Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fourth time is a charm...

Thank you, random stranger.
This picture misses all the real 'drama" of the moment. So, let me set it up for you. This past Saturday, I ran the Rugged Maniac obstacle course race. They added some new things and one of them is the Warped Wall. If you have seen American Ninja Warrior, then you know that is a 14 foot high wall-type obstacle. I have seen many people fail at that final obstacle. These would be REAL athletes who are in prime condition. Now, they don't have spotters at the top to give you a hand if you make it up that far, but I digress. 

That looks REALLY high!
I was in my head about that obstacle the entire race. When I reached the end and it was down to me and the Wall, I gave it all I fingertips caught the lip of the top...and I fell back down to the bottom. When I made my second attempt, it was actually worse. I was gassed and just did not have the energy. Still, I had to make a run and take that third strike before I could accept being out and take the ladder provided at the side of the obstacle.

No, that is NOT the Warped Wall.
I failed. I was done and started for the ladder. That is where Jenifer (my step-daughter for those not in the know) was there to meet me. "You can do this! You were so close...just give it one more try!" How could I say no to that? What example would I set if I just said I was done, I tried and it was not in my grasp. I could try again next year.(?)

Also NOT the Warped Wall.
I returned to the starting block for the obstacle and tried to find any oxygen that I might have left in my lungs. There wasn't much, but I would try one more time.

Yum! Water!
This final obstacle is right beside the starting corral and, unbeknownst to me since I was delirious with fatigue by this time, apparently the crowd had taken notice. When I slipped from the grip of the spotter on that third try, apparently a collective moan went up from the crowd. (I was told this after the race.) Then, this stranger walked up to me. He told me how to better attack the obstacle. I thought he was full of whatever, but I would try it his way. He told me to simply keep running when I reached the wall. "Don't jump, just keep running and lean forward." Sure. Why not? My way obviously was not working.
Almost done!
When my hands found the spotter and I grabbed the lip and threw my leg over the top of the wall, I missed the cheers from the crowd. I was too spent to barely move. I took a few steps forward and collapsed on the cargo net that I had to cross in order to slide down and be done. All these people were running under me as they started the race I was just finishing, but they were all screaming and jumping up to high-five me. I found out after the race the reason why.

As I was being told by Denise about the crowd and how they had been cheering me on, Jenifer just kept beaming up at me and telling me how proud she was of me. I gotta tell felt pretty damn good. Maybe next week I will share the video I shot using my GoPro...if anybody is interested.


  1. congrats. i would like to see the video. maybe give Rugged Maniac obstacle course a looking into.