It’s been almost three weeks already so I figured I should probably write something before I forget. So here it is, my After Action Review of the We <3 Bewbs Challenge 003 in New Orleans.
Six Month Out
The event started like the other two Bewbs Challenges did. With a fundraising goal. Unlike 001, 002 and 003 raised money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. I chose this charity because it was one of the top rated, breast cancer research charities on Charity Navigator. Through trial and error, we ended up raising money on CrowdRise.com. It allowed for the most freedom, and the easiest method of getting people to sign up. CrowdRise also has an amazing support team from what I have seen.
Once I set up the date, the fundraising page, and signed whatever necessary paperwork through GORUCK HQ and the NBCF, we were good to go. Sidenote: both GRHQ and NBCF are very easy and great to work with. Thank you Chris and Lauren, respectively.
This year’s goal was set at $20,000, up from $7,500 and $10,000 from the first two events. I knew this was a lofty goal, but after Cadre Bert promised to wear a pink gorilla suit and Buffalo Trace Bourbon promised bourbon for the entire team, I knew we would be fine.
As with our past events, fundraising was slow at first. But for the first time, we actually reached our goal with well over a week out. The hard part was done, now it was time to suffer through a challenge, and hopefully raise some more money. For those that don’t know, the standard GORUCK Challenge is a 10-12 hour, military themed endurance event. The goal is to break each individual mentally, but ultimately bring the entire class together as one team. Upon completion of the event, everyone is awarded a single 2×3 velcro patch signifying their completion of the GORUCK Challenge. What makes this particular challenge different, is that if the team reaches their fundraising goal, the patch will be upgraded to an exclusive pink version
Members of the team come up with all sorts of methods to raise money, like creating custom patches to sell to the GORUCK community.
I also had the privilege of filling up over 50 flasks of Buffalo Trace graciously donated to the team. Thank you Tania for driving them to NOLA from NJ, I bet they smelled fantastic.
Getting to New Orleans
We had the fortunate luck to have President’s Club passes in the airport as well as a very generous air flight attendant that saw it fit that we remain intoxicated throughout our entire trip. Thankfully we had a taxi waiting for us in NOLA because we had already started our trip towards victory.
Upon arrival at our hotel, we checked in, showered, and sought out our future teammates. We succeeded
The Day Of
Most of the night before became a quick blur. New Orleans has that affect on people. I do know that it was a blast. And we made certain that we got ample sleep. No alarm, woke up when we were ready, and set out on the day.
We found a great restaurant down the street that happened to be the same spot we found breakfast when Team FARM was in NOLA two years prior. The omelets and Bloody Marries were fantastic. Geoffrey, our local shadow dropped of 4 cases of Abita Beer and three King Cakes for the team, we relocated them to our hotel, and ventured out into the city. We wandered around, tried some food and drink, and just fell in love with the city. Eventually we made it back to our hotel, dressed for the evening, and wandered to the ruck off.
The Ruck Off
The ruckoff was split between a bar and the field outside of the New Orleans Museum of Art. We started at Johnny Whites Hole in the Wall, had some beers, ordered a pizza, and hung for a while just relaxing. From here we loaded up a cab and made our way to NOMA, the start point. Waiting for us in the front lawn was another cooler full of Abita Beer as well as the Buffalo Trace bourbon. Here is were the real fun began.
Going into the event, we were supposed to have Bert, Big Daddy, and Tyler for Cadre. A last minute change forced me to call an audible and so I request Geoff. He seemed like a nice guy. He was nice to us alright.
That’s right. We were in the water almost immediately. And it was freezing. Full submersion, on repeat, until we came together as a team. It was certainly refreshing.
After gear check and another submersion, we were off to raise some money.
Unlike standard challenges, this one focuses on raising money. And that’s what we did. With the use of our custom made team weight, we hit the streets in the hopes of selling the team for good.
For the next 8 hours, we carried our rucks up and down Bourbon Street soliciting ourselves for money. Anyone we could talk to, we offered to do anything from the menu for a donation, including a mystery challenge. The mystery challenge involved a food eating challenge, to be performed by one member of the team. If they failed, they got to choose someone else on the team to attempt the challenge. These mystery challenges included
The seemed to stretch on without any sense of time. We just kept moving back and forth, doing constant PT and mystery challenges, and making a lot of friends along the way. Eventually, Bourbon Street turned from fun to downright creepy, and we moved to another location where Geoff could beat up on us a little bit more. At least that’s how we felt about it at first. Until Geoff had a motivational speech to remind us why we were all there.
This is Therese, aka the Team “Mom” She is a breast cancer survivor and she shadowed our entire event. I’m fairly certain that she maintained a smile for the entire event, and served as a wonderful reminder as to why we were there. Suddenly, the 5 minute wall squats we were holding seemed like nothing, and I feel like we could have “sat” there all night.
Thankfully we didn’t have to and we were moved to a local parking garage for story time, where the three Cadre shared a personal story with all of us. It was nice to get off the streets and out of the cold for a bit. But, before we knew it, we were on the move again.
We eventually found ourselves in front of a park, where we were treated to some sun rise yoga, in memory of Joe Warner, our beloved Blue Falcon from Bewbs 002
As with most challenge, there is a big crescendo at the end that makes you really earn your patch. For us, that meant bear crawls. Tons of them. Followed by duck walks. I’m certain my legs have never burned quite like they did that morning. Eventually, Geoff declared us GORUCK Tough, and we were rewarded with our patch, more beer, and King Cake! It was a success. We absolutely filled our team weight. We finished as a team, and we raised over $25,000!!
Naturally, we’ve already planned our 4th event. We will be returning to LBI in June, and registration and donations have already opened. To find out more and to see more pictures, check out Facebook.com/bewbschallenge
I’d love to write more, but if I wait any longer, I’ll never finish this article. Please follow us on facebook and any questions you may have below. I’ll be more than happy to answer them.