Class 154 - Crash Test Dummies

SEAL PT Boot Camp has come and gone for the month of June. I'm still alive, but barely. It seems that if you don't eat a good breakfast before a hard workout, you will pass out, or go nug bucking futs loopy for the better part of an hour....or day in my case.

DAY 1 - 0400 - Woke up, donned my workout clothes, headed to Memorial Park. Got there about thirty minutes before class was supposed to start. Okay, so far so good. Bunch of folks there, some I didn't know, some I did. We stretched and those that were in 'Gators with me helped get the rest in some sort of line before Instr. Walston and crew showed up.
0500 - Hell. Breaks. Loose. Instructor Walston was on us like a cheap suit. Barking out orders to drop. Push out some pushups, turn around, bear crawl (this will be our 'favorite' exercise in coming days) to the treeline, bear crawl back. More pushups. Run the length of the parking lot. SPRINT!!!! Sit ups. SPRINT!!! Now comes the fun part: Get wet n' sandy.

Getting wet n' sandy entails a full-speed run to the water hoses some 300-ish yards away. There, we are met by Instr. C. He is a white-shirt training under Walston's tutelage to become a Navy SEAL. He is very good. He's been in the program a while and is every part the poster child for the Navy. White T-shirt, black shorts, does his pushups ramrod straight. He orders us down on our backs for some flutter kicks. Never mind that the ground is soaking wet and about three inches deep mud and muck. Thirty of us get in tight and bust out our 20 three-count flutter kicks. All the time, Instr. C is hosing us with some cool water. He yells to get on our stomachs. Face down we go and bust out some more pushups. By this time, the weak and uninitiated are feeling the pain of the pushups. They struggle through. We get threatened with more suffering if they don't commit and push 'em out. Mind you, there is a hose pelting us in the face, back, legs, chest with cold water. It's not even light out yet. The Dunkin' Donuts haven't been made. Now...GET SANDY!!!! HURRY UP!!! RUN!!
About 100 yards distant is the volleyball pit. Our little slice of Coronado. The beach. Full. Of. Sand. Run all out, drop down and get sand in every crack and crevice you can find. Help the sorority sisters out by dumping sand on them. Help the CPA get bigger handfuls.

I made the fatal mistake of opening my big mouth to motivate everyone and try to educate on proper 'get sandy' technique. This brought the ire of Instructor H. Since there are two Instructor Hs, I'll call him Instructor Mouth (he loves the sound of his own voice). Instr. M has now dubbed me "Chatty Cathy," cuz I can't stop trying to help my classmates get sandy. I am also named class leader. This is not good.

We line up in two lines to run back to the PT area. We are covered head to toe in sand. Yes, it gets everywhere. Yes, it is annoying. We learn fast to block it out. This is all a mental exercise to see how we deal with the discomfort. This is only the first 30 minutes of an hour-and-a-half workout.

We are subjected to more of the same torture and suffering that went on the first thirty minutes. Bear crawls, pushups, sit ups, jumping jacks, cromwells, you name it. In between it all, we sprint the parking lot. Instructor Walston is there the entire class to instruct us on proper form for each exercise. He also yells, motivates and finds unique ways to harangue us during the workout. He lets the second Instr. H lead us through some sprint exercises for the last ten minutes of class. Loser drops and does 25 pushups.

The sprints are where it all goes wrong for our class. One of our crew was running flat out in his race against our resident gazelle and tripped on his own feet. The only two body parts to hit the pavement first were his eyebrow and cheekbone. He tore a gash in his head about four inches across as he slid across the pavement to a stop. He refused ambulance service, we patched him up with a first aid kit from my truck, and carted him off to his house.*

* I saw him back in 'Gators last week. He healed up nicely.

DAY 2 - 0500 - "HOOYAH, INSTRUCTOR WALSTON" is our new morning greeting. Back for more, we are. Here is where we get our uniform shirts and whatever else we ordered when we signed up for the class. Lots of yelling and screaming for us to hurry up and put on the shirts. Some of the girls were being dainty about it, but they mustered through when no one else seemed perturbed by the immodesty of exposing their jog bra to the elements. While everyone else waits, those in line for shirts do arm circles non-stop. Those just getting gear don it and drop for pushups. At no time do we rest. At most, we get 3 or 4 seconds to gulp water at 45 minutes into our workout. Every other time is spent doing some exercise or evolution. It never ends. It drains you mentally and physically for that entire class.

Now we get introduced to the rugby field. This will be our friend for the next couple of days. I will not like it. Why, you ask? Funny thing about being class leader...I'm responsible for the head count and proper formation. Neither of which I had this particular day. Yeah, we got dropped for that faux paus. Bear crawled over 100 yards first thing.

Once we were squared away, and our very own 'white shirt' Mr. Taylor received his gear (20# weight bar/"SAW", H Harness with weights in every pack and pouch) it was on to the field. What started out as a simple running exercise turned into a goat rope about three laps in. Here's the evolution: Start at one end of the field and do XX number of whatever exercise we were told. Sprint to the end and do XX number of the next exercise Instr. Walston says. Repeat. We got through about 5 laps before Instr. Walston blew his stack. Mind you, it is completely dark on this field. We have a hard time seeing each other. Out of our thirty we are down to 25, and of those 25 there are a handful of friends I call the 'Sorority Sisters.' Well, one of the debutantes of "Delta, Delta, Delta" kept asking Instructor Walston what the next exercise was as she passed by him in the dark.
Not too hard to miss in the dark. He's standing smack-dab in the middle of the field yelling at us.

So, where was I? Oh yeah, sorority girl asks, and Instr. Walston promptly blows his stack. Heck, my daddy never yelled at me the way this man does. And Walston doesn't swear, either. He had us all line up on the goal line and drop. We are berated for being dumb enough to ask the instructor about exercises when we should have learned NOT TO DO SO. While in the leaning rest we 'right face' and start bear crawling. I got about 120 yards before I heard Instr. Walston hand off to Instr. T (the Hawk) and tell him to keep us crawling. No reason for me to continue here. We bear crawled the circumfrence of that entire rugby field. I mean the whole damn thing. Three. Hundred. Sixty. Yards. On our hands and feet. I was dead last. My swim buddy, Ms. Mandy, actually crawled back to me (some 150 yards after she finished) to motivate me. I was back on the far goal line by this time crying. I was in severe pain. I was not going to quit. My shoulders were on fire and my back was killing me. Ms. Mandy kept right beside me doing everything in her power to get me to move faster. At times, I went down to my elbows and shuffled forward some more. I stopped for 10 or more seconds at other times (still had 80 yards or so to go). Each time I went down, Ms. Mandy kept right on yelling. I finished while the others waited, cheering me on, in the leaning rest (pushup position).

That took us to the final sprint down to the "Surf Zone" to get wet and sandy for the last evolution. Thankfully, the last evolution was pushups and sit ups before leaving.

Just writing this made my shoulders ache. I'll regale you with the famous DAY 3 tomorrow.


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