By Rachael Metzgar, Bus 4 Participant
I would like to preface this with the fact that I am insecure. I don’t often find myself overcoming huge challenges – and that’s exactly why I signed up for Gadna. I wanted to push myself and try new things.
The first day was by far the worst. We got off the bus all sleep deprived and dehydrated only to get dressed in long pants and long sleeved shirts and run in 100 degree weather. We were yelled at repeatedly in Hebrew to stand in the perfect line and be the loudest group of them all. It was intimidating, so much so that after the day came to an end and we were showering I began to cry. It was so hard to be yelled at by someone you respect asking you to be perfect. That’s one of my worst fears.
The second and third day were much better. We ran everywhere and yelled as loud as we could. We pushed each other and ourselves and overcame our worst fears. I never would have imagined that I could do anything like this.
The fourth day, the last, we had our journey. In the real IDF completing the journey gives you a higher rank, respect, and strength. Near the end of ours we army crawled 30 or so feet up a gravel hill. We were not allowed to cheer each other on, but crawl with them in complete silence. I was one of the last to start and one of the last to finish. I was on the verge of tears from the soon to be bruises on my knees and elbows. I wanted nothing but to be done or quit, but I couldn’t quit. I was feet away from the end where the commander of our commanders would shake our hand and tell us “good job”. I was too close to quit and too far to be done. Two of my peers, two people I had barely talked to came to crawl with me. I finally finished with two friends on either side of me silently cheering me on. I did this for myself. I did this to prove to myself that I could do it, and if I had the choice to do this again I would do it in a heartbeat. Easily.