As part of my search for a new career, the woman I’m working with has asked me to complete an exercise to identify my “transferrable skills”. In order to do this, I’m to write seven stories from my life that will (hopefully!) make those skills clear and obvious. So sit back and enjoy the stories; I’m sure you’ll learn something new about me.
The Warrior Dash is a 3-mile obstacle-course-style run held at multiple locations across the United States. Obstacles include swimming through mud pits, jumping over burning bales, and climbing over cars and tires. All-in-all it’s a chance to get really dirty and have a lot of fun. Plus, everyone who finishes gets a free beer. What’s not to love about this race?
My goal was to finish in the top three of my heat on race day. Being the competitor that I am, I used an intense training program to prepare myself, which consisted of two alternating pieces: Intense calisthenics and distance running. In the process I lost quite a bit of weight and dropped two pant sizes. A win-win scenario. I got a lot of heat from my co-workers who laughed as they passed me, sweating in the parking lot as I did jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups, or some other exercise. But whatever, I was slimming down and toughening up while they chortled, calorie-laden vanilla lattes in hand.
On race day I decide I needed to make things more…entertaining…for my fellow racers. The result: The ridiculous picture at the start of this post. I definitely made people laugh! Anyway, as my race time approached I moved up to the front of the pack. I was determined not to get stuck behind anyone on the course. As the starting gun sounded I sprinted off from the line. I remember quite a bit of slipping and sliding as I navigated the course. I also remember having to move around competitors from the previous heat. I was in the lead for the first mile or so…and then disaster struck.
I needed to go #2. Badly. And I was in the middle of the course.
I really didn’t want to stop and “go” in the bushes, but I was in quite a bit of pain and gave it some serious consideration. In the end I decided to endure the pain and trade a bit of speed for a bit of comfort. This cost me the lead. One by one, over the next mile and a half, I was passed by one…then another…and then another competitor. As the finish line approached I still had the #3 man in my sights but I was fading fast. My abdominal cramping was costing me big-time. I lost the #4 spot at the finish line when I got stuck behind some slow pokes in a mud pit. Such is life.
The result was that I finished fifth in my heat, and 68th overall on race day (out of hundreds of people in my gender & age bracket). Plus, I got to rock my awesome outfit in the beer pavilion to the amusement of many.