a ruck year 5K event. I think that was – was it two years ago that those were going on?
Brian: Two years ago and it was a 5K setup in local cities. I mean, it would be interesting to bring that back, but maybe attach it to an established 5K. It might make it a lot easier on you guys, since you don’t have to do all of the transport and all of the setup and stuff.
Kit: Right. I mean, definitely gives us more flexibility. The more that we have, just flexibility and move around and to choose to get in and hook up with the potential partner makes a lot of sense for us and helps a lot, to give us more exposure. I mean, it’s already – similar to a ruck club, right? There’s already an experienced ruck club out there that has a lot of people, a lot of eyes, then it really doesn’t make sense to go in and try to recreate the wheel with a new ruck club when you just join up with another established ruck club and find that perfect partnership there. That’s what we like to do as well. Initially, we’re just being strategic and trying to find the most feasible partnerships that we can for the 5Ks, or the other types of rucks, or things like that out there.
Brian: Yeah, absolutely. It makes a ton of sense. No one likes to reinvent the wheel. For those who are listening and they’re excited about the concept of a ruck club, they’ve gone to the GORUCK website and there might not be a ruck club in their area, can you remind people just how expensive it is to sign up with GORUCK to be a ruck club?
Kit: Sure. It’s absolutely nothing to actually become a ruck club. Again, we vet and call and just touch base with each ruck club before they become an official ruck club to make sure that there is not anything crazy. Again, if there’s one person again just starting up, I mean we’ll happily help you. We like to see some sort of established rucking going on as it helps to make that process a lot easier for the ruck club and for the people.
I mean, there’s no reason you can’t – like I said earlier, you can’t grow into something bigger, but it definitely helps to get some momentum going for you before you become an official ruck club. Again, we’re a resource for that. We have people like bomber who will happily talk to you about what we’ve seen for these great ruck clubs on the community.
Yeah, writing in and submitting application will cost you nothing to do. We’d happily look at what you’ve got going on. We’re actually doing a larger push in March to see what ruck clubs are out there who might be interested in creating or joining one. We’ll definitely see more and more about ruck clubs as we look forward in 2018.
Brian: That’s awesome. Really excited about that. Another aspect of ruck clubs that I always find interesting are the custom events that they make. There have been a number of ruck club custom; GORUCK tough, GORUCK light, even some GORUCK heavy events. I’m always interested in those events and they’re always very unique, because the people behind them are all people who are really into rucking.
You’ve got a ruck club of established ruckers putting on a custom and not just one individual trying to set it all up. I guess, the question here is what are some of the awesome custom events that you’ve seen over the past year that ruck clubs have put on?
Kit: We’ve seen a ton. There has definitely been some – honestly, the ruck club battle was a custom event. It’s something like that like you said that we can sit with together, because if you wanted to do something that was unique and fun, I mean that’s what a custom becomes. If you honestly wanted to put on a custom ruck club battle in your city, I mean obviously Luke did a great job of promoting and getting people out to it and made it easier being in Jacksonville for us to be there and all that.
Customs really do become like what you said, like it’s someone that really enjoys rucking. They want to include some cool stuff in their event. We can definitely work with them to figure out what makes sense. Will definitely bring people down to earth as well. Like, “Hey, we want to do skydiving and all these other stuff.” You want to make sure that they’re like, “Okay, you got to realize you got to get this number of people to be able to have a custom event and you got to pay this amount upfront to reserve your date and all those types of things.”
We definitely help them to tailor their needs, but there is some really amazing stuff out there. We had the St. Patrick’s events were customs initially. We’ve had some of those – one of those – there’s a bunch of charity events that we put on, where people will do normal custom and then have a fundraising component that they collect money from all the participants at the end of the event.
We’ve had some other ones recently, where it’s like groomsmen putting together events for their bachelor party, like custom firearms days for their whole groom party, all that type of stuff. There’s just a lot of unique – someone is just having an event that might not be in their area. Hey, we don’t have a light coming for another three months or so. Well, there’s an opportunity then to do that. The other time that they want to have something super unique where they want to pick the route, they want to pick the cadre and they want to pick what they do during their event a little bit more.
Obviously, we’re going to keep the skeleton in place on what a proper GORUCK event is. When it comes to the extras and the cool things that they want to include, we can definitely work with them to make something truly custom out of it.
