On Friday night I rolled into the Christmas tree farm a scared newbie with a car load of borrowed gear. I was headed to a 24 Hour Endurance Seminar hosted by Endurance Racer, Matthew Waller, 4 time Death Race Finisher, Catamount Games Finisher, finisher of The Suck and SISU Iron and finisher of the Winter AGOGE 001. I knew to expect the unexpected but I really had no clue what I was in for. Quite frankly I was terrified. When I met my friends for lunch that day, they joked that I looked scared to death!
You are probably sitting there asking yourself why I would want to do an event that I was so afraid of. Honestly I asked myself the same thing. In fact, at the beginning of the event we had to go around the group and introduce ourselves and say why we were there. I gave them my short answer.
You get my long answer. Grab some popcorn.
Hi. My name is Heather. I am an ordinary woman. I am a 43 year old single mom who quite frankly is a hot mess sometimes. I have never been a gifted athlete. In fact, for much of life I was a couch potato. Even now that I have found running you wouldn’t look at me and say “oh that girl is an athlete” as I fight the scale in a battle of wits. I do love to run though. (I also love to eat, but that’s another blog post). I love the feeling of accomplishment when I complete a new goal. Whether it is a PR in pace or distance it is exciting! If you’ve followed my blog for a while then you know that I have done a whole gamut of races from 5Ks to ultras, from color runs to Spartans. I may do them slow, but I love them!! I keep the back of the pack fun :). I’m always up for new challenges.
I also have fears. I am afraid of heights… mainly due to a fear of falling. I am afraid of jumping into water and going under when I can’t see the bottom. I doubt my own strength. I question my own endurance. How much I can handle. I have my own perceived limits. In fact, I always said that I had no interest in rucking. I mean, does hiking for miles and miles with heavy weight really sound fun to anyone? And I certainly had no interest in an endurance event. Who wants to be cold, wet, tired, and miserable???
At Back the Blue, my friends Blake, Amber, and Anna were talking about this Endurance Seminar. They also talked about their experiences at events such as The Gauntlet and The Green Beret. I was so impressed with their accomplishments! I’ve always had a lot of respect for endurance racers and people who participate in rucks, but I knew it was something that I could never do. Because I wasn’t tough enough. I wasn’t strong enough. I would break too easily. Above all my biggest fear is having people see me at my most vulnerable. God forbid I break down in front of anyone.
But there is also this voice inside me that says if I push myself and work really hard then I can be a competitor. I can hold my own and not quit. So I started thinking. And thinking. I talked to my coach Stephanie who gave me some sound advice. I prayed about it. And I did a whole lot of over thinking.
I had nothing to lose by trying and everything to gain. So I decided I wanted to compete in The Gauntlet in August and that I would attend the seminar. EEEEK!! So I registered for the seminar. Once I got the packing list, then the panic set in lol. You see, this girl has NEVER rucked before. In fact I have never done anything like this before. I had to borrow almost everything on my packing list. (Mom, Heathyr, and Kelley- thank you so much)
Even though I was TERRIFIED and ill prepared (I had been up since 4 am and was too nervous to eat dinner), I went in with an open mind, an open heart, and decided I was going to give it everything I had. Even if all I had wasn’t good enough, it was a start and well… all I had.
So I roll into this beautiful Christmas tree farm and thankfully see familiar friendly faces. Even the faces I did not know would soon become friends through out the next 24 hours.
The camp started with our setting up our base camp and a couple of lessons on snakes and Swiss seats. Then we jumped right in with introductions and our first task.
Part of our first task was to empty our pack then to run down the hill to the lake where we met Tanya to continue the task… and wouldn’t you know it.
Water dip burpees. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Jumping in. Going into the water. Over my head. Where I can’t see the bottom. In a stinky lake. Noooooooooo!!
(Insert bleep here) I almost cried.
But you know what? I did it!!!!
If you are interested in reading more about my endurance camp adventure come back tomorrow. I’ll also be giving away an entry to The Gauntlet and The Gauntlet Sergeant as well!! (insert applause and cheers here!!)
In the meantime, tell me about a fear that you’ve worked to get over? Or one that you would like to conquer?