My client Shelyna talked me into my first Spartan race last October. “Sure, sounds fun!” I didn’t bother to research what it was. The term “Beast” sounded a little intimidating, but it was only 13 miles, and I had already completed about 15 half marathons. (By completed, I mean barely outside of an ambulance). Throw in a few pull-ups and tire-flips…how hard can it be? As we crossed the finish line after 7 hours and 14 minutes, I swore I would never do that to myself again. I acquired a nagging shoulder injury that lasted for a couple of months, and I was walking funny for at least a week.
In the way that women must forget what it is like to go through childbirth (lest we become extinct), I am doing the race again this Saturday. I’m down a few pounds, and spent a little extra time working on my cardio, but I know it’s gonna be just as miserable. I’m a little addicted to these things though. I tend to get addicted to anything that is addictive, but I guess I’ve been hooked on worse. I’m not the best runner, nor the strongest lifter, but I can reasonably handle myself with both skills.
Yesterday I thought I would do a little dry run at the Obstacle Warrior Gym in Dallas. I could practice hanging and swinging, maybe get some tips from other people training there. It is a legitimate American Ninja Warrior Gym. A two time show contestant named Mark was working out. I recognized many of the obstacles from the show, and tried out most of them. Couldn’t get up the wall. It’s a lot higher than it seems on TV. I think it was fear that kept me from getting to the top. I’m clumsy, and it would have been an ugly fall. My brain just wouldn’t allow it.
They have a “salmon ladder.” That’s the one I really wanted to try, but I mostly stared at it, uncertain. Finally I decided to hop on. It’s a soft fall into foam blocks, so what’s the risk? Surprisingly, I made it from the bottom to the top on my first try. I just knew I had found my calling as a Ninja Warrior. I then proceeded to fail on every other obstacle in the gym. No matter. I was running out of time anyway. Why not just nail the salmon ladder again? Now that other people are here, they will be very impressed. (*Note — all of the people there are competitive obstacle course athletes and will not be impressed). I hopped on the first rung, and prepared to climb once again to victory. On the first leap I missed the second rung completely, but forgot to let go of the bar. After dropping about 3 feet, the bar tore two of the calluses off of my right hand.
So…two days to go for the Spartan race, and I can’t use my right hand very well. Plus it may freeze overnight, and a lot of the water on the course is neck deep. Should be a ton of fun.