This weekend was a race called The Warrior Dash. It’s the second year that I have done it. For those of you that don’t know what it is check out this link Warrior Dash It is a 5k race at above 7,000 feet sea level (at least the Colorado one is) with obstacles along the way such as; wall climbing, hurdles, jumping over fire, mud pits, etc… Last year after completing it in camouflage TuTu’s my friend and I decided we were going to lose weight…get in shape…and not only do it again, but kick butt while doing it.
A year went by and here it was race time. I was a tad heavier…if not the same weight I was last year…and slightly more out of shape. It was slightly depressing.
We had such high hopes. And I could not help but feel like I failed. The weeks before the race I stressed and stressed about being able to complete it.
I kept telling myself…don’t worry, you can always walk.
It was finally time for our heat…I grounded myself while everyone else was jumping around yelling getting all pumped up to start. I sat there pulling energy from earth and spirit to help me make it through this race. I even invoked Reiki to surround myself with good energy.
Sounds all wonderful and magical doesn’t it? Well, the race started, and the course was slightly different from last year and I thought, I can do this. I have the power of spirit with me. Yay!!!!
And then the first real incline came and as I was gasping for breath fearing for my life…my hands started to tingle. I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I realized this was not going to be that easy. I made the first few obstacles but soon started to feel my legs weaken. I waved my friend ahead…told her I needed to walk a bit. Reluctantly she went on. The last thing I wanted to do was to hold her back.
Now this is where I found my faith in myself start to slip. I thought I would have been able to last much farther than 3/4 of a mile before I felt like throwing in the towel and dying. Nope… This is where I was. I new the first thing I needed to do was get my breathing under control. I started walking and doing some deep yoga breaths…in thru my nose…out through my mouth. To try and convince my body that everything was all right (per the words of a past yoga instructor). It wasn’t working…I kept trying….then, I realized that the breathing wasn’t working because my mind was certain I was going to pass out. I knew I needed to gain some control.
After what felt like hours I got my breath under control. My walking pace was quick. I felt back in control so I thought, run, bad idea! I ran and my mind started to reel. My hands started to tingle again and my shoulders started to ache. I started to think of all the reasons why I should not be doing this. All the health issues I am currently dealing with. The lack of training, the altitude, my age. You name it, it became an excuse.
I spent most of the race walking alone. Head down…focused on the ground. Not because i was ashamed and embarrassed, ok thats not the ONLY reason, it was mainly because the terrain was so unsure. people were twisting ankles on rocks and sliding down hill in the sand, or mud or wet grass.
While I was alone, in somewhat of a oxygen deprived stupor, I realized that I was despising my attitude. Here is what I roughly said to myself. “Jackie, really? Everything you have just listed are nothing but excuses. Excuses are things you despise. They are mere reasons not to hold yourself accountable for your actions. Nothing but Teflon of sorts on to let the failure slide off of you.
Suck it up and start taking responsibility for your actions. Hold yourself accountable. You’re not in shape…don’t blame your health on that. Fix it. Take the steps needed to do what you need to do to fix what is wrong. Don’t let your issues or illness define who you are. They are not a crutch. You can finish this. You don’t need to beat a time. You can walk it. Do your best. Don’t give up. You are bigger and better than this race.”
I was feeling pretty good after my pep talk. Mind you, I was saying all this out loud. I am sure many thought I was completely insane, but I did not care. I was there at that point in time for me. That is one of the hardest things physically I have had to do, and I completed it. That is big.
Now, the story doesn’t end there full of sunshine and roses. Of overcoming obstacles, blah…blah…blah.
It got harder. I got angry. I said F you mountain. I stopped at this one obstacle and thought, I am done. I am skipping this one. As I started to go around the obstacle, this voice yelled out of no where “your only cheating yourself, don’t give up now”. I thought she was talking right to me…like I got caught. Then in a split second I thought I was crazy for even thinking that and proceeded to attempt to skip the obstical. Again this voice said, “don’t quit, your better than that” I turned, my eyes blurred with sweat I couldn’t see who was talking, people were everywhere. Then I heard her again “yes, I am talking to you”. I completed the obstacle. The rest of them. Because of this voice, this women. Once up the mountain we were getting ready to start the decline, and I hear her again. I can now see her. She is not younger nor older than me. She doesn’t seem like wonder woman just normal, and full of kindness. She says to me. “you need to remember to not let the mountain win”. I told her I had just yelled at my self the very things she told me just minutes before I was ready to give up. She said “that’s the funny thing about life, you need to keep telling yourself, over and over and over. You need a mantra”. She said you just say “F you mountain, you won’t beat me. I’ll beat you. Say it over and over”. I did just that and I beat that mountain that day. Perseverance won. I remembered my inner strength.
In the process, I saw the weakness in myself. I saw where I need to not hide. Where I need to stand up and take control. Where I have let myself use excuses for not accomplishing my physical goals. I have let my ownership slide. We control our destiny, our life, our here and now, as well as our future. Take the reins. Don’t let the little things throw you off course.
As for next year, I will be ready for that mountain. I have something to prove, to myself. Its called follow through and accountability.
This race and all the obstacles really do match the courses of our life. Things always come up that we are not ready for. Things always will knock the wind out of us. There will always be that terrible feeling of failure in the face of larger than life issues. How we deal with them in a simple race sometimes mirrors how we will deal in real life. I believe it doesn’t matter how you finish, just as long as you do. That alone is something to be proud of.
One last thing about this mystery woman. I do not know her, or her name. But I know she was there for me. She did not have to say anything to me, but she did, she reached out and touched my spirit. She reminded me not to give up. She was my warrior angel and I will forever be grateful for her.
Have a wonderful week everyone!!!