When and if you go to selection, you’ll no doubt hear it was harder “back in the day.” Regardless of when you go, you can’t just wing it. Everything about selection is personal. There are trials where you’re working in teams, but it’s still a personal evaluation. There is no team, only individuals.
Beyond that, the rigors are predominately mental, because physically, you’ll meet your breaking point or close to it. It’s your ability to recalibrate and discover your personal happy place that will carry you to the end. However, getting to the end isn’t enough. It’s about how you finish, which is a mixture of your preparation and your mental resiliency.
You can certainly prepare, but the will to act, the ability to work through your worst frustration, is tough to prepare for. It’s an experience. It’s a great life experience—maybe one of my favorites. In all, I had a blast at selection. I don’t have a single negative thing to say about it. It’s up to you and no one else to succeed. There’s a lot of freedom in that.
If I went back to selection today, it would be a cinch. I’m far beyond anything I thought possible in terms of fitness and mental strength today compared to the man I was then. I was a kid. I prepared like anyone else. I rucked and ran, did push-ups and whatever else I felt I should. But it’s easy to get distracted by “Crossfit” and other en vogue training techniques. Selection isn’t a battlefield or an athletic venue. There’s no rest and there’s no bus ride home after the win or loss. It’s a test of endurance and an attempt to measure you in your entirety.