The day of danger and suspense has dawned.

She was under the water more than above, the current pulled her off course, and the minutes ticked by.

Last post, I left you with a walk on the beach at sunset… a seagull walking on the beach, that is. 🙂

Calie’s the one on the beach this time, but she’s not enjoying a leisurely stroll, she’s fighting for her title, maybe even her life…

Today is day 3 of 4 of the Marine’s HITT challenge in sunny, southern California. (If you haven’t read the prior days’ posts, HITT stands for high-intensity tactical training.) Calie won in 2016 so she’s back to defend her title in 2017.

We’ll get to the aforementioned dangerous part soon!

Paige Fieldhouse on Camp Pendelton

Another beautiful day on tap, I’m loving California weather!

HITT championship

Calie prepares for the morning’s event

The FROG, HITT competition 2017

The hated FROG!

The FROG in action

This video is short, but hopefully it’ll give you an idea of how the FROG works

Event #5. The Combat HITT Challenge had modalities similar to the first 2 days but with an added twist, a new contraption called the FROG.

The athletes really DID NOT like the FROG. Each competitor had to finagle it 4 times; each time doing a different maneuver: Mojo, Superman, Core killers, and Leapers. For example, they might only use arms for one trip or only legs or rear up, etc. To move the FROG efficiently takes a lot of strength, but mostly coordination!

Calie was on her game  as she placed 1st in the 5th event, with a cushion of 12 seconds.  😀

Each day, the Marine Corps provided lunch for the participants, but Rick and I had to fend for ourselves. We usually went to one of the few eating establishments on base. I spotted the unique and delectable food art below at a Mexican fast food grill. The photos are composed of only fruit and veggies. I thought they were fun.  🙂

Food art
Food art

Edible art!

Food art

Okay. The danger is looming very close now.

After lunch, we found our way to Del Mar Beach for event #6, the Amphibious Tactical Challenge. The water events have always been Calie’s least favorite.  😳  Let me paint the scenario:

Competitors start with a 50-yard sprint (in sand, of course)

10-yard low crawl (under a mesh net)

10-yard dummy drag (120 lbs)

Sprint around guard tower to shoreline

1st trip to buoy:

  • Pick up rifle
  • Travel 50 meters from shoreline to buoy, carrying rifle
  • Return rifle to shoreline, for a total of 100 meters/328 feet

2nd trip (same distance):

  • Carry/put on 40-lb pack
  • Travel from shoreline to buoy with pack
  • Return pack to shoreline

Competitors sprint back to dummy, drag it back to start position; low crawl, and sprint to the finish line.

Sounds doable, right?

Amphibious Tactical Event, HITT 2017

Sure, if the packs floated, competitors could touch bottom at all times, and the buoy stayed where it was supposed to… like the powers-that-be promised.

AND if they weren’t dressed in full gear, including boots.

HITT 2017

Rick, Calie, and Kayla survey the setup

Beach event HITT 2017

Location of the buoy

HITT championship, 2017

Men’s heat with an awesome ship in the background!

Sparkling ocean at Del Mar Beach, Camp Pendleton

The last group of females ready to go

Calie takes off.

She sprints, she crawls, she drags.

She gets to the shoreline first. She comes out of the water… last.

The first trip with the rifle went okay. The second trip was an entirely different story!

For the first few heats the packs had stayed afloat, but now they were waterlogged; the buoy had drifted out further, AND Calie could not touch!  😥

Stop and really imagine yourself in her position.

You can’t touch bottom,

the current is pulling you off course,

and a 40-lb pack is dragging you down.

Rick and I watched helplessly for several nerve-wracking minutes as our daughter wrestled the situation.

But Calie kept fighting and struggling, and eventually made it back to shore. The battle in the water had stolen much precious time. Back on land (and her feet!), she flew to the finish line, making up a lot of lost time.

But for the first time over 3 days, in 6 events, she didn’t finish first or second.  She came in last in her heat and 8th overall!  😯

First place won in 8 mins, 21 seconds. Calie completed the ordeal in 9 minutes, 30 seconds.

(Last place took 17 mins, 27 seconds; the poor girl was stuck in the water for a long time!)

Whew! What a stressful event!

HITT participants cooling off after the beach event, Aug. 2017

The danger behind her, Calie can relax!

Calie (and I’m sure some of the others) was utterly relieved to have that over with!

They cooled off for a bit in the ocean.

The 5th place female competitor performed with huge blisters rubbing against her wet boots and one male Marine ran with a newly-broken toe, which he’d acquired at the paintball course two days before. Marines are amazing!

As Calie and Kayla went back with the group, Rick and I enjoyed the wonders and sounds at the beach.

Rick experienced his first dip in the Pacific Ocean!

I realized something that day.

For me, GAZING at the ocean is a wonder, going INTO it is not.

Sand attacks everywhere! Eww!  😐

Del Mar Beach on Camp Pendleton

Rick checks out “the salt and spray”

Beach umbrellas perfectly spaced

I love how this beach is neatly organized!  😀

Umbrellas on beach at Camp Pendleton

What’s up?

Fun at the beach!

Beach time on Camp PendletonBeach on Camp Pendleton

He never knows where to look!!  😛

White seagull against a blue sky

A seagull soars against a perfect blue sky

Six events done.

The danger is over; Calie came through it.  🙂  Did this beach incident cost her the championship?

Tomorrow we’ll witness the last event, the gauntlet.

Come back for the final chapter in this challenge, this trip, this adventure.

Find out if Calie successfully defended her title.

I’ll leave you with a few more images.  🙂

With blessings, blooms, and anticipation,


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Day's end on Pendleton

Beautiful ending to the day

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Ship on Pacific Ocean

A ship and waves on the ocean spell adventure…

Fabulous soft red roses

Couldn’t have a post without some blooms!  😉

The gauntlet at HITT, 2017

This is part of the course that’s coming up!

Author: Pam

Glad you’re here!