Thursday, July 5, 2012

Warrior Dash 2012

WARNING: This is a Long Post!

I have social anxiety. I've struggled with it my entire life and since turning 30 I have vowed to actively try to overcome said anxiety.  While sipping wine one evening and browsing my beloved Facebook (the holy grail for the social anxiety set) I spotted a status update from my dear friend Mina. She had signed up for the Warrior Dash, a crazy balls to the walls muddy obstacle course that spans over 3.5 miles, and she was looking for new recruits. In my wine induced haze I gleefully whipped out my credit card and proceeded to register for the day promised to be from hell. I then immediately boasted about my new found courage on my Facebook wall and went to sleep that night happy with myself for making a first step in my battle with social anxiety.

I woke up the next day terrified that I had made a HUGE mistake. Who was I kidding? How was I going to get through this race? There will be all new people to meet and a situation that I was not at all familiar with. Even if I get past the social anxiety how in the world would I be able to complete this race? I'm extremely out of shape and seriously just waking up some days can be a chore! I struggled with these thoughts but knew that this was important for me to do. To get better. To take back my life.

Soon our group had grown to eight. We decided to go as team "CareBear". I made our ears & our distinct belly graphics and my excitement grew. I was apart of a team and that felt amazing.

July 1st came faster than I expected and to be honest with you those negative thoughts never really did go away. I fought up until the last moment with my decision to participate. Driving there I was a bundle of nerves but I tell you the moment I got out of the car and saw my team, it all just kinda melted away. I was ready to go. All for one and one for all.

We checked our bags, picked up our race numbers and tracking chips and headed to the starting line:

There were ALOT of people!

The race started off great. I was able to keep up with my team and running wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I got through the first mud pit like a champ, the first obstacle of swinging tires and even managed to pull myself up this horrible wall:

But then the hill that appeared to go straight up to the heavens came and I fell behind. You haven't lived until you are running uphill in 90 degree weather with mud filled shoes. I was heaving for breath but with several stops on the sidelines I managed to make it to this:

Yep...Thoes Are 5 Foot Tall Walls!

I can tell you I was terified of these walls. They were exactly as tall as me and I just didn't know how I was going to pull myself over them. Now keep in mind that you don't have to do every obstacle, in fact there were plenty of people who walked right past it and didn't even give it a second thought, but I was determined from the beginning to do everything my team did. I got a running start and jumped high enough to grasp the ledge and pull myself up & over. I was so proud of myself! With that first one done I had enough steam to pull myself up & over another one and then I hit the ground and couldn't catch my breath....

It was scary. I couldn't breathe. I heaved and heaved but no air came in. I thought I was about to die. Tears came. Shaking started. All I could do was shake my head furously when asked if I was ok. My team sprung into action and I was greatful to have them there.

I was taken by an emergency cart to the medic tent where I was ordered to lay flat on one of the gurneys while the medic team proceeded to stuff ice bags in every nook and cranny they could find. Laying there I was so disappointed in myself for not being able to finish but grateful that help reached me right away. 

Once the medic team was satisfied that my temp had come down and I could breathe normally again, I was moved to a folding chair in the shade. I saw a lot more victims come into the tent while I waited for my team to finish, which oddly enough made me feel better. I wasn't the only human that found this impossible to do.

My team came as promised to the tent as soon as they finished the race. I was greatful to see them as the medic tent had become quite boring. I was ready to find Nate and the kids and high tail it home but my team wanted to see my cross the finish line so they kindly asked the people handing out medals at the end if I could "cross"and get my medal:

So Warrior Dash was conquered, be it in my own special way :) I can't say that I will ever attempt this again but hate to say never. It was quite the experience and one that has truly changed my life. I met some great new people and raced with a team comprised of some truly incredible human beings.


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