Baby, I’m a Warrior

Last weekend, myself and some friends ventured into the backwoods of Pennsylvania to run the Warrior Dash.

And it was awesome! And harder than I thought.

The gist is this: 3.5 miles of rugged terrain full of various obstacles like climbing a cargo net, trudging through waist deep water (it was part of a river or lake), and jumping over fire.

It had been a rainy weekend, so by the 3:30 heat on Sunday afternoon the entire course was nothing but 3-inch thick mud. And that’s only where it wasn’t 8-inch deep mud. I’m amazed no one broke their ankle — or rather, am amazed I didn’t hear that anyone broke their ankle, surely someone must have.

I hadn’t been running in the past few weeks, so I was nervous about the race. Thankfully, my buds – D and R – stuck with me for nearly all of it. (R was the surprise force who ran through that forest like a gazelle on steroids, who knew?!)

My favorite obstacle? The Barricade Breakdown – a series of 4-5 foot walls that you have to get over. I was so proud I could do it and felt like a bad ass, except by the last one, there’s maybe 6 of them, my arms were killing me! Good to know I could outrun the cops if I ever needed to.

I also liked the water obstacles. It was nice to let some of the water do the work, and for whatever reason I was pretty good at making up loss time in these parts.

The jumping over fire, the stampeding across junkyard cars (I totally ran across a BMW!) were also pretty fun.

Least favorite obstacle? Scaling the wall, which is also partially my favorite one because I conquered it. I literally turned a corner in the forest towards the end of the run and just went Ooooh fuck! It’s a 2-story wall with a rope that you have to scale, turn around at the top and climb back down ladder-style. As you may know, I have a fear of heights. So when I got to the top and was straddling the wall, all of a sudden it was like Oooh shit. Mainly, I was worried I would slip climbing back down because everything was so muddy. But I didn’t! I made it down safe and sound and went on with the race.

My official time: 48:38.70 (which isn’t bad considering there were times I was just standing around waiting for my chance to get at the obstacle.) And I did run the whole thing, no walking!

For my gender/age group I was 84 out of 816 = 10%, and overall 1607 out of 6499 = 25%. Not bad for the second foot race of my life. Super cool? The top female finisher came in 26th and was a 15 year old. Damn. Fearless no doubt.

The Warrior Dash is super amazing and everyone should do it at least once. Even though certain things about it are a total rip off — like SportPhoto trying to charge $20 for a ONE digital image or WarriorDash not having any medals to give out to the Sunday afternoon participants (really, I paid $60 to do this race and you can’t give me a cheesy piece of plastic?)

Baby, I’m a Warrior

Daily Delight #55

Holy shit my mind was just blown by Anis Mojgani, spoken word artist. @Mojgani. He takes it in so many unexpected directions that even though he keeps repeating “Rock out like…” it doesn’t get monotonous, far from it, it’s rhythmic and melodious. I forgot how much I love words.

Watch it til the end because it just keeps getting better.

Some brilliant compositions of words, seriously, he strung these words together and conveys an image in a matter of a short sentence. What will he do with all those leftover words?

“Rock out like the 5 o’clock time meets pop-n-lock time.”
“Rock out like you just escaped an evil orphanage to join a Russian circus.”
“Rock out like you’re enslaved in the South and dancing is all that you have to know who you are.” WOW.
“Rock out like you just got a book published.”
“Rock out like Jimmy has returned carrying brand new guitar strings.”

Daily Delight #55

A Whirlwind

My birthday’s in July and I’m a Cancer, pretty much through and through. It’s not entirely surprising that I got hooked on Rob Breezny’s Free Will Astrology. Sometimes his words speak so directly to me that they unveil something in me I didn’t even know was there, and other times, I think, wow that was stupid.

But either way, I check in just about each week to see what he says. This week’s horoscope: (It’s not particularly moving, but the concept is important.)

My friend Ariel’s six-year-old daughter Juno doesn’t understand why anyone would build streets that run in a straight line. Isn’t it more fun if the highways and byways are crooked and curvy? Shouldn’t people want to get to where they’re going by veering this way and that, relishing the playful twists and turns? That’s where the best action is, says Juno, and I agree: in the tweak, in the twirl, in the winding way — not in the beeline route that leaves no room for improvisation. That’s especially true for you right now, my fellow Cancerian.

I invite you to keep a running list of all the ways life delights you and helps you and energizes you. Describe everyday miracles you take for granted . . . the uncanny powers you possess . . . the small joys that occur so routinely you forget how much they mean to you . . . the steady flow of benefits bestowed on you by people you know and don’t know. What works for you? What makes you feel at home in the world?

If you skipped it, the jist is don’t follow a path, it’s all about the journey. And why this is so relevant to me, is because for whatever reason, I am one of those people who hard and fast, subscribes to a plan. And yet, through life experiences, I know I am most disappointed with planned expectations, and most happy on the winding, unexpected adventures. Big, planned events that I’ve been waiting weeks for tend to be a bust. But hanging out til 2 am on the rooftops with friends because we didn’t know what else to do is always the best. I never thought of myself as an improviser, but really that is what I prefer.

But it’s difficult to break my mental need for everything to be in order. I’m a task-master, a to-do list maker. I always have a plan, I always try to figure things out. I think this is a direct result of how I was raised, more so then how I am innately. That whole nature vs. nurture thing.

I love the idea that my life will be a whirlwind of movement, of adventure, of fantastic memories. That is what I want my life to be. 10 years ago, in high school, I absolutely never would have imagined that I would be living in NYC. I hadn’t even ever been to NYC then. 5 years ago, in college, I never thought I’d be making as much money as I do now (or be in a Senior position). You know the expected salary of a writer out of college is like $25k? Piss on that.

I love the idea that every 5 years, I’ll be in a place doing something I never actually thought I would do. I love the idea that the 5-years-ago me would hardly recognize the current me. If I were to see her today, she’d be so proud and confident. Something I certainly could use more of. And I want that to keep happening.

Even now I’m trying to put myself on a plan. Okay, leave my sublet, go back to Ithaca, do this, do that, move back to Brooklyn – or wait Philly – or wait someplace else, do this, do that etc. etc. I don’t know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing in five years. I could get some amazing design deal in Hawaii or be farming in Scotland or have two kids or be a great Harmonica player. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be the right place, right thing for me and I look forward to getting there.

I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years – and neither should you. I think people really do get on a stalled path in life, and way too often think, I can’t do that. When they could. If they truly wanted to, they could.

I do think I’m going to follow Brezny’s advice and start jotting down some everyday miracles. Tis the season to be thankful after all, right? Over the next 100 days, expect a daily delight.

 

UPDATE: I’m also going to start doing short posts of memories I have. I have a very terrible, terrible memory. This has worked both in my favor and against it. Sometimes, I think of something I haven’t thought of in years, and I wish I had thought of it sooner. Most people don’t like to watch movies more than once. Not me, I’ll watch a good movie several times. When I think of memories I have a way of reliving it or seeing it in a new perspective. Whatever I was feeling comes flooding back and it’s intense. Usually in a good way. So anyway, ramble. That’s what I’m going to do. This is what I’m going to do – start jotting down some memories. Perhaps they’ll come in handy.

A Whirlwind