Mind over matter

2Lt Sam Westlake

2Lt Sam Westlake

P Company is all over for Second Lieutenant Westlake. Did he pass?

The final day of P Company – and I had a proper limp on.  The 20-miler dispelled any doubts as to whether I was injured or not and walking was a struggle.  Gradually my legs warmed up a bit and with copius amounts of ibuprofen and co-codamol I was ready for the Stretcher Race.  The course was sized off in to 2 teams of 13 that would carry 80kg stretchers over 4.5 miles.  Again this is a hard event, but by this point in the course it was easy to summon the determination to stick with it.  The hardest point is the drive up Stretcher Hill, a steep, long, muddy hill that has to be climbed after running through water ditches.  After this hill however, you’re on the home straight.  Some find the log harder than the stretcher and vice versa.  Personally I found today the biggest test and I had a great sense of achievement when we finished.  Though pretty crippled, knowing it was the final day of All-Arms was enough motivation to run through any pain; as with many events it was a case of mind over matter.

The beret parade followed.  One by one our numbers were called followed by either “pass” or “fail”.  Those of us who passed were given the maroon lids we have worked so hard for and a handshake from the OC and CSM.  We had 4 fails out of the 26 of us who made it this far.  The 22 of us who passed were in the bar a few hours later with the staff watching a video of our course.  It is a very good feeling to have passed this course, especially as it was a challenge I set for myself on deciding to join The Parachute Regiment about 2 years ago.  It is a very good course and there are some enjoyable days but it is definitely a course to do once.

I for one will definitely return to Catterick for the Paras’ 10 Race (www.paras10.com) and am looking forward to tackling the training area again in September.

6 thoughts on “Mind over matter

  1. First and foremost a big congratulations are in order. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Hopefully, in a couple of years or so … (after I finish college, Uni and commisioned out of Sandhurst) I will will complete P Coy.

    Your blog has taught me what to expect and makes me want to do it even more!!!

    At the moment I can not grow up quick enough 😛

    Good luck and remain Utrinque Paratus!!!


  2. Quote: It is a very good course and there are some enjoyable days but it is definitely a course to do once.

    I passed first time (1972) but my mate – who became my good friend over the years – passed on his SIXTH attempt!

    It won’t be too long before you can feel the hairs on the back of your neck each time you hear the Ride of the Valkyries!!

    Well done.


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