Conquering Obstacles and Fears


I took on a challenge from my brother to participate in obstacle races with him. He is an avid athlete and participates in several of these obstacle style races throughout the year. I, however, have to muster the will to do any form of physical activity. I must admit I'd much rather sleep that extra hour or come home and preoccupy myself with my dogs, a good book or whatever series I'm into at the moment. 

Life is full of challenges that may seem small to some and significant to others. To accomplish this new feat I had to put a plan in motion. Having only three weeks to prep for the Terrain Race, I had to begin soon if I was to make it all the way through.  This particular race consisted of a 5k course, over 6 foot high walls, 12-foot high rope walls, and 16-foot high cargo nets interlaced with monkey bars, tubes, weight challenges with sandbags, water buckets, and tires. 

On my first run, I came to the not so startling realization on how out of shape I have become. As the first week past, I also came to another conclusion. My well being should cover all aspects of my life. Why do I work so hard in some areas and not in others? As my day to day set in and late work hours, errands and fur mommy duties kicked in I made it a point to run at least three times a week. No excuses (even though I had many)!

The day of the race...

I picked up my mother (our number one cheerleader) and met with my brother his wife and my three nieces. My sister in law has picked up the athletic bug this past year, and I think my nieces were just born with it. As most little girls do they idolize their father and participate in the kid's version of the race when possible, energy was at an all-time high, and we were ready. 

My 11-year-old niece joined us at the adult level, and it was agreed upon that my brother would go at his own pace (which meant he was leaving us behind) and so would we. We began in a pool of water followed by a run and our first obstacle course. I lagged behind and took my time. I wanted to complete all of the obstacles and run as much as possible without walking. As physical fatigue set, I was faced with an additional task of personal perseverance. 


I’m scared of heights! As I climbed, crawled and worked my way through over 20 obstacles of which three consisted of 12-16 feet tall walls made of wood, rope, and steel. I had a choice I climb, or I go around. That's where the shift must happen. I was amazed by the sportsmanship I saw and felt. Complete strangers helped each other out; they extended hands, helped by pushing people up and offered limbs for additional support. 

I pushed forward completed the race, and in the end, I was the proudest of not overcoming my fear but driving past it. As the physical challenge became a mental one I was reminded of how powerful a shift in perception can genuinely be.