Trust isn’t built over an obligatory coffee. Or on a hurried lunch break. Or watching football together in silence.
It is actually built in the suffering.
We (the founders of American Ruck) understand it seems easier to hide, avoid, ignore or minimize pain in your life and to suppress things that seem too dark to share. To drive past opportunities for connection like passing billboards at 100mph. Or create a self everyone will admire and no one will know.
But some of us discovered, after long detours of loneliness, that trust is actually built in the suffering; particularly, suffering through something hard and arduous alongside a brother or a sister.
We learned that the hard way... 2 of us are Vets from Afghanistan and Iraq who came back with scars both mental and physical and began to isolate. The other 2 are civilians in addiction recovery programs, also working to address wounds and make amends in the process to the people we love after years of coping instead of getting honest and being real.
But we found common ground in our deep, visceral need for brotherhood and ultimately built a company together.
In reaching out for help -- in being REAL and honest about our pain and scars, we found fellowship. We got humbled by men and women who were trustworthy and willing to listen.
We found that fitness communities (e.g. F3/FIA) in general accommodated this need for co-suffering, as did a number of martial arts organizations (e.g. jiu jitsu), faith communities and high-performing corporate teams. But they ALL shared this sort-of unwritten mantra in common: experience hardship together, share one another's burdens… and you will build deep, trustworthy relationships.
It really can be that simple.
For us it was about finding the activity that recreated that kind of co-suffering the best and most consistently, and that was RUCKING.
Objectively, it is great for health: unusually large amounts of time for community-building AND lends itself to a rugged, highly sustainable fitness journey. So naturally it became our preferred method for suck.
But it’s not just “embrace the suck” to embrace the suck, or to commiserate in brutal beatdowns just for the hell of it. It’s learning to actually give a fuck and be real. To RISK being vulnerable while being in motion, laugh, cry… learn to trust again.
Now we’re living the dream of building stronger bodies, stronger communities AND making better gear made in the USA.
This is our American Ruck™️ story!
And we will ALWAYS hard commit to giving a portion of every dollar to Veteran and civilian suicide awareness and addiction recovery, because we suffered too much alone and realized that is no way to live.
Try co-suffering. Go for a ruck with a friend and share something on your heart. You won't regret it.