By Joe Fraser
Who Dares Wins
LADS LADS LADS.
The words that come to your mind when you think of the army, or the SAS. The camaraderie, the physical toughness and the emotional disconnect. Everything it takes to be the best. The Iranian Embassy siege in the 80s, the Pebble Beach Raid of the Falklands. Huge moments for these guys. So the Channel 4 show SAS: Who Dares Wins caught my eye a couple of years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.
The amount of shit this lot have to go through I think everyone could learn from. The rigour. The regimented life. It’s tough. They can get woken up at any time in the night for drills. This could be from jumping jacks or carrying another recruit around the parade square. And before you think “ah this is going to be about their physical appearance and how everyone should do more exercise” you couldn’t be more wrong.
This is about their mental approach.
If this series has taught me anything, it doesn’t matter if your big or small, as long as you’ve got your teammates back, that’s all it takes. Support. Loads of the big, bulking lads get booted off in the first couple of days. They don’t have the drive. They don’t have the commitment. And that’s really what it takes. There’s been finalists in the last couple of seasons have been skinny dudes and have really struggled to carry that gigantic log up the side of the mountain. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is their perseverance. The way they can mentally push themselves to complete a challenge or to get over a past trauma is genuinely inspiring.
This is the first year they’ve allowed women into the SAS.
The series hasn’t finished yet but there are more women in the final episode than male recruits. That’s a testament to how strength doesn’t just lie in your biceps. It’ll be interesting to see how all the recruits get through the final episode of the series which is traditionally the interrogation. The idea is that they are captured by the enemy and have to go through mind-games and physical torment (NOT TORTURE) to get through it. They pit the recruits against each other and it’s a test to see if they really can trust each other in this highly stressful situation. It makes for great TV but I do think there’s something to learn from it all.
In the interview sections of the show, the recruits can talk about why they signed up for the course. What pushed them to do it. Was it a family member? Was it about proving something to themselves? It varies but what’s important is they talk it out with the staff. They take their trauma and turn it into something they use it on the field. Watching people with some intense mental difficulties completing tasks like swimming in icy lakes or abseiling down a mountain (forwards) is a refreshing change from what you’d expect from a show called SAS: Who Dares Wins. It’s about what is really means to be strong.
Plus, everyone’s really hot.
The copy scores 78.5 in the Flesch Reading Ease test.