Last weekend was my first FTX. It was an incredible experience. I learned a lot about surviving outside, reacting to contact, ambushing, shooting, throwing grenades, etc. Some cadets made it seem it was going to be awful, which made all the freshmen slightly nervous. The FTX consisted of a lot of rucking, lanes, team building, and very little warmth. The first night was freezing, which resulted in people falling out due to cold weather injuries. Unfortunately, many people fell out. Some were dehydrated, some were injured, and some were just weak and could not handle the challenge.
Something I learned this week was not to feel bad for yourself. Throughout my first semester her I have faced many challenges, and as I witness other people cave in I just think about how someone will always have it worse. My platoon has the shortest time hacks in the regiment, and when I talk to my rook buddies about it they all feel bad for us, but it could be worse, it could be three minutes or even two. The way I think of it is when something happens, I will be able to change or shower in four minutes. During some of the ruck marches I struggled because I was tired, hungry, and carrying a ruck that weighed nearly as much as I did. Every time the thought of falling out came to mind, I just thought, “you are not the only one doing this, you’re not the only one in pain right now. People have done this with much more weight for much longer distances, there is no excuse for you to stop.”
Being mentally tough has enabled me to not feel sorry for myself and to push through the physically demanding tasks that have been placed in front of me. Anybody can come to Norwich and succeed, whether that person thinks they are prepared or not, if they push through the tough situations and never give up when things get hard