Training in the Rain - There's More to it Than Being Wet | SOF

Training in the Rain - There's More to it Than Being Wet

I remember there were weeks in the army that I spent in the field, soaked and muddy from days of rain. Our hide (where we slept and ate) was caked in two feet of mud. We brought dead logs over, so some soldiers could sit, but most of us chose to stand and eat. You'd think weeks of training in the rain would be miserable, but it wasn't bad at all. The truth is that only the thought of rain was difficult. Once I was in the rain and training, it was just part of training. The only struggle I remember was waking up in the morning at 05:00 before sunlight and struggling to pull on soaking wet clothes after being in a warm sleeping bag. But with a good deal of motivation from certain Master Corporals, it was over in a couple of minutes. It didn't linger. It didn't actually cause pain.

What is it about training in the rain that keeps people away? Surely you clean your clothes and have a shower either way. So what difference does it make if your clothes are wet before they go in the washer instead of after?

The difference is in your mind. You think rain sucks, so you don't want to train in it. You associate rain with cold and discomfort (a form of pain) so you avoid it. But, unless you're going to an important meeting, rain isn't changing much if it comes pouring down during your training. You get wet, you keep training and stay warm, and there's nothing to it. Only the gear is suffering actual damage - not you.

The value training in the rain brings is personal strength. You discover that you are tougher than you thought you were. You realize you can overcome boundaries and preconceived limitations in yourself and that can change your life. Does the rain itself change your life? Of course not. It's not the act, it's what you learn from it. The same is true about our Survivor Adventure Program. It might rain, it might storm and the stories you tell afterward will make you prouder than anything else you've done in your life. And when things get tough and something happens in your life, you know how strong you can be. You know you are stronger than your thoughts. You've pushed the limit enough times that pushing back is just what you do.

That's good training.

So, step out in the rain even when every neuron in your mind is fired up telling you not to do it. Because the gains far outweigh the losses. And you'll realize that what you considered awful and difficult and scary, really isn't any of those things. It's not a big deal at all.

"I'll never . . . " is one of the most limiting thoughts in us all. "It's not for me." Is what we often tell ourselves when something that might be great for us, makes us uncomfortable.