Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Troy Perkins - A Team Building Experience, Part 2

Troy Perkins left national team camp for four days last week to participate in a team building exercise with Valerenga in Norway. Valerenga's hosts for the 'retreat' - a unit of the Norwegian Special Forces. Here is Part 2 of Troy's experience.

Day Two


6:00

We awake to a bitter cold tent and the realization that we now have a 30-minute run

7:00

Breakfast consists of one loaf of bread and two pieces of cheese and ham per member of the team, as well as a pot of coffee.

9:00

Military leaders decide that we should move camp, so we now had to tear down the tents of metal poles and canvas. Then we carried everything to the fort by way of a three kilometer path the winds in and out of the bog and up and down the mountain. This was quite an experience, since the bog was frozen and the rocks were covered in ice, but my team fought hard. We went from being a half-course behind to passing the other team, setting our tent up first and winning the race.

11:45

We were all awarded lunch that day and what a feeling that was. There was fresh bread, soda, smoked salmon, soup, and coffee.

13:00

My team is led to the front door of the fortress where we were taken in one by one and told that to pass into the gates as a team we must each defeat a two-headed troll. As we were running down the dark and cold stone tunnels, we are asked if we want to box and wrestle the first head. So I chose to box first, and then wrestle second. At that point, they put the gloves and sparring helmet on you and throw you into one of the rooms where two world champion cage fighters are waiting to box and wrestle you. You had to go one round with each without being bloodied or injured. Obviously, they could have destroyed any of us, but they sized us up and measured their effort according to what we could handle.

18:00

We have dinner together and then meet outside to complete three puzzle tasks that involve team work and problem solving, and then we went back to the fort for a search and find drill that involved the same skills as the three previous tasks. This time it was a race, and you had to find your own way out of the fortress. For the entire day my team was the best, and we were awarded the privilege of sleeping in one of the warm barracks. We were left to decide whether or not the other groups should sleep in their tents or come in with us. Of course, we allowed them to come and sleep in the barracks because we know how cold we were the night before.

Day Three

6:00

Wake-up call.

6:15
One more 30-minute run. Afterwards, a light breakfast.

9:00

It is time for the last and final challenge of the trip. This was a biathlon event where each member of the team had to shoot five targets with 10 bullets. Each person had to do this twice in a row, but before any member could shoot, the entire team had to run around a 200 meter track, and for every target you missed the team had to complete that amount of penalty laps around a separate 75 meter track. All in all, my team finished second, running roughly about 4300 meters in the process. Our team didn’t shoot the best, but I finished strong going five for five.

So this could be the longest blog ever – and this is not even everything we did! These were the type of challenges that allow you to learn a little more about the guy standing next to you. There was pain and suffering, but this was only three days worth. The guys who are members of the elite forces have to partake in eight weeks of this stuff, and I now really have an immense amount of respect for them. The same goes for my teammates, who never quit and kept pushing to prove themselves: not just to the other guys, but to themselves as well.

3 comments:

Evan said...

That really sounds crazy and also it sounds like a great way to build teamwork. I think it is good to do things like that so you guys learn to trust each other and how to support each other.

Peter said...

"At that point, they put the gloves and sparring helmet on you and throw you into one of the rooms where two world champion cage fighters are waiting to box and wrestle you. You had to go one round with each without being bloodied or injured. Obviously, they could have destroyed any of us, but they sized us up and measured their effort according to what we could handle."
-wait what?

beerbear said...

Her Is the Troy / Valerenga FC video: cut and paste:

http://webtv.tv2.no/webtv/?progId=283687

and also a nice way to learn the wonderful Norwegian language...:-)