Ten months of walking evolved into rucking for me one day in September 2018. The boredom of walking festered into frustration, and I needed a solution to advance my exercise regime. Running sucks and destroys my knees, so I tossed out that option. I had been going to a gym to complement walking, but life changes rendered that into obsolescence, and I needed a solution to turn walking into strenuous exercise. I decided to strap on a backpack stuffed with water bottles, Keto-friendly snacks, and a little emergency kit to extend my range. I barely completed what had been a routine two-mile walk. At this point, I had no idea of rucking, but a veteran friend of mine explained how rucking is part of basic physical training for a soldier. Loading up a rucksack and hitting the road at a brisk pace, I soon discovered the world of rucking as a form of heart-thumping exercise. Either add more weight to the rucksack or miles to the distance (or both) to increase the difficulty. I found my goto exercise.

Ten months of walking evolved into rucking for me one day in September 2018. The boredom of walking festered into frustration, and I needed a solution to advance my exercise regime. Running sucks and destroys my knees, so I tossed out that option. I had been going to a gym to complement walking, but life changes rendered that into obsolescence, and I needed a solution to turn walking into strenuous exercise. I decided to strap on a backpack stuffed with water bottles, Keto-friendly snacks, and a little emergency kit to extend my range. I barely completed what had been a routine two-mile walk. At this point, I had no idea of rucking, but a veteran friend of mine explained how rucking is part of basic physical training for a soldier. Loading up a rucksack and hitting the road at a brisk pace, I soon discovered the world of rucking as a form of heart-thumping exercise. Either add more weight to the rucksack or miles to the distance (or both) to increase the difficulty. I found my goto exercise.

Isn’t rucking like hiking? Rucking is deliberate exercise, while hiking, though sometimes strenuous with a full backpack, is a form of recreation for most people who enjoy hiking. Rucking is challenging, whether you’re going solo or part of a team. Rucking is more than the brisk, thumping cadence of walking. Use the rucksack like a kettlebell to swing up in the air over your head and down between your legs; or use it as a weight on your back as you drop to the ground and perform pushups. The rucksack is like having a gym in a bag that you carry on your back. Not all rucksacks are created equal. Some are specifically manufactured for rucking and have individual compartments to load the pack with iron plates, ranging from 10 to 45 pounds. I filled my backpack’s water bladder sleeve with 10 pounds of marbles, while the main compartment holds 10 pounds of gear.

When I’m out rucking, I have no idea where my mind is going, but I do know it will go to a place where it will slay demons, fight depression, and find the path to freedom that lies beyond the gates of discipline. I leave the house through the front door with no expectations and return five miles later drenched in sweat, clear-headed, and pleasantly sore. Rucking has several mental and physical benefits, like experiencing the sensation of accomplishment and achieving mental clarity. I love the meditative state my mind enters after establishing a rhythmic cadence to my gait, and if I’m rucking through a nature park, the feeling is intensified. On longer rucks in nature, I pause for a few minutes to embrace the tranquility of sights, smells, and sounds of my surroundings before getting back on point.

I’ve made rucking the linchpin to living a life of discipline, honoring the hardened path to freedom and achieving victory in my personal pursuits. If there’s a thing called the Zen of rucking, I’ve found it, and it has enlightened me. Go get some!

Isn’t rucking like hiking? Rucking is deliberate exercise, while hiking, though sometimes strenuous with a full backpack, is a form of recreation for most people who enjoy hiking. Rucking is challenging, whether you’re going solo or part of a team. Rucking is more than the brisk, thumping cadence of walking. Use the rucksack like a kettlebell to swing up in the air over your head and down between your legs; or use it as a weight on your back as you drop to the ground and perform pushups. The rucksack is like having a gym in a bag that you carry on your back. Not all rucksacks are created equal. Some are specifically manufactured for rucking and have individual compartments to load the pack with iron plates, ranging from 10 to 45 pounds. I filled my backpack’s water bladder sleeve with 10 pounds of marbles, while the main compartment holds 10 pounds of gear.

When I’m out rucking, I have no idea where my mind is going, but I do know it will go to a place where it will slay demons, fight depression, and find the path to freedom that lies beyond the gates of discipline. I leave the house through the front door with no expectations and return five miles later drenched in sweat, clear-headed, and pleasantly sore. Rucking has several mental and physical benefits, such as experiencing the effortlessness of regular walking and the sensation of accomplishment and mental clarity. I love the meditative state my mind enters after establishing a rhythmic cadence to my gait, and if I’m rucking through a nature park, the feeling is intensified. On longer rucks in nature, I pause for a few minutes to embrace the tranquility of sights, smells, and sounds of my surroundings before getting back on point.

I’ve made rucking the linchpin to living a life of discipline, honoring the hardened path to freedom and achieving victory in my personal pursuits. If there’s a thing called the Zen of rucking, I’ve found it, and it has enlightened me. Go get some!