[*Because Top 10 lists are so cliche.]
(2) Acquiring Weapons as Prizes: Top Team at S.E.R.E Chicago received KA-bars, which I have now used for everything from opening cans to a using as a steak knife to cutting through wrapping paper. And first-place prize at the Super Spartan Midwest was a 2-ft sword, which I have used for...nothing. It's still sitting on my living room floor until I figure out what to do with it. And a smattering of kettlebells could technically be considered weapons--have you ever dropped one of those suckers?
(3) Carrying the concrete bag at the Death Race. There were very few times this past year at races where I didn't think I was going to make it. At 50+ hours into the Death Race, after being handed a 60lb bag of concrete to add to my 35+lbs of gear and being told to carry it to the top of Joe's mountain (without breaking it, mind you), I was fairly certain I couldn't make it. And was praying for them to call the race. I'd never carried close to 100lbs on my back, which is about 3/4 of my body weight. But slowly, surely, step by step, I made it up that mountain. 10 steps at a time, I told myself, as I fought being pulled backwards and falling over due to the enormous weight on my back. I hugged my bucket as a counterbalance, and leaned forward almost in a crawl position. I don't know how long it took me to get up that mountain, but you best be believing I'd never been so happy in my life when that cabin at the top came into view. (and then I flipped out on Olof--sorry dude. You rock)
(4) Successfully making it across the rings and monkey bars multiple times at WTM. While this may not seem like a huge feat for a lot of you, I had struggled with these obstacles for the longest time. I'm going to go ahead and thank the cult of Crossfit for my success at this one (hello grip strength!). And I'm no longer frightened of these.
(5) Finishing GoRuck Class 129 on an 80 degree day St. Patty's Day in Chicago. The picture says it all.
|Oak Street Beach|
(6) Nearly dying from eating a Larabar at S.E.R.E. Beta. I am VERY allergic to certain trees nuts, particularly cashews. I am also apparently VERY bad at reading labels, as I found out when I stuffed a Larabar into my mouth at 3am at SERE Beta in D.C., and immediately went into allergic shock. Thanks to some speedy classmates (and an injured Joel Gat who managed to run like the wind), some liquid Benadryl saved me. And after some puking on the street in Georgetown with Petrizzo rubbing my back and then giving me a Honey Stinger waffle, I made it and completed the challenge. And now Deavilla will ALWAYS volunteer to give me CPR when there are cashews around. You guys were the best.
(7) Todd's sled at the Winter Death Race. We all laughed with Sedlak rolled up with a plastic sled strapped to his pack at the WDR, particularly because the rules made clear that anything you brought with you had to be carried with you at all times. In typical Todd fashion, he made fantastic use of that sled, nearly killing himself sledding down the mountain several times. So think outside the box on your gear lists, Death Racers. (though his wheeled shopping cart at the Summer Death Race didn't work so well)
(8) This picture at the Midwest Super Spartan:
I'd highly recommend volunteering, particularly to hand out medals, after you finish. Most fun you'll have congratulating a bunch of muddy people.
(11) Having TSA open up my sandpills for inspection. Ha! Fooled you, suckers. #notcocaine
|And lots of ketchup,|
(13) A sub-8min Helen, a 4 and a half Fran, and a 3:45 Grace. Oh wait, that's not obstacle racing. But I'd like to think that obstacle racing got me into Crossfit, so I'm going to call it tangentially related. I'm marginally passable at Crossfit--never going to compete with the big girls. But now I can be super cool and measure my self-worth in workouts named after girls and the number of times I rip my calluses, and then talk to everyone nonstop about it.
(14) Bikram Joe-ga at the Winter Death Race. Because nothing is more motivation than a second 90-minute session of bikram where Joe yells at you "grab your heels and PULL like a motherfucker!" during standing-head-to-knee pose.
(15) Having legs that always look like this:
And going to summer weddings like that.
(16) And finally, how I felt at this moment:
It's been real, folks. See you next season.