When you think of the word seminar, what do you envision? Perhaps a nice Power Point presentation and fancy binders with handouts? With coffee and refreshments? Some instructional sessions followed by those awkward team building exercise that everyone grumbles about?
Y’all… that is what I thought I was going to.
|Photo Credit: The Gauntlet|
When you attend an endurance racing seminar hosted by Matthew Waller and Tanya Bickham there are a few things you can count on.
1- Solid information. Matthew is a seasoned endurance racer. He has learned his stuff through tons of trial and error and he knows what works and what doesn’t. We learned about nutrition, footwear, what to pack, how to pack, etc. Matthew is very knowledgeable and is very willing to share his knowledge with others. And share he did. He delivers the information in a way that is very interesting and easy to understand. After attending this seminar I am much more confident in preparing to train for and compete in my first endurance event. I was so VERY ignorant before I came to the camp.
I will definitely be applying what I learned! My major takeaways that I need to start ASAP:
- get fitted for a backpack and start rucking with heavy weight
- get some butt paste
- take in more fuel that I think I need each hour (FLASHING LIGHT HERE- This is probably why I have performance issues during long runs. I think this blew my mind. Thanks Matt!)
2- Being put through the paces. They will put you to WORK! Goodness gracious, the word endurance is in the event description for a reason I guess. Between you and me, I secretly loved the way they organized this event. We did a physical activity. Then regrouped for some learning. Then another physical activity. And so on. And so on. And so on (okay.. by this point I was getting tired lol).
The first night after I overcame that first challenge of the WTH water dip burpees, we also did some PT in the moonlight which consisted of my beloved animal movements. (Stephanie, are you reading this? Sigh… I apologize that I complain every time that we do these in class because clearly they really must be useful somehow. And.. ugh.. I need to work on them more.) PT included using our sandbags and consisted of squats, bear crawls, burpees, Russian Twists, and my oh so very favorite crab walks. (shudder)
|Photo Credit: The Gauntlet|
A lot of that first night before we took a break at 2 am is kind of a blur, so I don’t really remember the order of events. <read: no coffee for 24 hours> But what I do remember is the camaraderie through the suck (no offense Matt and Tanya). When you are making that many trips up and down a hill to a lake whether it’s empty handed, carrying your pack, or carrying a bucket full of water – never knowing what to expect at either side, it can bring out the best in people or it can bring out the worst. That night it brought out the best. These people were amazing. I’m going to talk more about the group in my next post, but I really enjoyed getting to know this fabulous group of athletes better.
My favorite task that night was the golden brick challenge, which took place around midnight. I have no idea how far we had to walk, but our task was to ruck all the way to the railroad tracks to find a gold brick. The first one back with a brick would win a Gauntlet sweatshirt.
The sky at the farm was beautiful. The stars were amazing. So it was kind of surreal as we rucked through the darkness in the middle of nowhere to find these railroad tracks and gold bricks. It was in these witching hours that I realized I wasn’t a poser and I really did belong with this group of people. Sure, I may have to try and train harder to keep up with everyone, but I belong. It’s a nice bond to have. And Kellie, Amber, Austin and I had quite the adventure looking for those darn gold bricks.
But you’ll read more about that tomorrow… in the meantime let me talk about the third thing you can expect at a Waller and Bickham event:
3. Passion behind what they do. Matthew and Tanya are very passionate at coaching people and encouraging those to give their all. They truly want everyone who participates to be successful. I can personally vouch for this. Being told, when it was all said and done, that you made someone proud. That means a lot. Matthew and Tanya give their all and it shows. It showed it the amount of time and effort that they took into putting on this event. It was organized, informative, and well planned. They put their heart and emotions in it.
Let’s talk about The Gauntlet. Matthew and Tanya put on a top notch event. After doing this seminar, I am definitely going to compete in The Gauntlet. What is The Gauntlet? Simply put.. it is “an endurance event that will test athletes’ abilities to excel in agility, strength, endurance & mental fortitude” “The Gauntlet will have athletes participating in running/rucking miles of wooded trails, carrying heavy, sometimes awkward objects, competing in time trials, and often times participating in group activities where teamwork is a necessity. Athletes who finish The Gauntlet will have been tested physically, mentally and spiritually.”
I have a lot more to say about my adventure at the seminar, but my lunch break is almost over! So I will leave you with a giveaway. Matthew and Tanya have given me one entry each to The Gauntlet and The Gauntlet Sergeant. BUT HERE IS THE CATCH. It is non transferable. Which means the entry can not be given away to another person. One tip to enter, I wouldn’t do it from your phone because I made entering a little more challenging this time. And before you complain about it being challenging, well…. I just wouldn’t complain because The Gauntlet is all about overcoming challenges isn’t it? 🙂 Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading part of my adventure and hope you tune back in tomorrow for the best part of it.
And please enter and share the giveaway!! (Even if it’s not your thing, please share! Thanks!)