There’s also something to be said for the confidence that comes from being in a “hurtlocker” and getting through it by sheer mental fortitude. From that point forward, you have that as a reference point, to draw from in times of suck.
Keep in mind, you do not need to be in the military, or attend a formal event, to gain the benefits. For example, for someone grossly overweight with no fitness habits, a simple 4 mile walk might put them into the hurtlocker. The idea is taking something on that you know is well beyond your current ability (without causing serious damage), and persevering through it, despite the protests from your body.
“The most important step a man can take. It’s not the first one, is it? It’s the next one. Always the next step, Dalinar.”
As I was watching this, Max’s “war story” about the 40 mile ruck march brought back memories of several roughly equivalent incidents I had to go through while working as a hunting guide in a wilderness area in Idaho 20-something years ago. For me, the choice was keep going, or literally quit and die… there was no option for voluntary withdrawal.
Something else that came to mind was my little boys doing “run-n-guns” in the West Texas sun, in August, at the age of 10. Yeah, they were NOT doing a 40 mile ruck march, but they were little kids toughing it out over a 5 mile course, packing 15-20 lbs of rifle, ammo, and water, in 100 degree weather. That has got to be a character building exercise!