Monday, August 10, 2015
Seeing the LEGO recreation of the Standard Obstacle Course (SOC) brings back memories of my NS days. This is the course I did back in the days... before they changed it to whatever modern trappings you have today.
For me, whenever the SOC is mentioned, there's this fear that sets in me. If you are one of those ultra-fit fellows, then the SOC is probably nothing to you. But for me, it's a challenge.
After running for a short distance... I can't remember what's the distance, you come face to face with the first obstacle. It's like this humongous flat piece of thing that is smack in front of you. You have to gather all your will to jump and step on the wall to push yourself over. I've seen some folks running into the wall, and not being able to clear it... totally a morale destroyer. But once you get past this, it's not so bad... in hindsight.
Next up, the Parallel Bars. This is not too bad. Just have to lock your elbows and shimmy across. Easy peasy...
...until you get to the Monkey Swing. It's actually not that difficult to do, considering you'd have done this when you were a kid at some playground. However, you are now wearing a helmet, carrying your M-16 (yeah... we are old-school soldiers), and wearing your Standard Battle Order (SBO). All that weight means that you can't really monkey your way across.
After that, you get to the Low Rope. I don't know why it's called the Low Rope when it's not that low. Going up the rope requires some technique. It's all about looping the rope the right way with your boots. when you reach the top, you slap the bar and shout out the name of your Company, which during my BMT is "Echo".
Then comes the Horizontal Beam. This is easy. Except that you have to high-port your rifle while running across. This thing swings around a bit... but as long as you keep your balance, you'll make it across without eating dirt.
The Gate is next. I found this quite fun to do. You grab the bars, tumble yourself over the 'gate', and you're done. If you've never fallen head-over-heels with someone in your short lifespan of 18 years, you'd have literally done it here with the Gate. Probably need to do a little re-adjustment of your helmet and webbing after this, as they will most probably be out of place after your clear this. Oh... and don't drop your rifle while doing this.
When you get to this next obstacle, you'll be panting and sweating and wondering what the hell you are doing all these for. When you ascend the Balancing Log, many thoughts will be running through your head, least of all that you're doing these to defend your father, mother, girlfriend, pet goldfish, etc. Again, balance is key here. Just keep going, banish whatever thoughts you have, and just quickly run across.
I've no idea why this next one is called Jacob's Ladder. Biblical reference? Not sure. Not that you'll care when you see the steps looming in front of you. It's all about conquering your fear of heights. And yes, it's still about balance. Don't drop into the spaces between the logs when you're at it. It's going to be painful for your nether regions.
We're close to the end of this torturous endeavor. The last obstacle is The Ramp. It's just a simple ramp that you have to charge up, and then jump down. The going up is the easy part. The coming down requires a leap and carefully landing on your two feet. Many folks will complain that they got their bad ankles or knees from their less than feline-like landing.
It's still not the end though. You now have to run with your SBO all 800m (?) to the finishing point, where you'd be given a timing. Whether you can book out for the weekend, or have to sign for extra duty depends very much on the timing you achieve.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Friday, July 13, 2012
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A beautiful written tale that has almost everything. War, romance, violence, revenge, betrayal, friendship... you name it. It's Iliad told from the point of view of a minor character Patroclus, and it explores the love between him and the famous hero Achilles. As it's written from Patroclus' POV, there's a sense of intimacy and perhaps a sort of starry-eyed love, which is not quite what one would normally expect of a story about the Trojan War. Despite the gay angle, there's still enough blood and gore to satisfy anyone game for a heroic tragedy.
View all my reviews
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Saturday, May 07, 2011
As cooling off day moves into polling day, I sit here thinking about many things.
I think about what will happen on the 8th of May. I think about the high possibility of a 87-0. I think about the milestone that will be, if the groundswell of support for the opposition parties is transformed into actual voices in parliament.
I look at the polling card with my name and address. I imagine how this piece of pulp will be exchanged for a piece of paper where I can exercise my right. The mark that I will be making will mean something, even if the outcome does not go according to my heart's desire.
The last ten days were enlightening. They were inspiring. They made speeches that were from the heart. Even for the weakest of the lot, their hearts were in the right place. It seems that many have found the courage. And hopefully more are inspired.
I have thought hard. I have done some soul searching. And before the end of the day, I will know what I need to do. I will not be afraid.
I will vote for the future that I want.