I spent the weekend of the GORUCK Games living in a house with professional athletes in Jacksonville, Florida, AND IT WAS A BLAST! It was fascinating to see first-hand how they lived, ate, how they prepared for their events, and how they relaxed afterward.
The girls were all incredibly dedicated to their craft and it showed in everything they did. Their fueling eating habits, meal prep, and morning routines were all geared toward giving them the best possible chance to succeed. And let me tell you, they loved their carbs! Specifically, oats. We had overnight oats, oat energy balls, bananas, and pancakes for breakfast, and lunch and it would be dinner too if it wasn’t for our family lasagna night or Chili's.
I was surprised at how early everyone in the house was up and about! These girls needed to start their mornings right, and they did! Their mornings are very ritualistic. They would go for a run or walk to the beach, stretch, and start fueling for the day. Aliyah loved going on morning walks, Kris loved a run, and Corinna loved her morning rituals too. While everyone enjoyed having their time to do what they needed to do, we all enjoyed planning walks to the beach together, having family dinners, and of course, spending lots of time together during the races.
We spent a lot of our downtime at MudGear's merch tent where the MudGear Ruck Sock was the star of the show. If you're not rucking in this Merino Wool masterpiece, you're missing out.
You could always find an athlete either in the kitchen where we had a counter full of snacks, my favorite one being the baby food packs. But there were also peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pancakes, and rice cakes galore. No one ever went hungry!
You could also find Mak Smith having a laugh and conversation with someone somewhere in the house and Aliyah stretching on the living room floor. Kris, couldn't help but sweep up the sand here and there; and Corinna was our athlete “mom” (as Mak would call her) for the weekend. As a dietician, she ensured that we got all the snacks needed with her signature energy balls and overnight oats. I couldn't help snacking on those myself, they were delicious! I’ll never forget the belly laughs I had as we made the energy balls together and told stories. I’m sorry those had to stay off-camera but trust me, these girls are FUNNY!
Everyone was very punctual and prepping the night before an event was taken very seriously. Water bottles, energy gels, and lots of snacks were packed and loaded into the cars.
After the events, we would go to Applebee's or Chili's for dinner and load up on some delicious carbs and protein, share some laughs and stories and build long-lasting relationships. However, we were never up too late as these girls took recovery very seriously. Following the first event, which was a 5:30 am call and 12-mile ruck on the beach, everyone rushed to the showers, took a long nap, and enjoyed laying in bed with compression boots on.
Not only are they true professionals in every sense of the word, but they were all incredibly friendly and welcoming. They were competitive, but also compassionate. What I'll remember most about my time with these athletes is the laughter and good times we had together. Whether we were sweaty and muddy at the races, taking walks on the beach, or just hanging out at home, there was always someone laughing and joking around. It was a truly incredible experience, I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with such amazing people.
Kristine | MudGear Media Team
p.s. - I tried the course myself, and it went basically like I expected...