Within the past few months I have participated in a couple events that most people would call “crazy.” At least that’s what I have been told by most of the people I know outside the realm of my running and fitness friends. When I step back and look at what I’ve done from their eyes, I can’t help but agree. And that makes me smile. Who doesn’t like a little “crazy” in their life??
I have always said I would never be the one to initiate participating in said events, but, if asked, I would probably agree to just about anything that pushes me outside my comfort zone.
The first occurrence was during a family vacation to Port Aransas, TX a few years ago. My husband and I brought the kids down to spend a week with his grandparents who rented a beachfront condo. We had an amazing time lounging on the beach; visiting shops and just watching our kids enjoy their time with family. One morning we were searching for shells when we saw some people parasailing over the ocean. My husband, being as terrified of heights as he is, immediately belted out that he would never do that! I, on the other hand, opened my big mouth and said, “I totally would! Well, only if someone asked me to that is…” Needless to say, a couple hours later his grandfather informed us that he had scheduled a parasailing trip for my hubby and me later that afternoon. All because I said I would do it if someone asked me to. Oops.
We had 30 minutes to get ready and head to the boat before take off. No turning back, no refunds. My husband was definitely more reluctant than me, but after seeing the first couple take off against the sky and shrink to the size of ants, I was just a bit nervous as well. But, we swallowed our fears and took to the wind – and it was the most glorious 15 minutes of our vacation. The views were breathtaking and the still quietness of the open sky was something I had never experienced before. We can both say we are so glad we did it, and would do it again in a heartbeat!
The same goes for these past couple events that I had the privilege of being a part of. Both of which were suggested to me by a friend (surprise, surprise) to whom I gladly agreed to accompany in her quest of trying something “crazy.”
The first was the Little Willies Triple Dog Dare – “The Ultimate Stair Climb competition in OKC.” For this competition, we would be racing to the top and back down the stairs of three buildings in the downtown area: a grand total of 138 floors. But, that just wasn’t crazy enough. We opted for the “x2” challenge: that’s right, twice… 276 floors of stairs. I have to admit; I was skeptical going into the race, not being familiar with the buildings or how the run would work. We figured it would be tough. And it was. Our knees were sore and stiff, calf muscles burning to the core and the constant up and down on the steps made it difficult at times to catch our breath. But after it was over, we felt great… we accomplished something new and challenged ourselves. My husband (who is not a runner) wondered how in the world we could enjoy something so “crazy.” I told him – it’s just what we do: sign up for these challenging events, push ourselves to the limit, talk about how difficult it was, admit how sore we become… then sign up again!
Which leads me to New Years Day, 2014 and the Polar Bear Plunge. This event is like no other that I have ever done. And, once again, I was skeptical. After all, it was January and jumping into 3 pools of ice-cold water just did not sound appealing in the least. All I could think about was how cold I was during the marathon back in November. And I was at least dry for that run. But, a little voice in my head told me, “Hey, if you could do that, you can do this.”
And boy was it cold! Luckily it did warm up to near 40 degrees that afternoon so it definitely could have been worse. The race started with an approximate 1.5 mile run, which seemed to last forever, before we hit the first pool. Jumping in for the first time took my breath away and my body had to quickly adjust to running with what felt like thousands of little needles poking me all over any exposed skin. The second pool seemed to be longer than the first… or maybe I was just a little slower due to numb joints. By the time we reached the third pool, we were ready to leap in full force and finish our crazy New Year’s Day adventure. But of course, we weren’t finished yet. We agreed to take the extra challenge and sit submerged in tub full of ice water for 10 seconds immediately after crossing the finish line. All in all, it was a great experience, and perhaps more importantly, also came with an awesome finisher medal and t-shirt.
I have already made my 2015 New Years Resolution to return next year… if someone asks me to, that is.