Thursday night I went out with Mike and Charlie, and we did a test run of Hell Night, which is basically going to be a 2-3 hour strength/conditioning/endurance session using Parkour style movements. There is shimmying, crawling, climbing, jumping, carrying, running. There are group activities and solo ones. The name was borrowed from the British traceur Blane, and the concept is adapted to fit the campus here at Rochester Institute of Technology.
The goal of Hell Night is more than just conditioning the body and the mind; the goal of Hell Night is to break you. Once you are broken - physically, mentally - you can progress to a new level. It is night: it is dark, cold, often will be wet, and you will be tired. People are capable of amazing things, but they do not think they are. If people can push themselves to what they believe is the brink of their physical capabilities, and then farther... That is when people begin to understand who they are. What they are capable of. I want people to develop an iron will, an unwillingness to give up. Once you are broken, then keep going... that is when you prove to youself that you can handle anything.
A preview of Hell Night. This is by no means even a small part of the total experience:
2x - Piggyback rides (or maybe fireman's carry) a partner up and down a hill.
2x - Crab walk up stairs, quadrupedal movement (QM) down.
2x - Bridge walk down between wall and handicap ramp, cathang the other side and shimmy up the other side of the ramp.
1x - Indian Wall Sits (everyone does a wallsit, the person in back gets up, runs across the thighs of everyone else, wallsits in the front. Rinse, wipe hands on pants, repeat until end of wall, about 100ft later)
1x - Cliffhanger (grab onto ledge, shimmy horizontally without a wall to touch against)
5x - Traverse from one side of playground to another without touching the ground.
1x - 1/6th mile QM through the woods. Emphasis on being as silent as possible.
2.5x - Precision jump from rock to rock, and then back, that's one lap. There are 43 rocks.
3x - Climb in a circle around tree, from branch to branch, using only arms.
Hell Night will evolve over time. Once winter really hits, there will be many changes to take advantage of the new enviroment (slippery surfaces, ice, snow). No two Hell Nights will be the same.
After the run through (which was closer to a full workout than a test run), I went back to the gym to get my bag. The receptionist said "Have a good workout."
I just smiled.