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Aegis Nova Anomaly --- Goruck and Bike Team Action

sports and teamwork and team play and more sports...

In the meantime I have joined the group of Ingress players. Ingress, a game where GPS gives me the position of myself and of portals which I can capture for my faction, of which I can build fields of, etc. One can play alone or in a team. 

Several times a year, there are anomalies, meaning gamers convene in a city, which they try to color in blue or in green (BLUE!!!)

This one is the third I attended with Martin (who dares to be green, despite of me having started to play this first in the family) 

Rotterdam was the city, our signup said, Rotterdam will be blue (and it was), and so I drove off on Thursday towards the Netherlands, with my first station being Maastricht, where I wanted to ride a part of the bike course for the Ironman race. More clearly - the hilly part. While I wasn't understanding the km on my "Bikemap" app, I had this device direct me through all the angles and curves of the course. Only, after some time I noticed that my phone wasn't charging - the cable was broken - and I ran out of energy to find my car. Gratefully some shop owner ("iphone doc") opened his already closed business doors to sell me a new cable. How can I play ingress and not have a spare cable...

Drive on into Rotterdam - the first thing I noticed of this city was that it is super spacey for a European city. Not the parking lots, mind you - especially not for my American built VW transporting bikes and more. Driving into the hotel's parking lot meant to get out of the car at the passenger's side. And I parked over the line - still...

So I unpacked, took my B2-bike and found my way to Cafe t'Haventje where we could pick up a local SIM card.  With a bit of effort I even found my shop e-mail, and then was ready to go. Or so I thought.  Navigating home, I installed the thing, totally ignoring the instructions they had given me, and thought I was ready to go.

Until the complimentary Data volume was used up and nothing worked. My TPLink hotspot was active but no internet. Sylvi not reading instructions (ignoring their existence, that is)  So I just wondered what happened - the people in the T-mobile store said, they had no idea how to deal with pre-paid cards.. The guy in a mixed-provider shop tried to help, but couldn't. I got a hook thingy to put the sim card into my phone - just to try if that works in any way.  I had met Martin T, my team lead for the bike team during the anomaly, and that had been his suggestion. 

Well, back at the hotel I tried the SIM in my phone and got 'you've got 49 cents' as a message. I had called in hangouts, if anyone knew what could be the problem and someone wrote, everything was fine with his - he had just done what the instructions tole him. 

The internal  bell rang. Magic word - Instructions. I dug them out, because, of course I had gotten them. Followed them. And my TPLink performed like a charm.

I had signed up to GoRuck,a challenge of physical and mental exercise, all done with a 10+ kg backpack on my back. We had a pre-dinner. So I first met up with Martin, said hello - he had been riding in by train that day (Friday) and then I made my way toward the pre-meeting and dinner place. 

I still left my backpack and all at the hotel to pick up later, just before the event. Packrat that I am, I had also packed a 'special needs' bag for our support car, including gummi bears, spare cloths and shoes, and some first aid kit. 

After an absolutely delicious Kapsalon dish (french fries with Doener, and cheese) I got my stuff and walked to the meeting point where Cadre Doug welcomed us. Doug has been training soldiers in the US, has experienced his share of war action and stories.

After welcome and warm up, (Zero being a very relevant number), Doug took off sprinting. Now I have good endurance, I guess, but I am not a sprinter.  And this sprint went longer and longer, I had a couple of steps walking but then ran on having someones hand on the ruck, lifting,  for a minute or so also helped. Up the stairs onto a bridge, and there we met up again, just to get a talk-to that this was not really team work if we split up that far. 

We went through different challenges, doing group Quiz, combined with bear crawl (bears don't have knees!), playing "last portal standing" (lift backpack overhead and hold. As long as the central person is still up, the portal stands)  a hack mission (again, the group spreading apart, but this time at least in to smaller groups), more push-ups, squats, flutter kicks etc Zero just means the count of accomplished exercises - it doen't go "down - up - one - down- up - two - ..." but "down - up - zero - down - up - zero", just to take away the finish line to work toward.  Making the exercise mentally more difficult. And getting us into a state of "just doing this" focusing on the exercise at the moment - it almost gets meditative... Thus the relevance of the number 'zero"

Climbing stairs (the 130 steps at the Centraal Station were locked, I think, Dough would have loved to send us up there ), doing a hack mission (ignoring the last portal, not to mess up any mosaic plans),  Buddy carrying,  all this action gave us a score of 2(RES) :2(ENL). 

A bit difficult were the extremely different sizes of the groups - 7 ENL and 28 RES. That meant, that not all of us got to represent the group. But then - there were only four challenges for intel, anyway, And I definitely missed the water challenge (I had offered before, in the HO,  I'd be willing to do any water challenge...) Doug tried to equilibrate group size  with the choice of the tasks. The final score shows, that he was successful.  

Just before the buddy carrying challenge we had the task to make it to a given portal in a specific time. Again, everyone stormed and turned loose, and I thought to bring up the rear, when I saw one of the frogs hobbling. So I asked - seemingly he had busted his achillles or so he said) and  I stuck with him for a bit until one of our team members explained to me, to take care of this guy wasn't mine to do but his own team. Here I took the wrong choice, pulled ahead, and left the guy to his own people. (they seemingly already carried some of his weight, but this wasn't enough and he fell behind quite a bit)   All a portal to capture...

So, Doug was completely right to give us a talk-to, while we were in push-up position, while we were doing push ups, flutter kicks, squats etc. It hurt but he was right. 

On with the buddy carrying - the injured frog was a natural casualty, and his group managed to beat us with this. 

At the end we got our patches, a meaningful goodbye and a handshake from Doug (actually got the best compliment from him I have gotten yet), I picked up my special needs bag from the car, picked up the weight of one of the team mates who affirmed he wouldn't need it anymore, noticed that trying to pay for a train ticket to the hotel with e 50-Euro might not be a good idea (did not try, though, maybe it would have worked) and walked the 30 min back to the hotel, carrying double weight and the extra bag. I am so glad I bought this - actually super cheap - backpack and made an additional chest strap for it.

Off to the hotel. MArtin  (Martin Z, my husband, and - yes, he's a frog, and no, I don't like it) was there, just back from farming with the frogs. Ready to go to his goruck event.  We had breakfast together, I got ready for registration with NIA, and for picking up my RES swag. He got ready to ruck. Oh, he could have used my ruck, but it was less chaotic with him having prepped his own. 

I didn't tell him what we had done, what the tasks had been - and later it turned out he's got the water he never liked to deal with.

Off to meet my bike team, re-set up the radio communication, and then to go do our zoom-around-Rotterdam-action. This was fun and I was glad I had signed up to Martin T's team. Lots of key transport, and we shared up the radio, depending on topic and on necessity. I wasn't tired but I was thisty, so before meeting up, I had picked up some water at a super market, only to learn, that two of my team mates had a whole load of small bottles on their bikes. So no dying by thirst today.

It was a beautiful day to ride, we had most aspects of game play in our task list. And at the end, team 128 helped Resistance to blue-ify Rotterdam. 

Fun fun fun!!!

Dinner with Martin and then figuring to meet up at the after party. OK, now I got tired so I left before I could meet most of my team. Still talking to some  smurfs from all places, finding my way home, sleeping.

Next day, mission day, Martin and I did the cross faction hack round but both of us forgot to send the e-mail with the screen shot of our 13 missions. So I hope they still will be counted... Surprise...

And then the long drive home. School today, I'm fully awake, more than the students I teach... What a great mini-vacation weekend.