Overcoming the Odds of Life –Cody Makuski

Cody and His Wife on the Bridge

My wife and I participated in the first inaugural Reeder’s Ruck in Stevens Point, Wisconsin last month. Normally I don’t do to many events like this, but honestly, rucking in this event brought back some great memories of my military past, and I’m very glad I got to relive those moments.

The way I ended up actually doing this is quite hilarious. I was sitting in my living room around 2100 at night on a weekday. It was a pretty rough day at school, so like usual I devoured a great amount of alcohol that night. Being pretty drunk, I was in my thinking state of mind and was trying to decide how the hell I was going to get my papers done. Since I already knew I hated mostly everything about the college lifestyle and don’t really like to go to a ton of events, I decided Reeder’s Ruck was probably my best option.

So I signed us up.

My wife was quite pissed. She never did anything quite like this. I told her she didn’t have a choice and that she was doing it. After a while she agreed to participate, and we set up a plan to train and get in shape for the event. Well that turned into an epic fail, since we didn’t take a single day out of our lives to exercise in any shape or form.

So to sum it up, we would have never done this ruck if I hadn’t have gotten hammered. Famous last words.

A week before the Ruck, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. My life was changing before my eyes. Every day —  for the rest of my life — I’m now forced to give myself insulin before every meal. Believe it or not, I was admitted to the hospital for three days before the race.

Being the stubborn bastard child that I am, I knew there was no way I wasn’t participating in this. Even if it meant going down for the count, I was all in. I did get a little depressed after my diagnosis, but as usual I got over it. I just accepted that this was my fate in life and that I would have to make the best of it.

Finally Saturday had arrived, and it was time for Reeder’s Ruck. I skipped my insulin shot in the morning and ate a super high-carb meal in the morning. I figured that if I was jacked as shit while I was rucking, my blood sugar wouldn’t drop too low to where I couldn’t continue.

My wife and I arrived at the square in downtown Stevens Point, signed in, and then met David, Tyler, and Chase. We all hung out until we lined up at the starting point. When the race began my wife and I stepped off and kept a pretty decent pace.

David, Tyler, and Chase where hauling ass, leading the pack. My wife and I decided a nice steady pace would be best for my condition; however, when it was all said and done, I knew I could have smoked a lot of the people doing the ruck.

Maybe I’m full of myself, or it’s just me being a hard ass, but I can say I was a little pissed off because I had cadets passing us. I knew I wanted my wife and I to cross the finish line together, so I stayed by her side the entire time.

We got to about mile six, and my wife was hurting pretty good. She had never done anything like this before, so she didn’t really know what to expect. It took some good motivating words from me to drive her forward. She sucked up the pain and continued to drive on like the strong woman that she is.

When we got to the Airborne bridge and the end was in sight, she got excited, and I could tell she was very proud that she accomplished such a task.

We crossed the finish line holding hands, and I was very proud of both of us for completing a challenging event for such a great cause.


I think I needed this Ruck. It helped me get over the fact that I’m becoming so “broken” after my service in the military.

In the Army, I ignored all my pain inside my body and always completed the mission at hand. Ever since I got out of the Army, it seems like one thing after another is going wrong with my body.

It’s not just me; a lot of fellow paratroopers in my unit seem to be having medical issues after they got out or after deployment.

This ruck made me realize that no matter what happens to me in life, I can overcome any obstacle. I think my wife feels the same way. It’s all about heart.

I don’t care what is wrong with you. If you have the heart to do something and that drive to complete the task you are attempting, you can do it. It was a little more than just fun event for me; it reminded me I can still live to the fullest. We are proud to have participated in the first inaugural Reeder’s Ruck.

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