Expect the Unexpected, Redux

Posted on Posted in Backblasts
  • When: 11/12/2020
  • QIC: Slash
  • The PAX: Shirley (respect), AC/DC (double respect), Brown, Saigon Sam (respect)

It was going to be soooo perfect… YHC spent the weekend meticulously planning a glorious 31-station beatdown – 28 seconds of coupon-laden work, seven seconds to rest / move to the next station, all adding up to 36 minutes of exquisite physical agony. The array of exercises were precision-balanced among legs, chest, shoulders, arms, core and cardio for an ideal mix of strengthening and sculpting; indeed, it was hard to imagine Saigon Sam emerging from this beatdown NOT looking like a young, shredded Fabio (sans a full head of long, flowing hair, of course).

As YHC loaded the last coupon into his station wagon, all but bursting with self-satisfaction, he thought, “The only thing that can ruin this would be something totally unexpected such as an off-season, Caribbean-spawned hurricane, the likes of which have not been seen this late in the calendar year since 1984.”

Cut to Thursday morning. Cue disaster. As YHC began to set up the stations, the wind from tropical system Eta gusted his handmade placards all over the HN parking lot, rendering it impossible to lay out the stations. The dream beatdown had become a nightmare. A tropical storm in mid-November? Really?

The unexpected had happened. Now, normally at this point in the backblast, YHC introduces a “on this day in history” event that ties into and neatly illustrates the theme of the accompanying beatdown. The original theme (which will now be saved for later) was spontaneously changed to “Expect the Unexpected,” borne out of the capriciousness of a fickle Mother Nature.

While the collapse of the planned workout was emotionally devastating to YHC, some serendipity did percolate out of this mess, connected to two unrelated events: 1) YHC had previously addressed the “Expect the Unexpected” theme in a June 2019 beatdown / backblast, and 2) in the wake of the recent hostile takeover of Slash Radio by G-Train Enterprises (you may have missed this corporate raid, as it was buried in the headlines by the pandemic and election), we have been mandated by our new penny-watching corporate parent to cut costs by recycling past creative content. So herewith the “Expect the Unexpected” historical anecdote, which originally aired nearly 17 months ago:

YHC is nothing if not a sucker for history. With today, the 25th of June, marking the anniversary of The Battle of Little Bighorn – aka, Custer’s Last Stand – we sought to glean 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 with little if any opposition from the enemy. So naturally, his approach to the conflict at Little Bighorn was based on the totality of his previous experiences. Such was the root cause of his downfall.

When Custer led 700 soldiers over a ridge in southeastern Montana on this day in 1876 and gazed down at the Lakota and Cheyenne Indians encamped on the banks of the Little Bighorn River, he saw no danger in being grossly outnumbered. Indeed, historians put the encampment at 10,000 to 12,000 Indians, with 3,000 to 5,000 warriors among them. But instead of peril, 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 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 soldier, including the colonel, was dead.

Custer’s aggression seems stunning – 700 soldiers taking on an enemy force numbering as many as 5,000? Without backup? And split into three groups that further diluted their strength? This likely wasn’t a case of the colonel thinking he could outgun the enemy, as Custer had received advanced reports that the Indians were armed with repeating rifles. Emboldened by the favorable fact patterns of previous battles, Custer 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 within which we live truly is. Change will come, and we may 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. Plan. Expect the unexpected. Because it is coming.

Okay, that’s it for the re-run! As for Thursday’s Eta-ruined workout, we wound up doing a modified Dora (using coupons consisting of a mix of pavers and blocks) and getting in ~ 2 miles of running while partnering up on squat thrusts, burpees, curls, goblet squats, lunges, brickkins and rows, all with some Van Halen in the background. Good work, gentlemen!

COT/BOM: Travis Manion beach event 11/21; funeral service this Sunday for yet another fatally wounded Penn State football season (JK – just checking to see if Sofa reads these things); upcoming Not-Goodbye-Just-See-You-Later McDreamy Thanksgiving Day WO; prayers for needs spoken and unspoken. Always a pleasure…

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