Monday, May 16, 2011

I Am a Warrior (Again)

Blogger has been down for maintenance, so I didn't post an entry about Thursday's boot camp. It was awesome; but I have other stuff to blog about tonight, so that one's just going to have to be skipped.

On Sunday, Ted and I participated in the Warrior Dash in Mountain City, Georgia. It is a 5K race with an incredibly fun obstacle course. We did the race last year as well, but this year was better. This year I wore a costume.

We arrived at the race site and got all checked in, and had a little time before our wave to check out this year’s obstacles. There were several of the same from last year, but I saw one new obstacle that had me a bit terrified. Last year, the wall we had to scale was leaning over at about a 30° angle, so holding the rope and walking up it was no sweat. This year, the twelve-foot wall was standing straight up. This might present a problem.

I didn’t have time to ponder this too much because as I was standing there being nervous, a man with one arm and a prosthetic leg approached and scaled that very wall. You can see him at the top in the photo above. It was amazing. He’s my hero.

Fast forward to our starting time. We’re at the start corral, and the starting torches flame up. Ted and I start off at a nice jogging clip; fortunately for me, we were being paced somewhat by the crowds ahead of us, so Ted wasn’t able to take off and leave me right away (he can outrun me like crazy). I’m not sure how far it was to the first obstacle, I’m guessing around a mile.

The first obstacle was wading through cold, muddy, waist-to-chest-high lake water. Not terribly challenging, and I only had to pull two piranhas off me when I got out.

Next was crawling over junkyard vehicles and high-stepping through tires. This obstacle was slow and muddy, but again, not terribly physically challenging.

Next was the Barricade Breakdown. We had to alternately maneuver over walls and then under barbed wire blockades. This one was a little tougher for me. The walls were high enough that I couldn’t straddle them; there was some work involved in getting over them. Getting under the barbed wire blockades wasn’t bad as long as you weren’t afraid of getting muddy. I went under about half of them on my belly and about half on my butt.

Then was the twelve foot wall. Ted scaled it as if it were nothing; I didn’t make it. Because of a combination of my terror of heights, my lack of confidence in my upper body strength, and the pain in my knees, I couldn’t climb the wall. I walked around it. I hate that I skipped an obstacle. Before the Tennessee Warrior Dash in September, I plan to have Joint Fluid Therapy injections in my knees, so hopefully there will be nothing to stop me from scaling the wall at that one, because I can overcome fear, BITCHES.

Next there was the hill covered with tires. It was just a matter of good foot placement. Not bad, and quite fun.

After that was the cargo net wall. This year, I OWNED the cargo net wall. I climbed to the top, crossed over, and found my footing to climb right back down. Last year this one was really tough for me; but this year I did great.

Next was the cargo net crossover. Basically it was a short platform with a cargo net top, and we had to get across it on the net. Some people balanced on the ropes and walked across; I used the bear-crawl method (thanks to boot camp, those muscles were trained up!).

Next was a run through the woods. It was a hiking trail, lots of uphill and steep downhill, and it was great. We walked a lot of it, but I wound up running more than I expected. This is where Ted and I met our new friend, Krista. I love the camaraderie and mutual excitement at races like this!

Next was “Blackout,” which was a structure we had to crawl under to get out the other side. It was covered with black plastic, and it was low enough that there was no ducking-and-walking. It was belly crawl or nothing. Ted banged his head pretty badly on one of the support beams, but we all made it through.

After that was the most fun obstacle of all – the big slide! Giant sheet of plastic on a hill being sprayed with water; you get down it however you desire. I went down head first on my belly. It was a blast, until I realized how fast I was going, and I didn’t know what was at the bottom after the plastic stopped (mud would be okay; but if it were gravel or rough terrain, that would have been bad). Fortunately, they were prepared for people like me who don’t think things through, and there was a hay barricade at the bottom to stop us.

After the slide, it was straight to the mud pit. Again, there was barbed wire to get under, but this time we were in a giant mud puddle. The barbed wire was high enough that if a participant wanted to, they could walk across and just duck under them; but really, where’s the fun in that? It was belly-crawl for me!

Then we waded through another lake. This one was only about waist deep, maybe a little deeper in some places, and we had to step or roll over floating logs as we went across.

Finally, there was the Warrior Roast. Two rows of fire to bound over. After leaping the fire, Ted and I clasped hands and ran hard to the finish line (fire and finish line photos to be posted; I’ll have to purchase them from the event once they become available).
Then there was beer, turkey legs, and frivolity.

Ted and I made a nice mini-vacation out of the trip, stopping on the way to visit with his parents, then playing MagiQuest in Pigeon Forge (because we are really just large children), then doing a little winery circuit (I have a pretty bad anxiety response to driving over mountains, so Ted made sure I took advantage of the wine tastings at each winery before we hit the really scary ones), and of course, ending with the Warrior Dash. The Warrior Dash is hands-down the most fun event ever. The high from the excitement and fun sticks with you for days.

On our way home, we noticed some of the quaint touristy things we passed in the mountains, like the numerous gem mines. My favorite quote from Ted as we passed yet another gem mining establishment:

“Yeah, those might be a fun little touristy thing to do, when you’re on a vacation where you’re not too busy being AWESOME.”


Gayle said...

I am so excited about doing this race/event/extravaganza in September! You make it look like so much fun!

And by the way, girl, you look smokin hot!


Nena said...

I can hardly wait for the WD in September! It's going to be a blast. You will love it.

Thanks for the compliment. I still have work to do, but I'm not about to quit. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of the book you sent. Thank you again!