Rucking As Meditation

Before I took the GORUCK Challenge in 2011, rucking was relegated to the thing I did, back when I was in the military, either as a test to pass a specific training evolution or a way to move long distances during a mission, carrying everything you needed on your back. After the Challenge, because I hate running, I took rucking as a way of physical training.

Rucking is simply moving long distances with a backpack (or ruck), carrying a heavy load. If done right, rucking can give you the benefits of running without the impact on your knees and lower back

I’ve been rucking on and off, longer and shorter distances, since 2011. It has always been a challenge, not because of the weight or distance, but rather because my mind goes to crazy places.

And that was the key to appreciate rucking.

What I began to do was to really force myself to shut the voices in my head. When the chatter would start, I would let it go for a bit, but then force myself to count the steps, or to focus on the shoulders burning from the weight, or the calves tight from the distance. I began to enjoy the freedom that rucking was giving me.

I’m not one for meditation, I have tried it, but I could never commit to it. However, I found rucking meditative, almost. Meditation in motion. And while not quite getting to that meditative state that I get during an acupuncture session, I do get a quiet mind. It sets the stage for a better, smoother state of mind. I like that.

The added value of the weight on your back is the pain. Pain on your shoulders and legs. But it’s a good pain, one of those that tells you that you are still alive and working hard. It builds resilience and allows you to get used to discomfort. It’s great.

So far, aside from some masochistic Air Bike workouts or hard climbs, I have yet to find a good physical activity that can give me both: mental and physical toughness and calm.

Try it. Walking with (not so much) lightness.