I learned something about myself today. When pushed I can accomplish much more than I thought. When I started this journey, I was and still am very ambitious. If you ask my wife, she might even say that I am compulsive and only do things 110%. On all prior occasions that compulsiveness never shined through when it came to health or exercise, or rather never came through for a long period of time. I am now close to 4 months out from this life change. I am down over 130 pounds and life is wonderful. If this is all I got from this I would be happy, but I know that there is still a lot more work to do!
When I found out about Warrior Dash, I started looking into other similar events. I came across Muddy Buddy, a two-person 4.25-mile obstacle/mud race that must be performed with a partner. So I reached out to my brother from another mother, a true friend that has always been there for me and we signed up thinking it would be a warm up for Warrior Dash. Yes, I said it, a warm up for Warrior Dash. I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t say that I was thinking all this week that I was stupid for doing this and loaded with regret, because that was the case! I was temped all week to find an excuse to not attend his event.
I was nervous, more nervous than I let anyone know. I still had the mind of a man who weighed 452 pounds, one that struggled to get off the couch and walk to the fridge and here I am at the starting line of a 4.25 mile run through a mountain region. What the hell was I thinking, if it wasn’t for Jake I am certain I would have walked back to the car and chalked this up as a lesson learned, running competitions are not for me. The horn sounded and off we went, the first half of the course was all uphill so needless to say it was tough, much tougher than I had thought. As time passed I noticed that I was passing people, in fact when I reached the second obstacle a 20 something year old young lady was being carted off with oxygen and I looked up and said a quick prayer, but it was at that moment that I realized something…. I am no longer that 452 pound man, I jumped onto the cargo net climbed up, hopped over the top and back down the other side and started running again. My thoughts changed, my training kicked in and I was staying strong much longer than I thought I would. Jake was there by my side the whole race pushing me to keep going and I would like to think I made him proud as this is something I am not sure he ever expected to experience with me. I told him sorry that he had to wait on me a few times and his reply was “I am not trying to impress anyone” I came back with “I am!”. The last mile was the toughest and my fuel tank was on empty but we still pushed through and as I came around the corner there stood my inspiration, my better half, my love, my wife! I ran by and gave her a kiss, turned the corner to complete the last of the obstacles and jump in the mud pit to get to the finish line! As I rounded that corner emotions kicked in and I am not ashamed to admit that what might have looked like sweat was a tear from my eye. I had made it to the end. Something that seemed impossible was not! I climbed the wall, pulled myself over the next obstacle and army crawled through the mud pit to reach the finish line.
What was supposed to be a warm up for Warrior Dash turned out to be much more, it turned the last 4 months into a reality. I am no longer the man I once was, I completed this course somewhere close to the middle of the pack, but my only goal was only to complete it! The past 4 months shined through, the hours spent in the pool, on the treadmill and lifting weights have now done more than just shed ounces. I know it sounds like a cliché but I left part of me in the hills of San Jose on that Muddy Buddy track. The part that doubted myself, the part that still thought of myself as the man I once was. For the first time since this has started I feel like I have changed. I am just slightly past my half way mark, but my mind has now caught up to the scale.
Until Next Time – Warrior in Training