Next week I will complete my first obstacle course of my life. I have never done anything like this and when I signed up over four months ago, I had every intention of training properly for this challenge.
Unfortunately, life happens and the training did not. Last week I realized this event is next on my radar. Most people say I should withdraw. I have back problems and it is not worth the risk of injury. I have no desire to be injured, but I am not withdrawing from this event.
However, I do not take this lightly and intend to be responsible, so let’s talk safety:
1) I met with my doctor and talked about the event for a personal medical recommendation. My doctor gave me the green light with the caveat that if something hurts, stop. Go around something if it is too dangerous.
2) I had a consultation with an expert in fitness safety who I trust completely. He knows me personally and gave me guidance on how to best train safely before the event and safely attempt the event. I also sought out several other fitness professionals for advice.
3) I found a local “adventure” facility with some of the same equipment as my event, including a warped wall and tilting monkey bars. They offer a class in obstacle course racing (OCR) and I attended that class last night. I got suggestions of the teacher who is an elite professional OCR competitor. Participating in that class last night confirmed my desire to complete this event. It was the hardest fitness class I have ever done and I am in no shape for this challenge, but I left feeling as empowered as ever. The instructor saw my limited abilities and had no concerns about my attempting this event. He confidently said I will get through it and afterward probably be in love with OCR. I have a feeling he is right. Time will tell.
I hope this post makes it clear that though I may have a flare for the dramatic, I see nothing entertaining or worthy about doing an event that will cause me injury. I am addressing safety as comprehensively as possible. I see this event as living on the edge, not falling off of it. If you have not read my article about this topic, check out The Edge. Hopefully it shows the value of an event like this for me.
To see my prior posts about this particular event, click here. I am not participating in this event to challenge my physical abilities. The challenging purpose for me is facing my fears. The OCR instructor agreed that the hardest part of the event is overcoming my mental limitations. That confirms I am exactly where I need to be. Stay tuned!
With safe adventures,