COMPETE : The Team Assessment Why

This blog post was written by PATHFINDER alum and Team Assessment athlete, Renee Aly.


Team Assessment provides a unique opportunity to add depth and breadth to your why. In doing so, it provides the same for your evolution as a person. 

If you're like me, you have a foundational, gut-level why. That which drives you on in events probably isn't all that different from the goal or pain or failure or inspiration that drives you in your everyday life. Perhaps you also have another layer of why you participate in events. Something more tangible or currently relevant to happenings in your life or a thought related to that particular event. 


I love the opportunity to develop my internal motivation. GORUCK gave me a template for this though I soon realized it was a process I was already familiar with. In the times of my life that I feel weak or stagnant, I reflect on this process and this ability. It reminds me that my momentum isn't built or sustained in isolation. It is always the team, not me, that beckons me forward.

For Team Assessment, you're going to have to hit a higher mark of 'it's not about you'. Your team isn't a group. It's you and one other human. You may know this person only through events or they may be a close friend or training partner. Rest assured that TA will be the thresher which separates the grain from the chaff in terms of the relationship.


Talk with your partner now about your individual whys and the definition of your shared vision. Discuss what will motivate you and what words discourage you. Be open about what he or she can say to reconnect you to the goal when your mind begins to falter. My partner, Teresa Garcia, and I had this discussion beforehand. For me, it allowed tough internal moments to be easily pushed aside by her encouragement. More than once, she snapped me back into focus.

During the event, we had moments of exchanging quizzical, 'uh-oh' glances when a task was outlined. Sometimes, we'd share a stealth little smile that screamed, 'we got this'. Other times, we could see the weariness in each other's eyes and posture. Our whisper to that was...

'We're not quitting. No matter what.' 

'Nope. No chance at all.'

Each and every time, it kindled the fire within. By the time the culminating exercise came around, that fire was a roaring blaze of undaunted energy. I can't say that I've done an event where I haven't had at least a passing thought of quitting. For Team Assessment, my mind and heart pivoted exactly 180˚. I chalk that up to our tiny team with our great big why. 


This is how you win before you show up. Though it may not seem so now, standing victorious in front of the flag and being handed that patch can pale in comparison to the reward of a life-changing bond with another person. No other other two-day period in your life...can provide this. 

Do not fear the greater crucible of Team Assessment. Or fear it and do it anyway. Either is a winner's mindset. Crave it in your bones til your partner can feel it, smile through the grind to lift his/her spirits and don't view any task as a division of effort. Aim to work beyond your capacity at every turn because the cadre and the event will extract that from you regardless. 

Train your body often. Train your mind more. Do both for your team. When you finish, I'll be there to congratulate you and take off your boots for you or bring you some food.

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