Boot Camp a testing adventure: Green
July 06, 2018
Men’s National Performance Squad member Cameron Green talks about the group’s three-day Boot Camp on the coast in northern NSW, as part of this year’s program for some of Australia’s rising stars.
We got told midnight. Make sure you’re on the bus, make sure you’re not late.
It took about five hours to get there, and I think I got 10 minutes sleep - I tried my best to get some sleep but couldn't.
We got there, had to put the tents up at about 5am and probably got an hour or two of sleep.
We got woken up by our instructor, Lee, and had to go straight into the freezing cold ocean - so it was a great start to the camp, a great wake up.
We kind of got a feeling for how intense the next three days would be, and what would be coming our way.
The first day we trekked about 20 kilometres, and all of our backpacks broke on the first day.
We found out on the last day of the camp all of the straps got ripped up beforehand, expecting them to break on purpose, to challenge us a bit mentally, and make it feel like things were going against us.
We didn’t have the luxury of having them on our back, so once they broke, we had to carry them on our shoulders.
Every kilometre or two we were in the freezing cold water, linking arms as a group. You were always wet, and sandy, being on the beach the whole time.
It was really testing - mentally and physically.
It was kind of the same for the next three days, with different activities each day.
On the first day we carried a big rope, and if it touched the ground we had to do 50 push ups or go in the water. It was the same with the backpacks - if it touched the ground, 50 push ups.
In a way, we had to keep each other up, keep each other motivated.
On the second day we got something different to carry - stretchers!
The backpacks were really heavy, so we decided as a group to put all the tents in a big heavy bag that we would carry separately, so when you had your backpack on your shoulder it wasn’t as heavy.
We put the tents on the stretcher and carried that the whole way.
Some of us found that really tough.
Your shoulders and arms were killing you, and you didn’t want to sub in to carry the stretcher.
We struggled through quite a lot. I reckon it broke me, that second day.
We had a role play situation, where we had to carry ‘Buck’ (coach Chris Rogers) - who was ‘bitten by a shark’ - and we had to run four kilometres in 20 minutes to ‘save his life’, carrying him, our tents and water containers on the beach.
I think everyone broke by the end of that.
You had to keep running, because you knew you had to cover four kilometres in 20 minutes, but you didn’t know how far you’d run.
On the last day, we didn’t have to carry our tents and sleeping bags, but we had to run a bit further - about 30 kilometres.
Everyone came together as a group over the camp.
What I took out of it was all about looking out for your mates, knowing they were really struggling during it as well.
The first couple of days I was trying to make it through myself, give myself enough energy to get through the three days.
By the last day when I could see the end goal, it was all about helping my teammates and working a little bit harder to try to make their job a little bit easier.
There were a lot of stretches when no one was talking, but by the last day we were all up and about, encouraging everyone.
I can definitely see the difference in our group now. We’ve definitely come closer together, and are having some really honest conversations.
You find out things about each other that you didn’t know before, and it becomes that much easier to talk as friends and teammates, knowing that we’d got through something that tough together.