Last weekend I found myself on a very exciting adventure! Let me tell you something about adventures…I go on a lot of them and I always do my best not to have expectations. I figure if I approach things with the attitude of “Whatever will be will be” then I will have fun no matter the outcome.
Secretly though, I am always hoping for a certain outcome.
Last weekend, I can safely say, all my expectations and dreams were met.
Some may say things started Thursday night. I came home from work and sitting in my driveway was a Chevrolet Equinox! Who comes home to a car in their driveway? Not me! Maybe famous people, or those with rich spouses, or people on TV. I am not any of those…yet I had a car in my driveway! It was BEAUTIFUL and I was tickled!
I could not WAIT to leave for the trip the next morning! Right away I knew this car was something special. There was a back up camera. SAYWHAAAAT?! Which made me long for the days when I drove bus and some of the 40 footers had cameras. Needless to say I was thoroughly entertained. The seats were leather and easily adjusted and the wheel had built in controls for volume, station changing and a way to answer your phone if you set such a thing up. My personal car isn’t this fancy, so I’m probably giving that away to anyone who thinks these are standard features.
Early Friday morning I drove to Sandusky to pick up my fellow FitFluential Heidi! I made excellent time (go me) and as I sat in the driveway I had a momentary panic about being in the car with someone I do not know for 5+ hours, spending the weekend with someone I do not know, and driving home again 5+ hours. What if she didn’t like me? What if she didn’t allow swearing? What if she insisted we listen to gospel music all the way there?
Before I could freak out too much, she pulled up and hugs were exchanged. Within 5 sentences she asks something to the effect of “Do you mind if I swear”? And all bets were off, this was going to be a GREAT trip.
Driving there we chatted forever and a day. So much in common, and so much to learn from each other too. I told her about Team Marathon and Active Ambassadors. I told her about Team Tough Chik. She told me about Columbia, Team Red White & Blue as well as Rev3. We stopped at a random gas station and manged to play on some old school playground equipment, goof around with a giant cock rooster and buy some temporary tattoos for our race.
We eventually found our way to Heidi’s sister’s place and back out to the city for some food and sight seeing. Then back into the Chevy with our sweet new shirts to let the world know how awesome our car was and to let everyone know FitFluential was in town! More singing and pictures and memory creation.
OK enough chit-chat, let’s get down to business. I went on this trip to take part in my first 5K adventure run. After reading about Go Dirty Girl Mud Run I knew it was going to be a great time and a wonderful event to chose as my first obstacle course.
Going into the day I was super excited to share my homemade shirt. I tend to represent a lot of my teams and I take great pride in it each and every time. There was something special though about getting to just be ME, getting to be ROJ for the day. I made the shirt from a tee I bought at Jo-Ann Fabrics for about 4 dollars and iron-on sequins which were also around 4 dollars. A Pinterest search later and I had my goods!
We arrived at the site after a quick breakfast from Panera and I immediately questioned what I was thinking. We drove past a few ponds and rope challenges and I wondered exactly how wet and dirty I would be by the end of the race. The line to get our packets was loooooong, in fact I was a little annoyed with how slowly it was moving. On the plus side, it gave me a chance to talk to a few of the other ladies and get a feel for the atmosphere. Everyone was SO NICE. Seriously. I couldn’t believe how many ladies formed groups and came up with cute shirts and funny names. Oddly a lot drew attention to boobs or butts so I felt a little pervy trying to see what everyone was sporting. haha
Heidi, myself and her sister walked around and met up with a few other FitFluentials before making our way to the starting line. Our wave was at 10:15. This gave us time to visit vendor booths and make signs thanks to TrekWomen!
Once we got started it seemed like the day flew by, and before you knew it I was looking at the clock thinking “we’ve been out there for over 2 hours?”. Let me tell you about the race and then I’ll put some photos together. Easier? I think so too.
We started with a hay-bale climb. This scared me because (shock) I’m allergic to hay. I made it up and back down without breathing too much or touching too much. We skipped and ran and frolicked, yes frolicked between the different challenges. The next stop were tubes on the ground, totally dry and again rather easy to wiggle down and out. By the time we made it to the rope maze my legs had a rash and were blotchy and itchy. My hands too. ) ; Someone at the rope zone asked if we were in a war zone. I told her I was in a personal war against my own balance.
Luckily, after the rope zone were additional tubes to climb through. These tubes were partially submerged in mud. The water/mus washed away the hay and the itching stopped!
Next stop? Rope climb! Pull yourself up out of a mud pit/stream and to safety ashore. This was the first item to worry me. I have (perceived) negative upper body strength. I was going to have to live in that river and never make it to the top. Want to know something? I kicked that ropes butt! I couldn’t believe it myself. One moment waist deep in water. The next? On land. I flew up the mud slide, and barely even flinched. Apparently working out is paying off already.
Not to fear, more mud was on its way as we climbed under a cargo net, through mud while being sprayed. At this point I decided my backside needed redecorating.
A little more down the ways was the “scary” net climb I saw when we were driving in. Oddly it wasn’t as scary now that I was half way into the race and having so much fun my face was hurting from laughing too much. Now, I am afraid of heights, so when I was at the top and looking down I almost fainted. I used to hate the net climbs as a kid too, so what possessed me 20+ years later to go up one I will never know. When I made it back down I gave my best victory growl, took pictures with friends and sprinted off to the wall climb. This is where disaster struck.
Once on the way my fear of heights and low self confidence kicked in again. I was stuck. I feared everyone I was holding up was mad and people on the other side were wondering what I was doing. There was no going up, no going down. Then it happened. Everyone began helping me. Telling me I could do it, telling me I was strong. Women I never met before were willing to befriend me for a few moments in the name of females everywhere. This surge of belief and the few extra sets of hands pushing my legs and butt higher into the air, helped me tackle and the wall and finish the one obstacle I was planning to skip.
The rest of the race I was on cloud 9 and enjoying my surroundings. People singing along with LMFAO, impromptu mud wresting, warnings about wedgies. Just another normal day, right?
After the race we cleaned up at a drain. There were actual wash stations, but we heard the water pressure was terrible and not worth the massive line. Our drain did a nice job and we all had a change of clothes before heading back to the car and good ol OH-IO.
My ONLY true compliant about the event…we were given tickets for a free beverage after the event. The ONLY beverage you could pick was a can of beer! As an alcohol and drug counselor and a person with many friends who are in recovery I was BEYOND offended and disappointed in this fact. I’m sure beer is money and sponsors are sponsors, but let’s be real here and considerate. A water wasn’t in the cards? A pop for the DD? Oh well. Other than this little glitch it was a great time. IMHO an event which is more about the company you keep and the people you share your time with than about the race itself. Luckily I had some of the best company and I really mean it when I say I can’t wait to road trip with her again. Also THANK GOODNESS for the support in the seats for the Chevy. The SI issues I was having with my back didn’t flare up too badly because of the way I was carefully cradled. Although you wouldn’t know it in all the pictures. ( ;
I wish she lived closer. As cheesy and fake as some may think it is…I hope you all know I don’t fake it. BTW for those wondering is FF is another way to get free products or to pimp your goods, I can say for me it’s been so much more. For me, the people I’ve met and the ideas I’ve been exposed to are priceless. I joined to learn more about myself and the fitness field, if I have the opportunity to use and do things along the way…all the better.
Want to see even more photos and video? Please visit Banana Buzzbomb’s photo stream for Flickr
Disclaimer: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Chevrolet provided transportation for the road trip, all thoughts and opinions are my own.