FORT KNOX, Ky. — 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp Cadets completed the High Ropes Confidence Course July 10 during Cadet Summer Training. The course consists of three different obstacles including Moore’s Mountain rock wall, the Alpine Tower, and Rudder’s Rope Course.
“We were briefed and told we would be going onto these confidence courses and that they would help us see that, if we chose to push through something that was difficult, we could do it and we could do it with the help of our teammates as well,” said Cadet Jayden Fritz, Minnesota State University, Mankato. “Doing all of these courses is to teach us how important it is to have confidence in ourselves and a good structure of teammates behind us.”
The overall goal, as 2nd Lt. Thomas Harwood explained, is for Cadets to overcome their fears and challenge themselves, forging a new confidence within themselves. No challenge, however, is without an obstacle to overcome.
“The biggest challenge they have is the fear of heights. A lot of them are afraid, but they just need to take that extra step and conquer that fear. You see it all the time. People will freeze and not be able to just take the jump because they’re just terrified,” said Harwood.
Some Cadets recognized this challenge and connected with it personally.
“I’m terrified of heights. I actually started crying when I was going, but I pushed through it,” stated Cadet Amayia Roberts, Eastern Washington University.
“It just tests everything inside of you,” said Cadet Alexis Trotter, University of North Alabama.
Cadets discussed how they were able to persevere through these challenges; through the support of their battle buddies and fellow Cadets.
“You have to keep on thinking to yourself that you can do it, no matter what, and that you have to make everyone proud,” said Roberts. “I did not want to let my teammates down because I know that they also have to support me and I didn’t want to them to be there forever holding me or get tired of holding me. So, I kept pushing thinking about my teammates and their pain too.”
“Looking at them, hearing everybody else around you cheering you on and just believing you can get through it and put your fears are behind you. After that, you should be able to do anything,” explained Trotter.
“There’s a lot of people who would say I can’t anymore. There is more and you can do more than you realize. I think that having people around us, being able to say that to us to remind us to get our minds to say ‘I can do it’,” said Fritz.
While Cadets pulled motivation and confidence from the Cadets around them on the obstacle courses, they were asked to consider what it meant to be confident in themselves and how to best portray it.
“Confidence is when you might be scared, a little nervous, but you push through. You do it with a smile on your face and you do it in a way to let your friends and battle buddies follow you willingly and do it too,” said Cadet Alexander Nielsen, Gustavus Adolphus College.
“I think confidence can be portrayed with lifting other people up at times, being there when they’re down, but also cheering them on when they’ve done something right and always being that teammate that you’d want someone to be for you, like the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would want to be treated,” explained Fritz.
Cadets then offered advice for upcoming regiments to help build their confidence before embarking on their Advanced Camp or Basic Camp journey.
“I’d say that you’d be surprised by yourself by how far you can actually go,” said Fritz. “People think that you can’t go any further after a point, but there’s always more that can be done in anything, whether that’s physical, mental, or emotional.”
“Breathe and take your time no matter what. It’s not a race,” encouraged Roberts. “You’re racing against yourself. If you don’t think you can do it, you can.”