Taking yourself out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself is a great way to learn, grow and find the strength you didn’t know you had.
From ‘doing’ to ‘being’ (agile) takes practise, but you could put any word in these brackets and the statement would still stand correct. Kapooka was many things – tough, hard, exciting, painful and rewarding. But the real lesson in Kapooka was how to be a soldier and a team player and how to use the basic tools to be a valuable member of that team.
I can’t tell you how many times I pulled my Styer F88 rifle apart and put it back together (hundreds – blindfolded, timed, and tested). I can’t tell you how many pack marches I did or how many lessons we had on everything from critical thinking to using a gas mask.
We ran, we swam, we charged the hill – over and over again, until it became second nature.
I think it was about 3 weeks in before I ever fired my weapon. I had practised so many times before with dummy rounds – stoppage practise, aiming, holding, and was so used to it that when the time came to hit the range – I was ready. In fact, when the time came to march 20k I was ready, when the time came to march-out in front of family and friends the drill practise came into its own and we owned that parade ground (the band was pretty good too) and when it was time for my first deployment (to East Timor) I was ready.
If it ain’t raining you ain’t training – Test & Adjust.