When do we stop climbing on jungle gyms? Because, as a kid, I used to climb on them all of the time. The higher the better. I would climb and jump and swing, completely oblivious of danger and fully devoid of fear.
I’d climb and play and eat milk and cookies. I would live.
So, when do we stop? When we move from elementary school playground chaos to middle school hormonal hell? When boys and boobs are top of mind and gossiping trumps play? After elementary school, I stopped climbing. I stopped climbing… until today.
Today, I did my first obstacle race. It was a 10k, peppered with creative obstacles including several wall climbs, military walls, rope climbs, jungle gym climbs, mud pits, marine hurdles, ladder walls, tunnel crawls and water crossings. I was a virgin, having never done one before and I went with four friends and fellow badass bootcampers. who were all excellent athletes as well as race veterans. I wish I could say it was an enormous emotional revelation and personal triumph…but, honestly, it was just fun. Really fun.
And it reminded me of being a kid and letting go of all fear. Sure, some of the walls were super high…but I refused to “think” about conquering them…I just did them. Our brains are so powerful and so self sabotaging that if we give them an inch, they’ll take the mile… what if I fall, what if I slip, what if I hurt myself, what if….
Fuck the what ifs and just do. I didn’t think, I just did and it was amazing. It was joyous. It was liberating.
It was fun.
Obstacle races are playgrounds for grownups… the only thing missing is the post race milk and cookies. But I suppose I will settle for smoked gouda and a nice cabernet.