Jul 10 2011

Lessons Learned Running The Warrior Dash

You Can Learn Even While Running

by: Sharon DeVellis

This past weekend I ran a race called the Warrior Dash, along with a whole bunch of other cool moms like Lisa – our resident Party Mummy, Laura, Jo-Anne, Deb, Jessica, Sherry, Racheal, Doris, Lisa, Kinga, Caroline, Natalie, Michelle, Diana and Chrissy

The Warrior Dash is described as “3.24 hellish miles” and included 11 obstacles that ranged from jumping over fire and crawling through mud to climbing over a wooden wall and maneuvering over cargo nets. 

Plus, you know, everything in between.

While the race was super fun, I’d be remiss to not talk about a few of the things I learned along the way.

Anticipation Is Half The Fun
After we signed up for the race, the fun began. Some of us trained, most of us didn't. The emails and chatting on twitter were in full swing - we talked about how we were afraid and we egged each other on. But mixed in with the trash talk and teasing was support and encouragement. While the trash talk was in jest, the love and camaraderie were real.

Do Things According To You
I had no problem signing up to run a hellish obstacle course that would leave me bruised and covered in mud.  But I know my limitations and at the end of the day, I like to be comfortable.  I’m the same way with nature – it’s a great place to hang out but at night I want a bed, not a tent. Thus the reason we drove up to the race in the car you see below.

Lisa, Laura and I knew we’d be going up together but the fact is, I also knew I wouldn’t be able to drive.  My family was in a head on collision with a drunk driver three years ago and to this day, I still have issues with driving.  But I also feel guilty about dumping the responsibility on my friends so I set about to find us a way up to the race.

Enter Rosedale Livery.  They generously gave us a car for the day – a sedan that fit the three of us more than comfortably, it was downright roomy.  Our driver picked us up at 9:30 in the morning, drove us up to the Horseshoe Resort about an hour and a half away and then waited while we raced and drove us home again. 

The end result was this: 

(a) I felt safe the entire way up because the chauffeurs undergo extensive training, re-training and skills courses.  If you’ve ever driven with me, you know that me feeling safe is no mean feat. 

(b) We were able to relax and enjoy the ride - stress free.  Three moms being able to relax.  Imagine that.

(c) It allowed us to celebrate finishing the race with an ice cold beer. 

Don’t Be A Branch Slapper
One of the first obstacles was running through about 50 feet of knee deep mud that was thick enough to pull off your shoes (and it did for a few people).  Laura and I were side by side and at one point, I almost fell.  In a flash she grabbed my hand and steadied me; we held hands the rest of the way through.  Lisa’s experience was different.  She had gotten separated from us and ended up running behind a guy who pushed aside a branch to get through and then proceeded to let go -  it whacked her in the face.

Every day we’re given choices as to what kind of person we are and how we treat other people…even in a race  Don’t ever be the branch slapper. 

Stick With Your Friends
We all have our fears.  Lisa’s was the obstacle that had us climbing a wall.  Which is all ironic and stuff because the cargo net climb at the end was WAY bigger.  She didn’t want to do it but we decided I would go first, she would follow and Laura would bring up the rear.  That way there was support for Lisa on either side. 

Lisa ROCKED IT and I have no doubt she would have rocked it whether we were flanking her or not, but at the end of the day, there was no way we were going to let her to do it by herself.  Your friends are your friends and you never leave them behind.  Period.

It’s The Journey, Not The Race Time
All of us ended up finishing our race in just over an hour.  Could we have done better?  Absolutely.  But then we would have given up the laughter and conversations. 

I wouldn’t trade that for the world, let alone a few extra minutes cut off my time.

Ask Questions, Then Listen
When you’re with someone in a car for three hours and slogging up ski hills you have plenty of time for conversation.  The key is to ask questions and then really listen to the answers.  You’d be surprised at how much you can learn and the friendships you will forge. 

Your Mother Was Right
Remember when your mom told you always wear clean underwear?  This also holds true when running a race where you find yourself crawling through mud.  Bring a change of clean underwear….and all your other clothes too.

It’s All In Your Head
The fitness levels of everyone who ran the race were all over the board.  One woman, Deb, even had a leg injury.  Yet, every single one of us finished. 

Because you can do anything if you put your mind too.

Warrior Moms.

p.s. I just want to give another big shout out to Rosedale Livery for getting us to and from the race safely and quite frankly, in the lap of luxury.  There were little mints!  And water!  And magazines.  I haven’t driven in a car that nice since my wedding. 

Wanna find out who won the race between Sweaty Mummy and me?  Click on through to here.

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Jul 4 2011

The Double Edged Sword Of Motherhood

Being a Mother is Nothing, if not Ironic

by: Sharon DeVellis

The other night, Son No. 2 told me his dad was funner than me in such a nonchalant way, it drove a dagger through my heart.

They had spent the evening playing soccer and baseball in the field across the street from our house. Most definitely fun.

Where was I while all the funness was taking place? 

The next day was Son No. 2's birthday so I had snuck inside to make a Happy Birthday poster and create clues that I taped around the house for him to find his present when he woke up - a tradition here at Casa DeVellis.  Then I needed to wrap his present.  The present that I went out and bought.  After buying the cupcakes he wanted. The ones he ate with his friends I invited over after school to celebrate.

Clearly I'm no fun at all.

The Face, The Voice, The Blog!

Sharon has been with YMC since the very beginning and is now the Senior Writer and Creative Director where she maintains the YMC voice and uses her brain power to make YMC better for all of our readers.

She can't teach you how to keep your house clean while balancing a job and motherhood but if you're a mom who's struggling to figure it out, you will probably relate, so welcome.

You can follow Sharon on Twitter: @SharonDV No seriously do it. She's funny on Twitter. Sometimes.

You can also visit her at: Speed Skating Mom: On The Slow Track To Becoming Fast

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