Who would you cuddle with?
Seriously, if you just got your ass kicked for 38 hours and you seriously thought you were on the verge of hypothermia, who would do you trust enough to snuggle up close to?
This is Hotspot, Mark Baker. We’ve been to Hell and back together. A few times. We were in the middle of the GORUCK Normandy HTL (a 40+ hour ass kicking at the hands of special forces operators). We were about 30 hours in when two “teammates” started fighting. Cadre Dan just looked at us and said “you guys are going to pay for that.” We did too. It wasn’t some kind of short beat down to make us cry. It was long and drawn out over hours and hours.
In pitch black we rucked for the entire night through the fields of Normandy. The same ones you see on Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan. Hours upon hours carrying our rucks, sandbags and anything else Cadre Dan could find. It was one of those times when the body suffered tremendous pain but it was our minds that suffered the most. One step after another. Total boredom. Only the thoughts of how bad our blisters and sand rashes between our legs hurt kept our minds occupied. But every single step Hotspot was there beside me.
Eventually the sun came up and we ended on Omaha Beach. Here we enacted the D-Day landings by forming in the shape of Higgins boats and storming the beach. Low crawls, bear crawls, back in the water, storm the beach, low crawls, bear crawls, back in the water. Over and over and over.
It was the coldest water I had ever been in. But it was okay because the crawls warmed us up. And then the worst part of the entire event happens. Story time!
Yes, story time was the worst part. Sitting on our asses and doing nothing was the worst part. You see, Cadre Dan put us back in the water and then took us out to tell us the story or the Normandy invasion. He didn’t give us the crawls to warm up our bodies. He just sat us on the beach in 35 degree temperature with the wind howling. It was genuinely one of the worst hours of my life.
Hotspot was just as cold. We didn’t say a word. We just put our arms around each other and shared our body warmth. It was all we could do to make it through phase 2 and onto the final phase of the event. 38 people started. 16 of us finished. I would not have been one of those 16 had I not had Hotspot beside me… right beside me.
So you may not cuddle with your teammates or clients, but in the middle of a crisis you better have people that close to you that you can absolutely count on. Repeatedly I’ve seen clients get in trouble and instead of bonding together like me and Hotspot, they fought like those two idiots who got us Cadre Dan’s wrath. They go into personal survival mode and start blaming each other. Every single time the crisis gets worse and sometimes it burns down the whole organization.
Only hire people you can trust to be right beside you in the cold and darkness. Only work with clients you trust. That’s why one of our company values is “we only work with clients who love and respect us.” You never know when the hard times will come, but make no mistake about it, they will come.
PS – this pic was taken during story time.