Dirt in your skirt blog

Day 94… From Rocks to Bricks

Posted on September 9, 2011 by Margaret Schlachter

So as life often does, plans change and sometimes Plan B turns out to be even better than Plan A. So tonight I spent wrapping bricks in preparation for the GORUCK Challenge in NYC. How I got here I can not fully explain as it’s been a whirlwind but it’s safe to say I beyond honored, thrilled, ecstatic, scared, and humbled all at the same time when I heard I would be taking part in this event.

Most are probably asking, now what the hell has she gotten into, well the here is the verbiage from their site, Inspiredby the most elite training offered to Special Forces soldiers and led by GreenBerets, the GORUCK Challenge is a team event and never a race. Challenge cadrebuild each class into a team through collective conditions of mental andphysical exhaustion. Classes are small, camaraderie is high, smiles areplentiful, and teamwork is paramount.” Basically the challenge should take somewhere between 8 – 10 hours and will cover somewhere between 15-20 miles.  The class size is just under 30 and I am lucky enough to be one of them. 

What makes this particular GORUCK special is it is happening to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. The Class I am in is doing the event in memory of those who lost their lives in the line of duty 10 years ago. I could never have imagined 10 years ago after the towers fell that I would be honored in taking part of this event on this special day 10 years later. Not only am I able to do this but with someone I am happy to say has become one of my best friends in a very short time. Katy a former Marine and all around badass. I don’t use the word badass lightly but she is.


A key component of the GORUCK is carrying bricks in your ruck. So today I set out to get myself my three bricks for the challenge. It is customary to wrap your bricks to add a small element of comfort to the whole challenge. As this is a special event I wanted my bricks to represent something special to me and represent those who have lost their lives serving our communities and country.

So after a trek, that’s a whole other story, and a borrowed car later. My car is safely parked on the other side of Route 4. I headed into Rutland to take a trip to Home Depot. I can tell you it’s never a dull moment with me in Home Depot. I am forever lost when I walk in and always have to ask directions around the store. Today’s mission 3 Bricks, Bubble Wrap, Duct Tape, and gloves. Imagine the look on the guys face when I listed off my items. A few times lost in aisles later I checked out and headed to my friends house to wrap my bricks.


My first brick represents my fire house, Killington Fire Rescue of which I am vice-president of the department. The Killington Fire Department has been a second family to me since I joined over two years ago. We are a small Volunteer Department that has a lot of heart. No one is paid, their is no glory in the job. When our pagers sound our members are ready to get out of bed at all hours and help out our community. My first brick is dedicated to all of them and all the other fire houses out there as well.


My Second Brick represents me as a Vermont EMT. I have learned a lot about myself as an person through being a Volunteer EMT, the good, the bad, and the fact I do not need much sleep to survive in the winter. Being a Volunteer EMT is something more than just a thing you do, it truly becomes part of who you are. I am thankful for the opportunities it has awarded me and relationships that have developed. Also this is for all those who devote themselves to helping other people. 


My final brick has a very special place in my heart. It is my SOLO Wilderness EMT patch. Without a series of unfortunate events and an impulsive decision to go to SOLO initially, I can say I probably would not be here writing about this today. It was at SOLO schools that I found my calling in EMS and found my way to help out my community. Without SOLO I would not have made the connections I have in Killington. It also represents the search and rescue part of my training and is dedicated to those who spend hours post events finding and caring for those injured.

This event will be like none other I have ever done before. Not only are the logistics of an all night event new to me, this weekend in particular carries the additional weight of being about honoring those who gave all for us and our country. Tomorrow, I start the trek down to NYC and meet up with a few members of my Spartan family to begin this journey. We will see how it all ends but one thing is for sure it will create lasting memories that I will be able to hold for the rest of my life. In the end it’s not about me but honoring and remembering those who gave all so we can continue to be free.