|Excelling at 2nd, again. Actually, this |
was the beginning of excelling at 2nd.
The beginning, you say? Ah yes, the beginning of the descent into the world of obstacle racing, adventure racing, endurance racing, and all kinds of idiocy.
|I used to do normal things. Like |
get drunk and compete in keg tosses.
(1) Running on the road bores me to death. I'm not sure I'm ever going to be able to do another road race. You mean, you just...run? In a straight line? On pavement? That's cool, but where are the walls and bars and mud pits?
(2) It introduced me to the Death Race. The DR is a race that really has no point. No start, no finish. No real...point. But it's the hardest, most fun, and most mentally/physically/emotionally tasking (and rewarding!) thing I've ever done. And now my life revolves around making it out to Pittsfield Vermont twice or three times a year to spend 48+ hours out in the woods. For no money. For no glory. For a plastic skull. And unless you've done one, you won't get it. And you shouldn't do one. 'Cause like I said, it has no point.
(3) My co-workers treat me with caution. Though, that could be because I have a Death Race finishers skull and a WTM sign sitting on my desk.
|Excuse the mess|
|A typical hand day|
(6) It introduced me to Crossfit. It's way too expensive, my hands are always ripped or covered in blood blisters, my collarbone is always covered in clean bruises, and I talk in strange acronyms and code that annoys the shit out of everyone.
(7) It made me think that running around a city a night with a backpack full of bricks was totally normal. At WTM, I meet my first GRT's (they were EXCELLENT at shaking handwarmers for me), and immediately signed up for my first GoRuck Challenge. I've never met a more batshit-crazy cult in my life.
|This is fun?|
(9) My balcony will never be clean again. Currently, it's covered in bricks, rucks, sand pills, muddy shoes, Camelbaks, an axe, and stuff from the UltraBeast that I still haven't washed out. I need a hose. Those don't work very well in a high-rise condo.
(10) Facebook has owned my life. I think I doubled my number of friends (and I stopped taking requests from people I've never met). All obstacle racing discussions, planning and strategy take place in Facebook groups, which grow by the day. I get probably close to 100 notifications a day. But if I tune out, I miss important stuff--I couldn't quit if I tried. Damn you, Facebook.
|We may look happy...|
(12) It introduced me to Joel Gat. He bites nipples. Enough said.
(13) Mint.com sends me angry reminders that I've constantly "exceeded my budget for travel." Living in Chicago, very few of these races are within driving distance. I've flown more than I ever have in my entire life, and my savings account hates me for it. Along those lines, my gearwhore-ness has no bounds. Rucks are expensive, winter clothes and wetsuits are expensive. So instead, I've just increased my budget--take that, mint.com.
(14) I've met enough weirdos to fill a psych ward. Seriously, I love you fellow racers, but most of you are just plain nuts. Some of you are annoying, going around talking about how "badass" you are all the time. That's cool. I just roll my eyes. Most of you are the good crazy. But still, crazy--I don't think I'd take you home to meet my mom or anything.
|So cold. So freakin' cold.|
|Colder. Yes, definitely colder.|
(16) My hair may never grow again. (and no, it's not from the hair dye, assholes) Keeping it pulled back in tight ponytails for hours on end and then getting that wet, muddy, in knots, and ripped my barb wire will cause some very attractive breakage.
(17) My competitive side came back to life. I avoid races/competition for several years before WTM because I knew how innately competitive I am, and how that can become ugly. And now it seems like everything I do is a competition. Hell, even my daily workouts are competitions. Or walking faster than everyone else on my morning commute.
(18) Certain foods have weird associations. Sharkies. Peanut M&Ms. Mint Oreos. Ice Cream Sundae Poptarts. Hot Jello. Bananas. YoGo. Nutella. Cashews.
(19) I can't wear sandals. Well, once again, I SHOULDN'T wear sandals. But I do. But I'm down to 6 toenails, and the ones that are there fall off post-race at a regular interval. Yes, it's ugly. But I've gotten really good at painting the skin. So deal with it, people.
(20) Though it's faint, my apartment will always slightly smell of Jersey. At times, I'll get a whiff. And then I'll either smile or want to cry.
Let's be honest. I smile. I love this shit.
It's ruined my life, but I wouldn't have it any other way.