Wingerstudios.com has something like 50GB of media from this weekend, most in the form of video. Chris has released a snippet of photos from our training day at Gravitec. So now after you’ve read the book, you can see the movie and all your creatively preconceived thoughts and ideas of what we were doing will go down the drain as imagination takes a shotgun to the chest and visual stimulation turns your brain to mush. (Ah, who am I kidding, the movie is ALWAYS better than the book, just look at the sales if you don’t agree).
Randy asked, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you trust your teammates with your life.” I thought everyone would hold up a 10. Not the case. We should do the same test at the end of the year and see if we changed.
Wingerstudios.com getting some quality portraits of “Bro-cal” Jon (it’s a take on So-cal. Get it?)
Human chain exercise. Goal: go inbetween Ian’s legs as many times as possible.
Everyone was fine with ascending 100 ft of rope, all out tug of war, and high-impact trust falls, but it was very quickly brought to Randy’s attention that we could NOT handle one more second spent forming discussion circles and squatting like this. A cyclist’s knees are ever so precious and ever so delicate.
If we had things my way, we would have done tug of war for 3 or 4 hours straight. I wish I could do this everyday. It just isn’t the same without my teammates, and tying a rope to a tree is just pointless (as I’ve found out in the past couple days).
There was a strategy, and realizing that was the point of the exercise, but some of us preferred to just pull extra hard instead. From the looks of it, Gabe might have been one.
I just want to point out here that Ian and Winger’s strategy relied on Jesse being a behemoth. Come on guys, this is TUG of war, not lying down of War. (To be fair, I spent a good deal of time on my back too–but that’s only because my back is my strongest muscle).
Back inside where it’s not snowing (it was snowing earlier, you just couldn’t see it in the pictures). Jesse’s thoughts (far right), “Did I forget to order maple syrup on my carnitas beaver burrito?” (He’s canadian in case you couldn’t tell from the picture, or the joke.)
The most infuriating exercise of the day: Nuclear Ping Pong Balls. Objective of the game was to use those strings/rubber bands to move the can of balls across the room and dump them out into another can without spilling any. Stipulations included no one being allowed to touch the can, go inside the rope circles, or grasp the strings anywhere but the very ends between two little knots. Lesson’s learned: patience, the art of leadership, and the proper use of the word “fuck.”
Colin reverting to his marching band days.
Added complications included making Steve mute, and then blind. We decided he’d be better off stepping out of the way since people with handicaps aren’t useful to society in any way, shape, or form. (Was that the lesson we were supposed to take away from this Randy?)
Joe’s thoughts: “Nutella on dark chocolate…mmmm.” Dan’s thoughts: “Outside his buckyball home, one molecule overheard another molecule saying, ‘I’m positive that a free electron once stripped me of an electron after he lepton me. You gotta keep your ion them.'”
Object of game: to get all 7 members of the team standing atop the milk crate at the same time for 10 seconds. Our team DOMINATED this event and set a new Gravitec record of 35 seconds. The other team never figured it out. Hahaha, stupids.
Our team decided the weekend wasn’t homo-erotic enough, so we all piled on top of David for fun.
Getting some practice for the trust fall. One person stood in the center, made themselves rigid, and let their body be passed around the circle. Sounds kind of like last night with…..I shouldn’t finish that sentence.
Randy leading us on the trust fall. Logan’s thoughts: “I swear to god if I get hurt the week before cyclocross world’s…” Cody’s thoughts: “Gosh darn it, how did I forget to order poutine on my burrito?”
The trust fall off a 5.5-foot fork lift platform. I thought this was one of the most exciting drills we did. Everyone came to the consensus that the actual fall wasn’t that bad, and that we all felt more nervous about having to catch the person falling. It may not look like much, but falling straight onto one’s back at that height would mess you up pretty good (which I’ve done, only it was 15 feet not 5). I’d say the only mishap was when David’s chin went into my eyebrow. He had a headache for an hour. My eye was already pretty messed up so I didn’t feel a thing.
This was probably the most bizarre of the drills. “Helium Stick” is designed to get the group moving in the same direction, an objective much harder than it sounds. We all started out (fingers only) by holding the stick at chest level and attempting to lower it to the ground, everyone maintaining contact with the PVC pipe the entire time. At first, somehow the stick began rising (hence the name) and I thought maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention while the rules were being explained and that the object of the game was to raise the stick over our heads. We got things under control eventually, though I’m still unsure why this was so hard. I repeatedly told everyone, “On the count of three, just move your hands down, god damn it!” This just shows that while an individual has control over themselves, one cannot force movement in others, it must be coached.
“Okay guys, the object of this game is to not fall and kill yourselves.”
Most of the team was surprisingly bad at rappelling, though no one had any real fear of height, just some slight nervousness. Steve here demonstrates good form, minus the steal grip on the rope above him.
After an hour and a half of rappelling, we finally get to the final drill of the day. Here’s how it went: Joe and Alan both ascended 100 feet of rope, got lowered, and then climbed up a separate tower, got “stuck or injured” and required rescue by their team (teams of 6). Each teammmember was required to climb 100 feet of rope (using ascenders), then send one person up to “rescue” the Joe or the Alan, and then once the rest of us were finished climbing the 100 feet of rope, we were to lower them both down using a pulley system. Our team dominated, btw.
Not pictured is the image of Joe and Steve being lowered, which is not appropriate for this blog. I like to keep things rated R, not NC-17.