Hatmaker’s Readiness Test — Part 5

Click here to see Mark’s entire post

If you missed Parts 1 through 4 in this series, click here.  In a nutshell, author and martial arts coach Mark Hatmaker recently posted The Self-Resilient Readiness Test  and I worked my way through them to assess my ability to self-rescue.



This week I faced the following tests:

#1: Swim half a mile.  To my utter shock and surprise I was actually able to complete this challenge.  Sure, it took me a very long 20:17 to get there, but I finished it without putting my feet on the bottom of the pool or hanging on the edge.  I loved this challenge because it pushed me outside my comfort zone.  I have not swum laps in over 20 years and, because I don’t have a pool membership, I had to get my daughter Morgan to guest-pass me into her pool, which ended up being a fun evening for everyone.  Learned a ton from this one.  1 point.

#8: Carry 45 lbs 1 mile in under 12 minutes.  I was able to make the whole mile without putting down the weight (I used a sloshy sand bag) but I was way over the 12-minute mark at 16:50.  Without the weight I could’ve walked it in 18 mins.  So, as you can see, this was for me a pathetic slog rather than a run. 1/2 point.

#4: Fifteen Chin-ups, no breaks.  I was hoping my biceps tendinopathy would be sufficiently healed so as to allow me to attempt this one, but alas, no.  It’s going to be months before I can really try this.  Doesn’t matter that before I messed up my bicep I could do 15 chins with 15 lbs on a shoulder strap.  Old Man Used-To is dead and gone — I gotta take the zero.

At this “point” it’s important to “point” out that, just line in Whose Line Is It Anyway?  the points don’t matter.

It’s not about the points

It’s about self-assessing.  It’s about learning things about yourself, stepping outside your comfort zones, taking ownership of your capabilities, and so much more.  So when I talk about my scores, don’t think I’m trying to “win” or “score big” or any of that.  That ain’t what it is.

My “scores” So Far

#1: #1: Swim half a mile.  Done!  My time = 20:17.  1 point.
#2: Run at top speed for 200 yards.  I’m slow, but I did it. 1 point.
#3: Jump over waist high obstacles.  Close but no cigar.  1/2 point.
#4: 15 Chin-ups with no breaks.  Bicep tendinopathy.  0 points.
#5: 25 dips.  They were pathetic and I had to take breaks.  1/2 point.
#6: Drag a 100 lb. sandbag 50 years in under 30 seconds.  19 seconds.  1 point
#7: 25-yard buddy carry. 1 point
#8: Carry 45 lbs 1 mile in under 12 minutes.  16:50 is a fail. 1/2 point.
#9: One minute unprepared breath hold. Check.  1 point.
#10/11: Swim 25 yards underwater or walk 50 yards out/back on one breath. Picked the latter and failed.  1/2 point.
#12: Do you use drugs or alcohol to impairment?  No. 1 point.
#13: One minute shower on full cold. Check.  1 point.
#14: One day fast in plain sight of favorite foods.  Done.  1 point
#16: All day Tenderfoot Drill. Check.  1 point

Total Score so far: 11 points out of 14

What’s next?  Only one left to complete!

  • #15: Three nights in a row get up and keep a vigil for 15 minutes

Wanna play along?  Post your scores in the comments!

DID YOU KNOW…that I have an awesome shop where you can buy all kinds of cool stuff, like martial arts training materials, bespoke books, artwork, and so on?  Check it out!

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