SGPT: Tell us about yourself?
Descotaux: I’m a 38 year old science teacher in a middle school in Calgary, Alberta; Canada. One of my passions is ice and alpine climbing. In the first training book I’ve ever put my hands, the author was alluding to the fact that the stronger you are the harder you are to kill. I’ve been training with that in mind ever since. After years of CrossFit training, I stumbled onto the SEALFIT website and never looked back. I’ve been following the OPWOD ever since with some modification to allow for some specific training for my climbing and recovery. If only all that physical training could be put to god use at work!
SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?
Descotaux: As a kid, I did martial arts for years and played competitive tennis for about a decade and played rugby but never did any serious nor programmed training. I was simply active every day and loved the feeling of physically exerting myself.
SGPT: How did you train for the SealFit 20X event?
Descotaux: I kept up with the SEALFIT OPWOD, did yet another Murph but with the boots and pants in addition to the usual 20# pack. I also joined the CrossFit MOST crew that was training as a group once a week specifically for the event. I’m almost always training on my own so it was a great morale booster to have a “swim buddy” and others enjoying the same torture!
SGPT: Tell us a little about the event? Where was it?
Descotaux: We use a great system of trails and parks in Calgary walking about 40Km with our packs and PVC pipes. Different stop points led to different exercises (PT testing, hill sprints, plank, bear walk, squats of all sorts, mud crawl, buddy drags, low commando crawls, stretching, recovery in the river, rock carry, etc.).
SGPT: What was hardest part of the SEALFIT 20X Challenge event?
Descotaux: The first few minutes outside in the parking lot seemed to last for ever… We had to hold a plank position which is simple enough but I had added a 1-gallon water jug for the team in the top of my bag. Had it been in my hands I would have been able to put it on the ground… This additional weight quickly put my core strength to the test and in the red! That said, the rock carry was the most inspiring. This was for me a very emotional point.
SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for SEALFIT 20X?
Descotaux: I should have trained more for core with weighted planks, squat holds, overhead holds of all sorts and pecs to deck push ups.
SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do SealFit 20X?
Descotaux: No matter how fit and physically prepared you are, do not forget the mental aspect of this challenge. You have to be there for the others without question. You support the team as best you can when you are on top of things and they will help you when you need it.
Descotaux: I used the 5.11 ATAC 8’’ Coyote boots. I wanted the boot to have drains since if all goes as planned I’ll use them again at Kokoro in the near future. They felt great out of the box.
SGPT: Did you use double socks/compression socks or body glide on your feet to prevent blisters?
Descotaux: I sprayed the most susceptible sections of my feet, heel and Achilles with “New Skin” knowing this would help against blisters for most of the event. I also used an Injinji Trail 2.0 mini crew as a liner with a thin and slippery polypropylene sock on top. This combo worked very well! I had fresh feet the whole time.
SGPT: What kind of ruck did you use for training and the event?
Descotaux: I used a Cilo Gear 45L WorkSack. It is an old dependable pack and I knew it would handle anything the day would bring.
Descotaux: After the event, I decided I should re-read The Way of the SEAL by Mark Divine. I’m also trying to finish Quiet by Susan Cain.
SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Pierre.
Descotaux: You are most welcome Coach! Hopefully, others can benefit from this info.