Monday, October 21, 2013

Cold and Wet

This past weekend was fairly standard late October weather in this part of the country, as a general rule I don't recommend standing out in it for extended periods of time, especially if you are wet.  But for some reason the Stary boys and myself were doing just that TWICE in one weekend.

On Saturday the boys (Carson and Becks) had a popcorn sale at a the Union Ace Hardware.  It was 40 degrees and raining and the boys were outside for 4 and half hours, pimping popcorn to everybody who needed supplies that day.  The boys were AWESOME!  They were tough, they did their job, and they did it without complaining the entire time.  I was freezing my nads off, and they just kept pushing along.  Its especially awesome for the Beckster who isn't even an official Scout (kindergartners are not eligible), but he stood there with his brother and some new friends and rocked it.  I was so proud of them.

I do have one little complaint.  If it is cold and raining and you see 5 little boys standing out in front of a store to sell you popcorn you don't have to buy.  Its OK.  You can just say no thanks, or you can donate the change in your pocket.  But those dozen or so people who steamrolled by or were dismissive, you are worthless piles of monkeyshit.

Sunday, was a nicer day but the general trend of cold and wet continued.  I did a Tough Mudder.  For those that don't know this is a 12 mile slog though mud and rock over farmland in rural Kentucky.  There are obstacles which freeze, shock, and torture you.  It is absolutely brutal and an awesome time.  It took me 5 hours to complete, mostly because as it turns out I am not terribly good a walking down muddy trails.  I moved slowly and still managed to fall.  A LOT!  I have a couple of awesome bruises and my knees feel like someone bashed them with a hammer, again... I fell... A LOT!

Here are the basic highlights and lowlights of the event from my rookie perspective:

1. The "Arctic Enema" is a ice bath.  You jump into a dumpster of ice water, more ice than water.  Walk about 20 feet.  Go under some boards (to force you to submerge your face).  Then climb out.  Obviously it sucks, but its not that bad.  The cold takes your breath away and you can't get air in.  The worst part was trying to get out, because you just could not do it fast enough!

2. Electroshock.  Two obstacles "shock" you with 10,000 volts.  Yes it hurts.  But again, its not that bad.  The worst part here is that the obstacles force to move rather slowly.  The first has you crawling under barbed wire, the second running through a mud pit.  Side note: it turns out I am very good at crawling through mud on all fours! When you get hit it hurts, but its not that bad.

3. THE MUD! The mud is the worst part of the event (I know... DUH!), but it really does suck.  There are mud obstacles, some of which are so slippery you can't get any traction.  The people behind you have to push, people in front pull.  There were sections of hills (up and down) where you could not stand.  You had to drag yourself up with grass and rock or slide down on your ass.  Like I said, I fell.  A LOT!  My knees are beat to hell.

4. The Walls.  My best bruise is from the wall obstacles.  I am short, so I can't hop up straight into a full extension like some of these guys could (jealous!).  I had to grab the wall, pull myself up and hook an arm over the wall to hold myself while I pulled my body up.  My right arm (I will post a pic), is bruised up like a character on Mike Tyson's punchout.

5. My FAILS! I had a couple fails.  Monkey Bars = FAIL.  I fell off the second bar.  Admittedly, I don't have great grip strength and it showed.  The Warped Wall / Mt. Everest = FAIL.  This is basically a half-pike, you run up grap the top, pull over.  I ran up, grabbed the top, and fell down.  I tried again and again and again and again and again.  I decided after the fifth fail, I would get that one next year.

All in all, it was a great experience.  Its fun to challenge your self like that.  I am very sore right now, and after having done this, I will be much more prepared for next year's event.  51 weeks to train!

My next challenge will be a marathon.  The Flying Pig Marathon will be here before I know it.  Time to get running!