Monday, July 28, 2008

Let the Games Begin

I have chosen my event. I'm freaked. But also excited because my goal is much more defined now, and easier to work towards. Well, easier and harder, as you'll see.

I'm doing a combination obstacle course and skills test. The course is comprised of a 10-foot wall, running grid, incline/decline monkey bars, balance beam, 15-foot cargo net, shuttle run, hurdles, steeple chase jump over water, sprint, and under/over bar.

Yeah, I'm freaked.

The skills test is a bench press, box jumps, and shuttle run. That I can handle. The rest has me laughing nervously and changing the subject. But hey, I signed up for this and I am looking forward to the day when I tackle this course and see what I am made of.

So my work is cut out for me - find a course to practice on, kick up the cardio, and work on agility and the individual events. I have never done half of those things before, and the only thing I have any confidence in is my sprinting and bench press. The last time I tried the monkey bars while at the playground with my son, I was bested by a 7-year-old. And I don't even really know what a "steeple chase jump over water" is. It sounds like an event for horses.

But I'm game. It feels good to have something to visualize, something to actually plan for. Instead of working towards a figure competition, where the only goal is to present a visually perfect and symmetrical physical body, I have chosen to put my guts to the test and risk life and limb on a balance beam. Because let's face it - I am probably never going to have a visually perfect and symmetrical physical body. When there's a competition for women who have stretch marks, a big scar, uneven tan lines, and are currently working the tummy pooch, sign me up. I am still working to reach my MGP, I'm just not putting a deadline on it.

And when will these feats of strength and endurance take place? Yeah, get back to me on that. I'm shooting for November, and will definitely do it before the end of the year. I know that, just like with having a baby or jumping out of a speeding train, if I wait until I am "ready" I'll never do it.

This goal feels different to me. I notoriously set unreasonable goals and then work tirelessly towards them, with my drive to beat the odds propelling me forward. There is safety in those goals because I'll never really reach them; the definition of success is so subjective that I could make the argument that I have either succeeded or failed at any given moment. But this goal has a distinct beginning and end. A concrete winner and loser. That makes it much more intimidating to me, but also intriguing. As a competitive person, it feels strange to actually just want to finish, not necessarily win. I know I am the underdog, but I hope I won't let that be an excuse to accept anything but my personal best in my training and performance on the course.

Win or lose, medal or not, the journey is the real prize. My journey has taken a turn and the scenery is getting pretty interesting.


EDP said...

Just reading that made me break out into a sweat. When this is done, would you consider something like the Iron Man competition? I can totally see you doing that.

H F said...

Iron Man has, like, a MARATHON! I have absolutely no desire to run a marathon. Well, maybe a little. :)

Mary Lee said...

YOU CAN DO IT. I have absolute faith in you. You are seriously one of the most disciplined, hard core women I have ever met. Keep me up to date on your progress!! Wish I could be there to see it!