Program Manager Don Sweet constantly used the term " Pain is weakness leaving the body". We were all shedding alot of weakness. The morning PT of day three was by far the most difficult of the PT. We began with a series of Calisthetics and stretches to warm our bodies up. We then began a formation mountain run which included the use of cadence to regulate our breathing and to keep us motivated. The team leaders created their own cadence and used some from the Marines in order to personalize the cadence and keep everyone in good spirits throughout the run. It was extremely difficult to run the mountainous terrain but as we stuck together and continued to support one another we found that we would be able to finish as a unit. The mountain formation run was an accomplishment for all of us.
After our morning PT, we quickly got ready to head up to Beams Rock to do some real rappelling.
We were able to use what we learned yesterday in a real setting. We started with a nice hike through the rocks. At one point we came to this section of rock where there were two rocks extremely close together. We all took a deep breath and exhaled trying to make sure we could all make it through. After shimmying through the rock we realized that this would be good preparation for caving on Saturday. Although there were a few moments where it seemed like you might get stuck we were all able to get out just as easily as we went in. Throughout the whole hike we were constantly looking out for one another. If someone needed a hand up a few rocks there was always a hand there waiting to help them up. We really were developing as a unit – constantly looking out for one another.
After our brief hike, we ended at the base of the cliff we would be rappelling down and the section of rock that we would be climbing up. We split up into two groups; one that would be rappelling and the other that would be climbing. The climbing group immediately got geared up and began climbing. It was quite the challenge because as you got past the first little section would good grips, you found yourself in this little cave that was extremely difficult to maneuver out of and continue your climb. The people on the ground were constantly trying to help the individual climbing by giving them advice on handholds and footholds. It was extremely difficult but the rock climbing demonstrated how an individual event can quickly turn into a team event. We were all there for each other, wanting to see one another succeed up that rock. Every time that someone reached the top there was a sense of accomplishment for the entire group.
At the same time, individuals began to rappel down the 90ft rock cliff. For those that had been dealing with their fear of heights for the entire week, this was the ultimate test.
It was inspiring to watch these people slowly lean back over the edge of the cliff, then one foot at a time climb down. Once they got the okay, they were able to release and jump down the rock face. Many of us did it without hesitation after walking down those first few steps. The amount of support for those individuals who are afraid of heights was overwhelming.
After returning to camp, we began a new set of obstacles – the low ropes course. This was another opportunity to shake our initial groups up a little and give new people the chance to be leaders.
Two people even tipped their canoe. It was a lot of fun to see how teams interacted with one another – especially the teams who had never canoed before. They figured out how to get going and finish the race.
Once the canoe race was done, it was the Team Leaders turns to kayak down and back. The support from the teams was so amazing to see.
We had all come so far together this week and the canoe race was a fun way of expressing our ability to work with one another. After the racing was done we got the chance to goof off in the pond, both walking the line that spans the pond or using the zip line.
It was a great way to let loose after an intense few days. We were even able to get Don Sweet and the NCR Regional Chief into the pond with us. Although we have been pushed extremely hard so far, it has been a fun couple of days. We are learning so much about each other and about ourselves. Written by Team Leader Cailin Bean. Photos by Victoria Sweet.