Brian: That’s amazing. If anyone wants to put on a custom grooms and firearms day, please invite me to your wedding, because I would love to take part in that. Joking aside, that custom firearms day for the groomsmen reminded me that there was recently a princess bride theme at GORUCK event. That’s pretty custom right there.
Kit: Yeah. I mean, the themed ones are definitely cool. I guess, with people who want a specific theme for their event, I mean it could be something and simple as just like saying, “Hey, we were going to do a custom event or something.” Maybe it’s not on Halloween, or whatever. If there’s something that they want to do, again we can try to figure out a way to make it work. If it’s within the reasons of – or within the reason of our basic principles, but again, I think we can work with most ideas and figure out something cool to do.
Brian: One of the best things about GORUCK is the sheer number of cadre you have on hand. There is tons of GORUCK cadre and they all have varying interest. If you have an idea for a custom event, there’s a good chance that there is a cadre employed by GORUCK who is also very interested in that topic as well. You can probably make some pretty cool things happen.
Kit: Yup, absolutely. I think all of our cadre bring a unique flavor to each event. I mean, I think I said it before that you can do the same event in the same city different weekends, or different cadre and have a completely different event. Even if it’s the exact same place that you’re at. It’s just one of those things that our cadre really bring the flavor to those different types of events, and I think the same thing with customs. It’s like, oh there is great firearms cadre, there is great light cadre, there’s a great tough cadre, there’s a great heavy cadre. We have a lot of people with a lot of different experiences that can bring something cool to your event.
Brian: Absolutely. Are there any other changes to the GORUCK Ruck Club program that you want to talk about?
Kit: There’s one thing we’re working on and we haven’t ironed out all the details yet, but we’re looking to provide some list of challenges for each ruck club. We want to provide ways for ruck clubs to cool stuff with their ruck club and provide them with ideas, similar to the ruck club field manual, but a little bit more specific in terms of if you do this, then you can earn a special patch, or something like that.
We’re trying to think of some cool ways for ruck clubs to get a little more creative with our help and say, “Okay, well if you do X, Y and Z then that will earn you your patch, or whatever it might be.” Again, I don’t know exactly the details just yet specifically, but that’s something that we’ve been kicking around and trying to accomplish something cool that will – it’s just another way for ruck clubs to get their members excited, or engaged.
I mean, sometimes like we’ve been rucking every week and we love it and it’s fun, but we love to do something different. Well, that’s what we’re trying to do here is provide a little bit more guidance, a little bit more excitement to the rucking that these people are already doing.
Brian: This is the first I’ve heard of that and I’m already hooked. That is an awesome idea. I’m very excited to see what comes from it.
Kit: Yes. We’re hoping that it’s something that people really adopt and think that there’s something I want to do, because I think in general it will be fun for ruck clubs to just say, “Hey, you know we did this, we did that,” and do something that will really give them the unique distinction from other ruck clubs that they say, “Hey, we did that. We did that challenge. Did you guys do that one yet? Or whatever it might be.”
We’re all just going to be looking to switch that up and provide something cool for this ruck something. Again, it’s just all tied into the base of working with good people and trying to find some cool ways to work together.
Brian: Absolutely. It seems like it’s going to be a great motivation for ruck clubs who might be looking to try something new, who have a standard route, but maybe they haven’t thought of ways to expand it or thought of different types of workouts. It just seems like an awesome way to give them either a list, or just ideas on these are challenges that you guys can take part in.
Kit: Yeah, something like that. I think it will really help, like you said, it’s like for us who do rucking all the time you might say, “Oh, well that sounds so simple at something that we do a lot.” Then for those that might just be getting started, something might not sound as common sense. It might sound a little bit outside of the norm, which is great. That’s what we want is to try to break some of the – what you might get stuck in, or the things that you think that are the only possibilities out there and really provide a little bit more variety to what they do each month.
Brian: Very cool. Well, I’m very excited to see what comes from this, because I think it’s just an awesome idea. For yourself, what do you have planned for 2018? Are there any events that you’re signed up for yet?
