The 3 Challenges

In life there are challenges and how we stand to face them builds character — it is character that defines who we are. To push one’s comfort zone beyond something that is safe and known can be scary and yet in so doing the individual develops and evolves beyond what was originally perceived as possible. By not quitting on yourself both mental and physical strength emerges through the accomplishments. With these freshly developed strengths a new found freedom liberates a deeper personal awareness of character, and, more specifically, of oneself.

One other brief life lesson I’ve learned through the years is that 3 is a magic number. Events happen in threes, most of the time we associate that with negative events as we often times feel like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Eventually our perceptions are that the last shoe dropped and things are going to begin turning around. As I look to the dawn of 2015 I’ve outlined three accomplishments that I’d like to achieve. These events I chose will challenge both my mental resolve as well as my physical abilities. With turning 40 this past summer it seemed like a perfect year for a few benchmarks while further continue my training. Additional benefits, I hope, will be to drop these pesky last 10lbs, and to get that super tight control over my Type 1.5 diabetes that I’m aiming for. I don’t think of these as resolutions. per se, as the events I’ve mapped out happen throughout the course of the year about every three months (seeing a theme yet?).

GORUCK Light: March 28th, 2015
I stumbled on this event a couple of years back and ever since I watched that first video there has been this nagging voice in my head to do it. I’ve made a bunch of excuses as to why I haven’t done it yet, but I’m already signed up so it’s on! If one where to ask me why? Like I’ve stated before it’s the mental and physical challenge that draws me in. It’s that challenge that will let me gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for who I am at this moment of my life. Lastly, I do believe the GORUCK Light and the other events during the year are each going to teach me something about myself, that at the present, I am unaware of. Please note Light ≠ Easy it is 5-6 hours vs the 8-10 for the Challenge. Basically it’s just half the calories. According to their website the GORUCK LIght is:

GORUCK Light is an introduction to the team-based training found in Special Operations. It is also much less grueling than our original event, the GORUCK Challenge. Your class will consist of up to 30 participants (aka members of your new GORUCK family). One Cadre, an experienced member of Special Operations, will teach leadership as your class overcomes adversity to become a team. Team being a very important word. GORUCK Light is a team event, never a race. We never tell people what they can’t do. We show them what they can do – together, as a team. Our favorite classes are those with a 100% pass rate.

I’ve talked my friend and brother-in-law, Rob, into joining me on this adventure. While we will be training individually we do have plans to have a few Ruck Off’s between now and then. The GORUCK events have participants carry a ruck sack and depending on your own body weight you are required to carry 2 or 4 duct tapped bricks in your ruck. Along with all the other personal items you will need during the day. These bricks add between 10-20lbs to your backpack. Rob and I plan to speed hike a mountainous trail once a month with our rucks on for training purposes, but we also are assuming we will see gains in increased times as we plan to hike the same trail each month. We both are excited to be participating and we both have our own set of fears about it as well. Luckily for us our fears are different so we can help each other through those difficult times.

Seattle Rock & Roll Half Marathon: June 13th, 2015
I am not runner, nor do I really even enjoy running. I have yet to experience the said “Runner’s High” in fact I think that’s a lot of bull. My wife on the other hand is a runner and she enjoys running. She is THE one who turned my life around and nudge me into taking care of my health and fitness. About seven years ago I had a grim conversation with my doctor at the time and I had to make a decision. It was my wife that through encouragement and support helped me through that troubling time and here I find myself now taking on a half marathon. The distance of 13.1 miles I’ve clocked out in my car driving around and the realization that this is quite a distance has me rattled with what in the hell did I sign up for. All of that aside, my wife is going to run it with me as our pace rates are pretty equal so for us to have each other side-by-side will be just what we each need to finish this. She has run one other half marathon but that was a few years ago. Starting in January, I plan to start out super easy just running once a week to maybe twice a week with distances ranging from 1-3 miles. I haven’t run myself since July/August 2014, so this will be a good way to start getting my legs back. Officially my 12 week training plan will begin in earnest in mid-March right around the time I complete the GORUCK Light. The Seattle Rock & Roll half marathon is an event that I need to finish, not only to prove to myself that a non-runner can finish such a distance, but that I also have the mental ability to keep those demons in my head that tell me to just quit at bay. Running this race with my wife I imagine will be one of those days that will live forever in our memories as we complete it together. I just hope I have a little steam left at the end to finish before her though.

Tough Mudder: September 19, 2015
This event should be a great way to cap off the other two previous events. I’ve wanted to participate in this event for the last four years. About two years ago I volunteered at the event to get more first hand knowledge about the event, plus if you volunteer you earn a steep discount on the entry fees. I’m excited about the mud, the obstacles and to finish. I will openly admit though that one of my greatest fears is tight spaces, so the crawling through culverts filled with mud are going to be a huge mental obstacle for me. I will just army crawl one arm at a time and make my way through. The Tough Mudder is not going to be easy and I also acknowledge that, but I’m sure it’s going to be one helluva good time and that beer at the end will be ever so tasty and hard earned. The Tough Mudder seems like the perfect way to cap the three challenges of 2015.

My ultimate hope for the outcome of this trifecta of events in 2015 will be to liberate myself from the confinement of self. Meaning I will grow, develop and ultimately prosper in all the things I aim to achieve in my lifetime. Walls and obstacles are in place to force one to make a decision. Do you climb over, knock it down or turn and walk the other way? By facing these challenges not only will my health have improved, but my goals to be stronger in all capacities of life will also be achieved in the city or on the mountains or playing with my children.


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