The GGA Project -- Day #322 "And Speaking of Challenges..."

A couple of months ago, my friends Kenneth and Peter signed up for something called the Warrior Dash and then (as they are like to do) immediately set about trying to strong arm everyone they know into doing it too.  I was kind of an easy sell at that point, as I have been the entire year because of this project (and hope to be going forward).  I just got the text "sign up for Warrior Dash," maybe a link to the website on Facebook, did a few clicks around on the site, and was signed up within 10 minutes or so.

That was the easy part.

When I told my Dad about the event, he also went to the website, did far more reading and clicking around than I'd done, and came back saying "No way, Jose."  This surprised (and alarmed) me.  My Dad is in great physical shape and challenges himself in that area on a weekly basis.  If he was intimidated by the prospect, what on earth was I thinking?!?!

As the weeks went by, I had occasion to mention that I'd be Warrior Dashing perhaps 3 times.  And every time, a split second shock crossed the face of the person I was talking to, followed with, "really?!" or "you?!"  I don't think it should come as too much a shock, then, that I was pretty nervous heading into 

Today's New Activity: The Warrior Dash!!

When we got to the event grounds (Casa de Fruta, down in the dusties of Gilroy), I felt an immediate sense of relief.  While I didn't exactly see any super out of shape people there, it definitely wasn't an iron man only kind of thing.  And there were minors there as well...how scary could the thing be?

I'd brought Monkey with me so that I wouldn't have to spend the whole day away from him (the event was 1 1/2 drive from my house), and his Auntie Kelsi, who lives relatively close in Morgan Hill, was generous enough to come and scoop him up for a couple of hours.  It was nice to know he was nearby--playing with Mo on the train and carousel at Case de Fruta--having fun while I "competed."

The only bummer about the event is that, in an effort to space people out, each heat starts with 1.5 miles of running.  I hate running.  I absolutely HATE running.  And I suck at it.  So I didn't exactly feel like a warrior, having to walk a good part of that.  But Kenneth and Linda were there with me while Peter, Jeanette and Jon ran ahead, so it was nice to be in good company.

And then the obstacles came, which was the real fun part :)

There were 11 or 12 total I think, and here's a sampling:

This wall was probably the most terrifying to me, because I've never been great with upper body strength, and once you got started you were pretty much committed to either making your way over or having a real unpleasant fall back down, haha.  The top was the most difficult, figuring out how to get all the way over the wall once you ran out of rope.  But I made it.  Actually, in that difficult part when I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to pull myself over, I thought of Monkey, reminded myself that I have a son who looks to me as his example (not that he was there watching, but still I knew), and found that extra bit of effort within.  That was a pretty cool experience.

The last two obstacles were two little mounds of flames to jump through followed by a big trough of mud to slug through, leaving us coming out looking like this:

To help us all get home without ruining our cars, they'd set up a giant firehouse for us all to splash around in and get as clean as we could.

After a quick change of clothes I collected Monkey and sat down in the gravel with my fellow warriors while they ate giant turkey legs and I enjoyed probably the most hard fought veggie burger in the history of veggie burgers :)

It was such a great day.  I'm so happy I had the chance to join the fun and challenge myself a bit.  But I'd also like to say that I think most anybody could do this; they make it accessible enough.  So next year I'm bringing more warriors along for the fun!


  1. This looks like a bathtubful of WOOOOOOt! I would SO do this, even though I *suck* at running and hate it with a passion. But all the rest looks like so much FUN!

  2. I feel like 'strong arm' is a bit much..... we just persuade people.... a lot. :P