Kit: Well, like I said just completing my ruck club light challenge, or ruck club face off this past weekend, and that was my first event of 2018. I don’t know exactly what my event schedule is. Really tough with a two-year-old to get away for too many events, but I definitely am looking to get out some toughs. I don’t know exactly where my path will take me the rest of the event, but I mean I’m sure I’ll jump into some lights along the way, maybe some of these 5K rucks that we partner with we like to be a part of.
I think with baton, I don’t think I’m going to be actually doing that one. I’ll probably just be manning the booth for it, but we’re definitely just going to be – I’ll be out there rucking the clubs and that when I can and just if there’s a good event that comes close by that I can jump into, I’ll be absolutely down for that as well.
Brian: I feel that. I’ve got a three-and-a-half-year-old foster son and eight-month-old daughter. My wife is an absolute saint for letting me go do constellation 12 last weekend.
Kit: Yeah, it’s not easy when you have kids to get away for 12 hours overnight and not have anything in the morning for them. I think it’s awesome when you can get out for it. I mean, obviously I try to get out as much as I can.
Kit: I’ll probably do a firearms.
Brian: Yeah, those are always fun. I mean, if you can get one close, why not?
Kit: Exactly. Yeah, because there’s some – I think I’m going to do – there’s a personal security detail in St. Augustine in March I would say. I might try to get that one out to that one when that comes around.
Brian: Very cool. Then lights are always great to sign up for. Those are just fun events to get out and enjoy the GORUCK community, meet some new people. You get a lot of first-timers at light events. There’s always something fun.
Kit: For sure. It’s always nice to meet someone new that’s never done the GORUCK. We have to do with this past one event that was – may have never been at a GORUCK thing and then we had a battle and they were there. It’s really cool to have them, because I know trying the same with constellation and in some ways for people that may have not done a GORUCK event, or actually get out and check those out as well.
Brian: Yeah, at least at our constellations, yeah the last weekend it was 80% of the people I would say have never done a GORUCK event.
Kit: Wow. That’s awesome.
Brian: Yeah. I think only four people who were there had done a previous constellation. It was a lot of new people.
Kit: Yeah, it was cool. I mean, that’s always my favorite part is meeting all the new people, meeting some of the ruck club organizers, those types of things that just – our community has always been the greatest part of GORUCK, so it’s always great to see everyone out there.
Brian: Absolutely. For those who are listening, maybe they don’t want to start a ruck club, but they want to find a ruck club. They want to find a group of people to ruck with, they’re interested in rucking, where is a great spot for them to go to find someone to ruck with?
Kit: Right now, we have – if you go to the bottom of GORUCK.com there is a link that says ruck clubs. If you click on that, then that will take you to the ruck club page, which gives you a quick rundown of the ruck club program and then a map where you can type in your zip code, or your dress and it will take you to the closest ruck clubs in your area.
The maps are probably going to – I’m sure that’s going to stay the same this year, but there’ll probably more additions to the website in terms of that ruck club manual, there will probably be some other details we add there, other things get pulled out into it, but that’s definitely the best place to go if you want to just learn the basics and find a local ruck club near you.
Brian: That’s perfect. What better way than to just see a giant map of your city and where local ruck clubs are.
Brian: I guess, if there isn’t a ruck club in the area and the person is trying to find someone to ruck with, my advice is always to hit up the local events and go to those Facebook pages and find people who are training for those events. Do you have any other recommendations on ways that people can find the local ruckers?
Kit: Yeah. Definitely, I think that that’s probably the best way to go about it, especially to find people who are obviously interested and have an ear to rucking. I mean, you can always go to a local gym, across the gym. It’s always a good option, just because there’s more of a community aspect in a lot of cases, where people who are working out tends to work out together, the smaller classes. You go to normal global gym whatever, then you technically properly don’t really talk to anyone else. Whereas, in some other gyms you might have a little bit more of a community aspect.
You can always talk to a coach, talk to someone that is waiting at class and say, “Hey, I’m doing this event. Would you guys ever be interested in training with me, or doing the event with me?” That’s always a cool thing to do. There’s plenty of opportunities just to get out in front of your RWB chapters. If you look on the RWB website, you can see if there are a local chapter. Because sometimes RWB might not be doing a ruck as a part of their monthly training, but you can always go there and suggest that, because those people in those groups are already training in some way, usually running or biking or something. If you want to throw in a ruck, then I’m sure they’d be more than welcoming to that idea.
