I asked Greg Stroud to offer his thoughts on a recent grassroots effort within the GoRuck Community – an effort he helped spearhead. The goal? To raise $1,000,000 for The Green Beret Foundation in the span of 1 year. Greg was kind enough to offer up this interview and his thoughts on the project.
How did you discover GoRuck and what made you decide to participate in your 1st Challenge?
My best friend who is a quasi fitness junky found out about it during his research on Tough Mudder. He asked if I wanted to do this “GoRuck Challenge” to push my mental and physical limits and I said, “Sure, why not?” So armed with an old school medium ALICE pack and a Camelbak (my first setup looked like a gypsy camp), it was off to my first Challenge in Houston in Feb of 2012, Class 109 with David Liles. My best friend reached his breaking point during the Challenge, whereas I did not. Hence the reason I did Selection 000.
That’s great. What was your experience like evolving from the GoRuck Challenge up to Selection? Lessons learned? Successes and failures along the way?
Just lots of training really. Rucking, workouts with the ruck on to get used to the heavier weight. You don’t really learn much while training, you just get stronger, physically. I don’t think there is a way to train for mental toughness. It’s there or it isn’t. A lot of people show up at Selection KNOWING they are going to finish. They say stuff like, “I’ll never quit, they’ll have to take me away on a stretcher before I quit.” With less than a 20% pass rate, people think they have the mental toughness, but it’s once their resolve is tested, it when you learn who really has it. The lessons come during the event. How much you can handle, how your brain operates on 45 minutes of sleep during a 54 hour event. We knew we had gone over 48 hours, but we didn’t realize that we had rucked over 60 miles during the event. Then the lesson sits in and you realize you can do a lot more than you thought. Same goes with a Heavy. While miserable, you realize what your body and mind can handle, whether you finish the event or not, both GR Heavy and GR Selection.
Makes sense. Completing Selection is an amazing accomplishment, so congratulations on that! I’m sure being part of “Class 000” made it even more special. The GoRuck community – as individuals, and as a family – often accomplish incredible things when they choose to mobilize. That, in a way, brings me to what we’re looking to highlight today: Your endeavors in spearheading The GoRuck Million Dollar GBF Challenge. Could you explain what the Green Beret Foundation is and how this incredibly ambitious idea was hatched?
The Green Beret Foundation helps wounded, injured, and ill Green Berets as well as helping Green Beret Gold Star wives. There’s a back-story to the $1,000,000 that is more of a GRT, “You had to be there”, thing. The short and skinny of it is that Jason McCarthy, founder of GORUCK, said for $1,000,000 he would do a Challenge. I threw the idea out there and it fell on deaf ears….cue a month ago. I threw the idea out there again and the response was overwhelming…and here we are today. Working together as a family, to help each other out and help out those who have given so much. The personal side of this, is that my uncle is a former Green Beret who served in 11th SFG(A) back when there were Army Reserve SF units and my cousin, his son, is currently assigned to 7th SFG(A). One Team, One Fight.
Your family has to be immensely proud of what you are doing here. It has certainly been great to see the community get behind this with such a singular focus. I’ve seen other cadre step up and offer to participate in Good Livin’ events ranging from GoRuck Light to Selection too, which is a great motivator for many of us.
With that in mind, what would you say has been the biggest fundraising success thus far, and how can people donate and help out with this cause in other ways?
As of right now our biggest success has actually been Operation Cab Money. Where we have been collection GRT’s cab money* at the end of each GRC. It’s been a steady flow of money into the fund raiser. As far as my family, I don’t know if they are proud, but they enjoy knowing that I take pride in things like this. When I talk about the fund raiser, I try to shy away from say “I am trying to raise $1 Million.”
I can hardly take credit for this fund raiser. While I may have lit the fire, I am now just one of 5,500+ people who are helping with this amazing goal. I just happened to be the lucky (or unlucky) guy who gets to be interviewed and pointed at when people ask about it. Without the amazing team I am working with, there would probably only be a couple thousand dollars towards this fund raiser as opposed to almost $70,000. Thanks for helping promote the cause!!
*NOTE: GoRuck Challenge participants are required to bring $20 with them to the event to pay for a cab ride back to the start point in the off chance they are unable to complete the Challenge. The Million Dollar GBF Challenge has kindly been asking newly-minted GRT’s to offer up their cab money as donations to the cause.
Of course! I, personally, was glad to be able to contribute by collecting cab money donations and kicking in my share during GRC class 501. I look forward to donating again before the end of the challenge.
Best of luck with this incredibly worthwhile endeavor Greg. With this proud and dedicated family behind your cause we’re sure to accomplish something great before the year is out. We’re already well on our way!
Learn more about The $1,000,000 GoRuck Green Beret Foundation Challenge
and donate to the cause: 1Million4GBF.com.