Expect the Unexpected
YHC is nothing if not a sucker for history. With today, the 25th day of June, marking the anniversary of The Battle of Little Bighorn – aka, Custer’s Last Stand – we sought to take lessons from the expensive tuition paid by the US Army in this most famous of its battles in the drawn-out 19th-century military campaign against native Americans.
Lt. Colonel George Custer had made a name for himself fighting the Indians. He had enjoyed tremendous success, often winning battles without little opposition from the enemy. So naturally, his approach to the conflict at Little Bighorn was based on the totality of his previous positive experience. Such was the root cause of his downfall.
When Custer led his forces over the ridge in Southeastern Montana on this day in 1876 and gazed down at the Lakota and Cheyenne Indians that were encamped on the banks of the Little Bighorn River, he saw not danger in that he was grossly outnumbered. Indeed, historians put the encampment at 10,000 to 12,000 Indians, with 3,000 to 5,000 warriors among them. Rather, what Custer saw was a potential lost opportunity. As noted, in previous battles, Custer’s opposition often fled without fighting. Concerned that this large contingent of Native Americans would escape, Custer split his relatively small number of solders into three groups, and immediately attacked. Custer himself led a contingent of just 261 men into the teeth of the encampment, and within minutes – just twenty or so, according to reports – every single man, including the Colonel, was dead.
Upon review, Custer’s error seems stunning. Just 700 soldiers taking on as many as 5,000 opponents? Without backup? And split into three groups that further diluted their strength? This wasn’t a case of the Army being able to outgun its enemy; Custer had received advanced reports that the Indians were armed with repeating rifles. Whether it was hubris, mismanagement, a combination of both or something else, Custer’s preconceived view of how his foe would react was the exact opposite of what unfolded. He expected the Native Americans to flee. They did not. Custer had failed to expect the unexpected.
The daily grind of life has a way of anesthetizing us to just how fragile the structure of our lives truly is. Change will come, and we will not expect its content nor its timing. Think about your existence. What would happen if you were hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow? Who would take your kids if said bus took out you and your spouse? How would you be able to endure an extended lay-off? Are you prepared for any debilitating circumstances that could afflict older members of your family? Take a hard look around; where are your blind spots? Assess and act. Adapt. Expect the unexpected, because it is coming.
And with that cheery message – along with a history buff, YHC also may be nothing if not a debbie downer! – it’s onto to the workout!
• Mosey to bridge, with series of strides about halfway through.
• First set of bridge suicides: Run to first light, back to base. Then to second light, and back to base. Then third, and back to base, and then fourth and back to base.
• Second set: Run to first light – 10 merkins. Then run to second light – 20 merkins. Etc, up to the fourth light, then back to the flag.
• Stopped for some monkey humpers and planking along the way.
Some thoughts on the workout – first off, major props to Headline for seriously pushing himself on the run today, especially that last 150 yards. He was hurting and he finished strong. Much, much respect, Headline! Same for a lot of the other guys out there who absolutely ground it out (Show and Tell and Papa Smurf, in particular, would not be stopped. No sir.) Kudos to Bada Bing for working through that calf flare-up and for bringing (Bada Bring?) Holla from South Carolina. And a big thanks to Flo, who both pushed me on the bridge on that long leg to the fourth light AND saved my bacon by memorizing all the names of the Pax who showed up today. One of these days YHC will bring his phone and record the name-a-rama. One day…
BOM, COT and prayers, with the announcement of an F2 event on Wednesday. Always a pleasure. YHC out.