Second Lieutenant Sam Westlake writes once again from the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, with an update on his progress through the punishing Pegasus Company (P Company). He’s one of 30 remaining on the course…
The Four Horsemen is a 10.5 mile tab (loaded march). It took us off-track to a quarry with a steep grassy hill on one side. Silhouetted on the crest of this hill were 4 of the staff. We were led up and around each of the staff in turn before climbing out of the quarry to a much-needed water stop. This event was not as fast as other tabs and had enough water stops but by this point our bodies were feeling the effect of the previous 4 days. The Four Horsemen took us off-road through boggy ground for the first time this week, but it was important to keep moving quickly. Despite this being the fifth day, I felt my tabbing technique was improving and that I was growing stronger and more confident. I was starting to find that as the OC said in his opening brief, P Company can be enjoyable.
There wasn’t much time to rest and reset before the circuit session in the gym. We had a long warm-up that shook away any stiffness from the morning. The circuit had 20 stations with the usual exercises: squats, press-ups, sit-ups, burpees, heaves, shuttle runs, etc. We spent a minute on each station, had a water break and then went round again. My advice is to work hard throughout or you will feel the pain of knees to chest on a crash mat!
There are 30 of us left. Men have fallen off the course with injuries and red cards leaving a small and strong group. Tabs will be easier with a small pack and I expect each syndicate will get to know each other better in the second week. This will be important for the team events to come. Of the 30 that remain, some are battling with injuries. There are 2 medics and 2 sick parades a day to strap legs and ankles, as well as the physio department to attend to more serious injuries. For everyone else it’s a case of avoiding injury by keeping an eye on the ground when doubling on tabs, stretching and using ice where needed after events.