I Was a Camping Warrior

15 Aug

In case you were wondering: I did not get eaten by a bear, which I am totally happy about.

Image via Warrior Dash

This weekend a few friends, The Husband and I participated in the Warrior Dash. Notice how I didn’t say “ran” The Warrior Dash? That’s because I don’t want to give you the impression that there was too much actual ‘running’ involved. In fact, “dash” is also a load of crap.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it: the Warrior Dash is road race that generally takes place on some kind of ski slope or equally brutal terrain. To make it more formidable than simply running up a steep hill for a couple of miles, they throw in some challenging obstacles every so often. Of course I was in. And then I suckered convinced my bestest pals to join me. In turn, they persuaded me to go camping for the first time ever in my life. I don’t really remember actually consenting to camping, I just know that someone (ahem, Husband) suggested that I wouldn’t. So of course, that meant I had to.

When Is Camping Not Really Camping?

All 13 of us left bright and shiny Saturday morning. We were to head for our campsite first, set up, and the head over to Windham Ski Resort for the race.

As I said, I don’t know too much about camping. But, I’ve seen pictures. In my head, I pictured a nice little stream and trees and logs and stuff. Not this:

Please note the building in the background.

Dude. We were camping on a big football field, next to a bathroom. And a restaurant and bar. A tent was involved.

I think that’s called “sleeping in your yard”, not camping.

The Warrior Dash

We headed out Windham Mountain Ski Resort to pick up our race packets and our fuzzy Viking helmets. We got our numbers on, put the rest of our things – including a change of clothes  – in the cars and we were off.

My Warrior Sistahs

I wish I could say I had pictures from during the race, but it was impossible to bring a camera along – or even my trusty iPhone, which has been in every race and even with me.

Let me try to give you a written description of my personal highlight of the race. I am not kidding when I tell you that the first mile is straight uphill. (Another important factoid: The Husband, who freely admits that he does not run unless someone is chasing him, chose this as his first race ever. He has been following the Couch to 5K program, but that would have had him racing sometime in September. Obviously, he has completely lost his mind.) I stuck with my husband through the first two obstacles, and was feeling pretty smug – jump over walls, crawl under barbed wire? Sure. Run over tires and climb over junked cars? Okay. Balance on planks 5 feet off the ground? Yupper.

Until the fourth obstacle.

A pit filled with chest high water to wade thru. With logs to climb over. The logs were secured on either end to the banks of the pit by ropes that allowed them to roll as you tried to climb over them. At first, the logs are only about waist-high but they get progressively higher so that by the final giant log, 5′ 6″ me could just about reach my arms over.

Now would be a good time to tell you that I don’t like cold water. I don’t like murky water. And I kind of suck at swimming.

I tried to throw my leg over that log. No joy. I tried to hoist myself over that log. Nope. My husband dove over it, face-first into the water.

No. Frigging. Way.

I moved slightly to the left and ducked under the rope.

And then the Universe got me back: I tripped over what was either a submerged rock or less-fortunate competitor. I went flailing forward, grasping at anything within reach that would keep my face from slamming into the wooden ‘ladder’ we were to use to climb out of the pit. That ‘anything’ turned out to be the midsection of a kindly gentleman in front of me. Or it might have been his ass. I really didn’t care. He was nice enough to grab me by the arm and yank me out of my personal hell. Thank you, sir, wherever you are.

(There was someone on the course with a camera – you can check out his blog post here.)

The remaining obstacles culminated in a leap over fire and crawling – Marine style – under barbed wire.

I was so proud of my husband for finishing, and frankly, of myself as well. We made it through relatively unscathed while our friends suffered bruises, scrapes and a sprained ankle. I heard that another friend of ours actually fractured her ankle at some point during the race – finished – and then required surgery, two screws and a metal plate to put her back together. That, my friends, is a Warrior.

I only required a bottle of water and a really delicious pulled pork sandwich.

If you want, you can donate your sneakers after the race for charity.

I Slept in a Tent. Does That Count?

We all headed back to our campsite a.k.a. large open field to clean up and enjoy the rest of the night. I want to tell you that I stayed up all night, partying with my friends but that would be lying. I took the time to confirm that I do, in fact, still suck at Quarters and then I went to sleep. In a tent. Outside. Next to my car, adjacent to restrooms and a laundromat, but still. That counts.



8 Responses to “I Was a Camping Warrior”

  1. Mary Lynn August 15, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    You are hysterical. Congratulations to my “warrior friend!” I am not a fan of sleeping outside in a tent either but after seeing some of those pics I’m not too sure I could have done the “dash’ part either. Oh and btw…so happy you didn’t get eaten by a bear. Just wondering? Do bears even hang out on football fields, uhhh I mean camp sites???

    • Beth - Realist Mom August 15, 2011 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks Mary Lynn! Not too many bears, thank goodness. And I think you would have no trouble with the Dash!!

  2. Beth August 15, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    HAHAHA you painted a wonderfully vivid picture of the race! Loved it! Most fun ever-and between the air-matresses, our location and the colossal tent I even enjoyed the camping. Or maybe it was just the game of quarters with the giant $1 mugs that made it so much fun???? Whichever it was I can’t wait to do it again! 🙂

    • Beth - Realist Mom August 16, 2011 at 7:37 am #

      Me neither! Next year can’t come quickly enough!

  3. judy schmid August 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    I have to say that you are all amazing! After speaking to my wounded warrior friend, I have the amazing (and yet a bit disturbing) details…Deana FINISHED the Warrior Dash in under 1 hour!!! Her kids saw her headed towards the finish line but knew something was wrong when they heard from the sidelines, that a medic was needed immediately at the finish line…they said to eachother…”that’s for MOM”!!!! While all of the other “warriors” were celebrating…Deana was whisked away to the hospital to find out that she had indeed broken her ankle not once but twice and surgery was necessary. She “EARNED”
    7 screws in her ankle and is non weight bearing for at least 4 weeks!!!! Like you said Beth…That is a true WARRIOR!!!

    • Beth - Realist Mom August 16, 2011 at 7:36 am #

      I still can’t get over that! She really is a true Warrior!!

  4. lexy3587 August 16, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    The race sounds epic!
    the ‘camping’ sounds like what I experienced ‘camping’ beside a concert event, but with more amenities and fewer stupid drunks killing tents. Sorry, but no… not camping. But that is made up for by the fact that you did an epic uphill crazy-run thing. You’re still hardcore 🙂

    • Beth - Realist Mom August 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      LOL! I’m going to call it camping-lite! Thanks for taking a minute to comment!

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