As an father of a 16 year old and a 3 year old – I have a ways to go in the 24/7 parenting department. When I’m 50 I need to feel 35 and still have the physical presence to scare the boys away from my two little girls. I needed to make a change and get in shape.
Enter “Obstacle Racing” – A New Beginning
Somewhere on Facebook I ran across an ad for The Spartan Race. Being a huge fan of “The 300” I think a little targeted marketing was happening – I checked out their site and event dates – low and behold they were going to be in Miami in just two months! Sure I could get ready ( I really couldn’t) in just two months. It looked like a lot of fun and it was much more then just running.
… BUT I HATE RUNNING!
I began traversing the neighborhood at greater than walking speed – each week getting a little further before having to stop and walk. I was trying not to aggravate my shins which were more like an achilles heel. I quickly came to the realization that I have no business being in a Spartan Race, a Tough Mudder or any of the other multitudes of mid-life crisis races out there. I needed to scale back and do this right before I blow a knee or pop a shin. Can one pop a shin?
Around the time reality set it I drove past a sign in front of an local orange stand / ranch up the road from me. The first annual ‘Monster Challenge‘ was being held there and it was just two weeks before the Disney 5K Everest Challenge I had just signed up for. My logic was that, “hey … it’s Disney – how hard could it be?” … but just in case, maybe I should try this race as well? A warm up event? What the hell – it was only two miles away from the house and my local hospital was right up the road making it convenient for my family to visit me.
With some friends from work, we were in the last group out for the day and, again, reality hit hard in the form of shin splints. I muddled through and finished in the bottom third of the pack. I wasn’t last which was the goal. While I didn’t have much trouble on the obstacles (check out my Summer Olympics quality pole vault pic) I couldn’t get past the fourth rung on the monkey bars and plop – right into the mud. No problem, it made for a good Facebook timeline picture and I’ll have also work on my shoulder strength as well. The list of self-improvement needs was piling up!
Regardless of my performance, I was hooked. I took a few steps back and started to strength train with my legs being the focus. I paid less attention to the size of my arms then the condition of my calves, shins and quads. It’s working.
While the Disney Race two weeks later saw continued problems for my shins, I did see some progress and almost 2 months later, I’m running with almost no pain or second-day pain – which is MUCH MUCH worse. I’m feeling so confident that I’ve entered a Spartan Race coming up in July. For good measure, I’m dragging my ‘little’ brother along for the ride. It’s his 40th birthday present from me. Share the pain, I say! I hear he’s training four days a week.
A SPARTAN IS BORN !!!
Ultimately, this is about better health. They say that people my age can expect three full phases of life while those who came before me only had two. I want to make sure that my third phase is my best. Also, for all those other dads out there who are a little ( or a lot ) overweight – the clock is ticking for all of us. Get moving or get passed! Some would consider this a form or mid-life crisis but I bought the motorcycle nearly six years ago and I still have all my hair so I’m not overcompensating.
Hang on! This will either be a train wreck with the resulting arthroscopic knee surgery procedure or a completely new “your dad scares the sh!t out of me” me.
I’ll settle for scaring the shiz-nit out of the little boys who would seek to date my little girls. That would be enough of a rebirth. I could use a shotgun to scare the little punks but who needs the legal hassle with that?