I think it’s trying to find local clubs, hitting up meetup.com. I’ve seen some people use that before with some success in terms of finding people who are interested in training for events, or rucking event in general. There’s definitely simple ways that you can try to find more people rucking.
Brian: That’s a great advice. Some of that stuff that I’ve never even thought of before, I generally consider gyms to be as like headphones gyms and community gyms. The headphones gyms are your global gyms that everyone has their headphones in, no one is talking to each other and it’s weird if you walk up to someone and tap them on the shoulder and say, “Hey, do you want to GORUCK sometime?”
Then the community gym is like CrossFit boxes and stuff like that, a lot of the trainers know on a personal level all the members. I guess, if you want to search Google for a local CrossFit gyms, you could probably even e-mail them and say, “Hey, I’m looking to do some rucking, or signup for a GORUCK event. Do you know anyone who is doing this?” They would probably know right away, because they’re tapped into their communities and their students and their gym members and they could probably let you know people who are already rucking out there.
Kit: Exactly. I think that’s a really good strategy is to try to just talk to as many people. We have one ruck club recently that started up. The guy actually contacted his local park and rec department and said that they were looking to do some rucking and wanted to get their community involved and this day we’re doing some cleanup stuff. I’m not a 100% on that, but either way the initiative was set that he talked to the rec park and rec department, which then I guess put out some analysis about it and his ruck club started to grow exponentially, because more people started to hear about it. I think the media covered it.
It’s funny to see how such little things sometimes can really grow these ruck clubs much bigger than they had even thought they would, because people – it’s an interesting way of doing your fitness. If you walk around, like that’s not a big deal. You start rucking with a rucksack flag or something then you’re going to gain some more attention. I think that just this little movement sometimes can create a larger push for people to you in your rucking endeavors.
Brian: That is absolutely wild. Who would’ve thought that by contacting your local parks and rec department that you could fall into starting a ruck club?
Kit: Yup. Exactly. It’s pretty cool. Always interesting to see those types of things happen.
Brian: Yeah, that is wild. I never would’ve guessed on that one. Then local RWB chapter, I mean that makes total sense, because a lot of them are already so tied in and they’re doing rucking, but they might not be on the GORUCK map yet. Reach out there, some awesome advice. I’m excited. I’m really excited about what 2018 has for ruck clubs, just the future and all the energy that’s behind the program and the events that are coming. I’m very excited for 2018. It sounds like you really are too.
Kit: Yeah. We definitely just want to – like I said earlier, the base of it is rucking. We want to get people out there. We want to find quality clubs that are helping us to promote rucking, and that’s really what it comes down to. We don’t want to get too far off track, so we’re again just doing the best we can to support all the ruck clubs out there today and finding good ones to work with and supporting everyone in their whole endeavor to ruck more.
Brian: That’s perfect. Is there anything else you want to talk about Kit before we go?
Kit: I mean, I think we covered everything I want to talk about. Like I said, our goals are pretty basic in the sense of just getting people on the same page with our ruck club field manual. I think that will really help a lot of people like you said just make that jump from like, “Okay, well what do we do now? What does this mean?”
We are definitely going to be supporting rucking events when they make sense. When we can be there, be awesome. If we can’t, then we just like to hear about it obviously. It’s always fun to see the pictures and when people go and join up with the – even if they don’t have a specific rucking division, we have tons of people that will go out there and just ruck their local 5K. They’ll sign up and then they go in for a ruck on, and that’s always cool to see.
Then like I said, the challenges that we’re going to hopefully have this year for people to get an opportunity to take part in as a part of the ruck club to earn a special patch or something like that, I think will really be cool for a lot of these people to get, again something new for their ruck club. Like maybe they’ve already done an event together and maybe they’ve already rucked the same route 800 times, but maybe there’s something that we could provide that gives them a little bit more of a creative challenge to partake in.
Brian: Awesome. Again, I am very excited already about that program that doesn’t even exist in a 100% yet. I can’t wait to hear more about that as we get into 2018. Kit, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me about this. I love ruck clubs, I love the GORUCK community. I feel like ruck clubs are just like the embodiment of all these awesome people coming together to ruck and train and hang out.
Any time I can talk about ruck clubs, it’s always fun. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me about this and congrats again on that Eagles win.
Kit: Thank you, Brian. Appreciate it.