This past weekend, on our sixth wedding anniversary, my husband and I competed in our first ever (and possibly last!) adventure race called Badass Dash.
Badass is a term that I use with the deepest amount of affection, so when I saw that there was a race that would provide me with a new shiny medal that confirmed my badassness...I so wanted to be there!
The event was on September 13th...our wedding anniversary, and after losing a combined 120lbs and completely changing our lives, I suggested that we do the event to celebrate how far we've come. 6 years ago, there would be absolutely no way we would have been able to compete in Badass Dash and make it out with only a bump and bruise. But that was 6 years ago...we are totally different people now, and have lost as much weight as one adult person!
Folks...there is absolutely no amount of training that can prepare you for this. 7km and 40 obstacles.
The dash started with a run up a Black Diamond ski hill (120' elevation) at Chicopee in Kitchener, Ontario, then a trail run through the woods and a few obstacles. I won't detail all of the obstacles, but there are a few that stand out in my bruised and battered mind.
Crazy Cargo Climb - this was the first real obstacle that I looked at, standing at the bottom, and felt so small. But...It was just a cargo net to climb, a transport truck to go over and another cargo net to go down. I did it with encouragement from my husband, but not with his hands on help, so that made me pretty proud.
Feared Float - essentially, floating square pontoons that you had to try and walk/run/scoot across. I went with the walk/run method and made it about a 1/3 of the way before it tipped and I went into the muddy water. That was my first panic attack as you couldn't see a darned thing, and were getting kicked by the people in front of you (and subsequently kicking the people behind you as you tried to find the rope and pull yourself to shore.
Container Climb - I will not lie, I had a full out panic attack on this one. It was three storage containers high...climb up (using the hay bales) go across the top, then climb down. I got to the top container and then stopped dead in my tracks. There were no guard rails. It was straight down to pavement if I stepped the wrong way. I was definitely holding up the line, which made the panic worse, but with everyone encouragement, the helpful hands of the volunteer watchperson and my Husband, I did it. I crawled across the top, then back down the other side and jumped...and fell! Ha! But I did it!
Claustrophobic Crawl - It is exactly what it sounds like...large PVC tubes covered with sand or tarps that you have to shimmy and pull yourself through for about 50'. This was one of the obstacles that I saw on the website and told my husband I was darn unsure about. We went through tubes side by side, and Colin finished first so kept encouraging me and telling me I could do it. Hearing his voice definitely helped, but holy moly....tight squeeze! Not made for hips that spread recently from having a baby!
Australian Backcrawl - Emerging from the second trail run to a muddy hill with a tarp at the top third, covered by a cargo net that you are to scale...on your back...to say that was intimidating to see is a complete understatement. The obstacle was about 60ft in length and at a 65degree angle. We climbed the hill and I stopped. My heart was racing, and I looked over at the other side, probably 50ft away, to where my husband was about to get under the net and I shook my head no. He smiled and told me it was ok if I needed to skip it. I held the net for a few people, helping them get their feet anchored so that they could get going, and I saw a woman who we started the race with. She was competing by herself, so I got her situated and anchored and she said "come on, we can do this." She was right...and I did. My husband told me later that when he got to the top he was kind of freaking out because he couldn't see where I had gone and assumed that I would be waiting at the top. Then he saw me in the net and began cheering me on.
Stupendous Slip-n-Slide - Another Black Diamond hill, this time going down...on a gigantic muddy and wet slide. We started together, even holding hands, and then all of a sudden it was like I was shot out of a cannon and I went flying. It was exciting...until I saw the rocks at the bottom...and the mud...and that there was nothing soft to crash into. Well....grin and bear it right? I somehow missed going over the rocks, flew a good 30' past the end of the slide and spun out, only to see Colin barreling down on me and we crashed. I think I screamed, and I know I (stupidly) put my foot out to stop him. Then we laughed and tried to help each other up when we saw that the secret photographer had come out of his hiding spot, in his camouflage, to take pictures of us. I keep refreshing the Badass Dash facebook page to see if our photos made the cut!
Then, it was just an army crawl under a chain link fence which resulted in bruises on my hip/pelvic bones, an over/under through the sand, back up a rocky trail to the top of the Black Diamond hill, then run back down it. Oh...and climb a sedan-van-bus-van-sedan at the bottom!
We crossed the finish line hand in hand, both beaming with pride at what we had just accomplished.
Then he turned to me and said Next year, I get to plan our anniversary. And it will be full of pampering and a nice dinner.
Afterward, we celebrated over some appetizers at a local restaurant, after I recognized that my body was going into shock. The type of shock where you shake all over and start heaving. Not fun...but the medal on my neck stayed there for the rest of the day, and it certainly could have been worse.
My heart goes out to those who were badly injured, taken off the course with broken limbs and on stretchers, especially the gentleman we saw in crisis having CPR administered. It was scary to see, and I cannot imagine how his family felt. I pray that he is okay!