Gibbush: A test of psychological and physical endurance.
I underwent a two day ordeal. Two days of drinking the entire contents of my canteen, at once, several times a day. Two days of psychological stress, constant uncertainty, and the feeling of maybe I bit off more than I can chew.
If the most important thing to mother nature is teeth, then that might explain how I passed the Gibbush.
Day 1: Processing, Processing, Drinking lots of water, Dinner, and a 2km run with all the natural obstacles including three steep hills and a ton of deep sand in between. Those who didn’t make the 2k in the time allowed were cut.
Day 2: 4 am we wake up, 9am we finish the physical gibbush. Before the actual gibbush starts, we are made to run for 10 minutes just to get us tired. Then we each take two sandbags, and head off to the field.
We’re led to a very steep hill, then ordered to run up and down the hill only to return again to the very top where we must form up in lines of 3 all within time limits. The bright side? Didn’t have to run with the sand bags. This repeats at least 20 times. Then, we’re ordered to hold the sand bags above our heads, arms straight, for 1:40 seconds. It rained the night before (I know because we slept outside) and those bags were heavier than the Gibbush people wanted them to be, but “so what” asks the army?
“20 seconds……30 seconds….That man just bent his arms, the time starts from the beginning…0…”.
No one knows how long we held those bags, it must have been more than 5 minutes at a time. We did this several times that day.
Lots of crawling up and down that hill, all the sand and mud on it were in my pants. Speaking of which, the military bet pants are awesome, they kept all that mud and sand to the inside of my belt and no lower. A miracle in the land of miracles?
The guys that do the gibbush are usually all special forces, in Tzanchanim, on break. As they commanded us, berated us, instructed us, yelled at us, they ate biscuits and drank tea. Joked around with each other, I think that was just another psychological test, but luckily for me food has never been the thing to get the better of me.
We did lots of team work exercises like make the Israeli flag out of our equipment, cross fences a few cm off the ground without touching the wires, get to the other side of a boxing sized ring along with a log and a barrel, argue for or against women being allowed in combat positions, hold on for dear life on a pull up bar while four people can rest at a time.
And then a masa (a long march) to end the Gibbush, we carried all our equipment on two stretchers and changed people every once in a while to help with the load. The problem was actually the guys that didn’t want to change, sadly not everyone is a team player. I’m certain that’s something that takes serious points off.
Then a doctor looked at our wounds, put some alcohol on mine, and we ate. A little later we had our personal interview and I told them how badly I want to be a Tzanchan. It went well. At the end they asked “is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?” To which I said “I’m willing to eat feces.”
Michve Alon is over, Tuesday I go to Bakum to find out if Tzanchanim accepted me.
A friend of mine got his wish to be a Instructor for Krav Maga to the elite Duvdevan unit of Tzanchanim. Its one of Tzanchanim’s special forces units, congrats Captain Price!
The last day prank:
Every night we have to stand in Het formation (like an upside down “U”) outside are barracks and are then dismissed for bed by our Samelet. She gives us 7 minutes to head for our rooms and lay still in our beds. On this night, she decides she will not bother with the 7 minutes and just dismiss us. This means she wont check on us after 7 minutes pass, and so we wont be able to prank her, so we beg for the 7 minutes. Our entire company is confused, but my unit is adamant. She is shocked, and asks “you realize I will not be merciful if someone is not in bed or makes a noise” and we accept.
7 minutes later, she opens our door and finds not one person in their bed. In fact, as she opens that door wider and wider, she finds there isn’t even anyone in the room it seems. Until she walks into the room, and looks left, to find on the farthest side of the door’s blind spot, there lay 7 grown men one on top of the other in one bed.
She holds back a laugh, turns off the light, “Good night” and walks out. Then she stopped mid sentence, turned on the light and said “You all have 7 minutes to get back into your uniforms and meet me outside” the standard phrase for “you are about to do a lot of running instead of a lot of sleeping”.
We are quiet and lay still, committed to the act. She says “just kidding, everyone get back to your beds”. And with that ends the last night at Michve Alon.