Why on earth am I here?
I had honestly forgotten the answer.
It was cold, it was rainy, and I was about to run through slick mud… traversing slippery obstacles and going under a “dunk wall” in what was definitely going to be very cold water.
This being my first race of the year, I had totally lost touch with the joy of romping through the mud, swinging through obstacles and gliding under barbed wire.
All I could remember was cold. And pain. And misery.
In fact, I couldn’t really tell if I wanted to be here in this moment. Or maybe I just didn’t. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember why on earth anyone would want to be here. All sense of this moment, and any following it was lost.
I peeled myself from my snuggly bed before the sun came up, donned some short shorts and a tank top and stood in a shivering mass of spandex and tight muscles waiting for the third AROO.
Surprisingly… barely one second after GO, it all came flooding back.
The rush of charging up a muddy hill with a bunch of fierce ladies throwing down was palpable. I run on my own. A lot. It’s fun. But this. This was AWESOME.
Every obstacle I tackled left me feeling more ready for the next.
Even the ones I failed.
I could have run a lot faster. I could have ran a clean race. I could have pushed harder.
But I didn’t. And it didn’t matter. I was loving every second. Even after my fingers froze and my hands stopped closing.
I think that’s the magic. I don’t know why we freak out. Being out there shuts all that off and you just are. You just do.
Almost as if you’re connected back to a deep sense of challenge, of nature and the elements, of community. We all become one moving mass… jockeying for position and yet advancing together like an ancient tribe chasing down an antelope.
I’m hoping this first race of the year reminds me that my mind might dominate the pre and post race, but my heart always takes over the during. And that’s what matters.
The next day at the Sprint, the plan was just to work hard and see where it got me. It was a huge change from the general sense of dread that hung over me like a cloud Saturday morning.
Nearing the finish line and the final obstacle gauntlet, I was able to move into second. Running a clean race always makes for a good day… especially on a slippery wet course. This of course was in no small part to my awesome coach Yancy and his love of grip and pull training.
If you haven’t got a chance to check out his training, you should. PM me and I’ll see if I can get you a trial code. It’s literally made a world of difference in my obstacle proficiency and general strength.