The minute a bloody tear ripped across my finger, I knew I had overestimated my abilities.
After all, the instructors at the low rope station in the standard obstacle course (SOC) demonstrated the exercise quite effortlessly, without the protection of gloves as they are usually trained to do.
So I jumped up, grabbed the rope and attempted to loop the end of it around my feet to create a step - and failed miserably.
It was a spectacular mess.
But if the grunts around me were anything to go by, I wasn’t the only one lying in a crumpled heap.
............... We were introduced to a buffet of culinary options - in the form of combat rations. On the menu were entrees like Hong Kong chicken noodles and Mexican cheese fried rice, as well as desserts like longan red bean and barley corn soup.
But no matter how fancy the names were, they couldn’t mask the unappetising paste-like appearance of the rations.
HANDLING SAR 21
This was my first time handling a rifle, and frankly, just going through the brief introduction, was a rather intimidating experience.
But no amount of preparation could simulate the real deal.
When we traipsed out onto the grounds for the SAR 21 firing exercise, the unmistakable whiff of gunpowder was in the air.
..... It was both thrilling and mortifying.
And of course, I missed all my targets.
Other first-time shooters echoed the same sentiment.