Friday, May 11, 2012

Warrior Faith

My heart pounded with every step as I advanced up the hill to the starting line of the Warrior Dash. My biggest fears played like a reel in my mind. Would I be able to finish? Would I be the biggest thing on the 5k course? While attempting to hoist myself over an obstacle would a stranger take pity on me and in an attempt to help from below would their hand slip and wind up in my butt? Would I embarrass myself and my loving husband? I put on clean underpants that morning just in case paramedics had to cut off my spandex.
The longest part of the race was the 3/4 mile to the first obstacle. I jogged this whole way and at the first water check point splashed a paper cupful right in my face. My thinking was that if I was unable to actually do any of the obstacles at least at the finish line I could have mascara running down my face so that it looked like I had done something!

Obstacle 1. This was a trench dug out covered in boards. My dear friend Erika who is afraid of tunnels and claustrophobic came to mind as I went in head first. She and I have been in the "trenches" of deployment together and many other of my battle buddies came to mind. It was then that all the reasons I had signed up for this race came flooding back. This day was not just about me it was dedicated to the people in my life that I want to be a Warrior for!

Obstacle 2 and 3 involved rope, smelly water and dead fish. I kept thinking, my kids would love to see me doing this! Me the Mom who can't stand anything that makes a big mess, belly down in the muddy water with dead fish floating by my face!

Obstacle 4 was the army crawl under barbwire. I thought for sure my hind end would end up looking like I got attacked by a cheese grater so I kept low and focused on how being so low to the ground is how my son sees the world everyday.

Obstacle 5 was named vertical limit, it was a wood wall with hand and foot holds to climb. I did not even give myself time to think I just grabbed onto that wall and scaled it like a spider monkey.

Obstacle 6 was horizontal cargo nets. I took the path less traveled and straddled the wood in the center were the nets were tied together. On my belly I moved along like an over sized inch worm. The guy standing at the side monitoring the site actually said "well I have not seen that approach today". I looked back at him and laughed then I laughed again as I saw the wave of competitors making their way across the nets. It looked like a sea of muscle all tan and gleaming in the sunlight. Now a miracle had happened and I was some how in the lead or the 10 am heat of racers had caught up with me. Either way I am positive I had the better view of these men looking back then they did a minute ago looking forward.

Obstacle 7 was barricade breakdown, the description reads "hurdle over the barricades and crawl under the barbwire". The barricades were walls made out of 2x4s and particle board. I knew right away there was not going to be any hurdling going on. So I hoisted my right leg up onto the wall and gave it a good shove. That gave me the momentum I needed to get the rest of me moving in the same direction. I call it the fat chick slinky. I ended up flat on the ground but it worked out since that is where I needed to be to crawl under the barbwire! There were waaaaayyy to many of these. By the last one I got three steps and realized my left labia was caught on the top of the wall, I had to turn around and go back for it!

Obstacle 8 I teeter up and down a narrow path. It was playful and I thought of all the ups and downs we face as a military family. We form strong bonds in short periods of time because we have to. I was not alone in this race I had the support of army family that God has put in my life right when he knew I needed them. So even in the down times there is a friendly face on the way up at the end of the narrow path.

Obstacle 9 was the first one I got to and doubted my ability to finish. It was a massive slope with just a rope to grab and pull yourself up. As I climbed I pictured my guarding angel with her back to mine pushing as I pulled!

In between the obstacles I walked and took in what I was accomplishing. It was a beautiful day. As fellow racers flew past me I would holler out encouraging things like "way to go" or "keep up the pace" and once in a while just to pass the time I would say things like "it's ok, don't wait up, I'll  finish at some point this year" or "hope you don't slip and fall on your skinny ass".

Obstacle 10 was piles of old tires and smelled like hot rubber. I sang "the wheels on the bus go round and round" through that one. I also yelled "high knees" to a few strangers who did not deserve it. That felt good.

Obstacle 11 my worst fears flashed through my brain. It was the Great Warrior Wall. A two story high vertical barricade. With just a rope and a 2 inch ledge to hang onto. I took a deep breath and the first hoist to the heavens! At the top I could see the whole course including the finish line! I let out my loudest Warrior Mama cry and threw my arms into the air!

Obstacle 12 were more cargo nets but this time straight up!

Obstacle 13 I got a running start and with all I my might I jumped as high as I could and flew through fire! This feat was for my husband who was standing on the sideline as my friend, my support, and my biggest fan! He has my back and always lights my fire!

Obstacle 14 was right before the finish line and was just a giant pit of mud. That was all that stood between me and victory. I practically dove in. Crawling out the other side I could hear the cheers from my fellow competitors urging me on.

One wet and tired step after the other I crossed the finish line and fell like a heap into the arms of my friend Kim. Tears soon mixed with the mud and sweat streaming down my face. Mr. LbF wrapped his arms around my neck and kissed my quivering lips. I handed him my participation medal that reads "I survived the Warrior Dash 2012". He placed it over my dripping pony tails and around my neck. I was flying high as a kite and felt more like myself then I have in a very long time. It was about setting aside what I do day in and out and shining a light on who I really am. I am more then what I see in the mirror. I may have had dirt in places I did not know dirt could get into but I felt amazing!

Before we headed home to show off my bruises to our girls I got the prized turkey leg and a beer. Victory does taste pretty sweet!

My Warrior Mama warm up!
Before the madness

Top of the world!

Come on baby light my fire!

This is what being friends with Kim got me!

My biggest fan, Mr. LbF

Warrior Women

My Pit crew

Warrior Army Family