Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mud, sweat and beer

I can't remember whose idea it was.

I don't know whether to slap them or kill them, if I ever figure it out.

Suffice it to say, back in January, someone said, "Hey, let's run Warrior Dash." And I said yes.

Yesterday was my Dash, and it was awesome. Perfect? No. I skipped a few obstacles, because I just didn't feel safe. It took me a long-ass time to get through the entire course. But I finished, vertical, with no new injuries; that was the goal.

There was a lot of climbing in the Dash. Enough for me to realize I had a fear of heights. Who knew? But the magic of events like this doesn't come from the course, or the obstacles, or the beer, or the turkey legs. It comes from your fellow competitors. Like my friend Linda, who stuck with me through the entire course, knowing that I was not physically at my best, and wanting to enjoy the experience with me. And like the woman who waited for me atop one of the obstacle walls. You had to scale the wall - angled, but still treacherous - using a rope. At the top, you had to find a way to bend and reach over, so you could climb ladder-style down the back. Up there she waited, grabbed hold of me, hoisted my massive thigh over the top and made sure I could make it down.

The chances of me completing that obstacle without her are somewhere between slim and non-existent.

That one gave me the confidence to take on most of the others. The course was supposed to include 10 obstacles, but in the days prior to the Dash, organizers added two ... plus incredible natural obstacles like creeks and muddy, steep hills. We had to dig in, tighten the core, and hope for the best. Looking back over the day, I can't believe I made it through.

At each obstacle, Linda and I took one band off our left wrist and moved it to the right, and took a moment to honor our friend Barb, who could not participate in the Dash because she's in Ohio with her mother, who is not in good health. Those moments provided a bit of a spiritual nature to our race. The obstacles we traversed were nothing compared to the obstacles we face in real life.

3.28 miles. 12 official obstacles. Two muddy hills that required a rope to ascend. All told, before I could get to beer, turkey legs and sweet corn, I climbed a wall, traversed over a suspended cargo net, made my way up and over a box maze (which was really kind of lame), climbed another wall and dropped down the other side, pulled myself up and over a wooden archway, climbed yet another wall and slid down a fire pole on the other side, made my way up a VERY TALL cargo net only to slowly descend (while shaking) down the other side, leaped over flames ... and crawled through a mud pit.

I was feeling a little bit like a wuss, because I skipped a few challenges. I didn't climb on cars (but I did make it through some of the tires). I didn't climb the rickety platforms. And there was no way I was going to climb the wall that went straight up ... and straight down. I took one step up and my whole self started to shake; that was just not gonna happen. But my friend Linda? Yeah, the wild woman completed them all. And realizing that I completed nine of 12, when there were only supposed to be 10. Yeah, I'm a bad-ass.

Today, it's bruises and laundry. And an incredible sense of accomplishment.


Anonymous said...

I'm so impressed with you both!!! I'm in for next year!!! :0)

Early said...

I love the photo!!! (We love you, too!)