Thursday, August 9, 2012

Birthday Challenge!

Getting ready for my Birthday Challenge where I get to suffer for fun!  I'll be 48, so here's what's on the list:

  • 24k run (half of 48k cause good golly, that distance is for people like the Lottridges . . . ), so a 15 mile run with Brad as my support. 
  • 48 routes to climb at Boulders. 
  • 48 times traversing around the pillar at Boulders. 
  • 4.8 minute plank hold. 
  • 48 push ups. 
  • 48 pull ups. 
  • 48 squats with the slosh pipe. 
  • Hold slosh pipe for 4.8 minutes. 
  • Blog for 48 days about something new I learned. 
  • Drink 4.8 white Sangrias. 

Last night as I watched the Olympic decathlon event, I was reminded of the time around early 2000 when I read about Alison Dunlap, at the time the worlds best female mountain biker.  Outside magazine published a picture of her after a major race labeling in detail all the bruises, aches, scrapes, and pain she experienced - mostly visible scars and serious owies.  I filed that image away because at the time, I had my first bout of long term elbow tendonitis from rock climbing.  I reluctantly took six months off from climbing, and I felt like that injury was completely debilitating.

That article about Alison and her wrecked body put me in check.   I could no longer describe my elbow pain as debilitating or even "painful" for that matter.  Instead, I took stock of my body and the fact that 99% of it was clearly working well, took one last look at Alison's featured owies, and decided that my capacity to be a bad-ass was within reach in spite of a hurt elbow.  I recovered well from the tendonitis and can't really recall an injury since then that has kept me from climbing or running or training for significant periods of time. 

So when I was watching the athletes compete in the decathlon, I considered the training and kinds of potential injuries those athletes might get and basically told my future self to suck it up.  I'm not injured now - admittedly a little under-motivated, but 100% healthy.  And not that I am anticipating or wishing my body into pain or debilitation from any of my athletic pursuits - I'm just sayin' that in my pursuit of fitness, there are so many athletes to look to for inspiration and strength during my low periods.

As I prepare mentally (just two days away - yikes!) for my annual Birthday Challenge, I'm relying on what I've been coached on, and practiced since I was a kid, then teen, then adult.  That is,

My body can do more than I think it can. 

My mind can push my body to its limit, and

What I can't train for today, I can do tomorrow.  

In my mind, I look at my Birthday Challenge as a microthlon - a mini variation of the decathlon I watched intently, topped off by the many athletes I know of, as friends and in the public world who inspire me to get out there and get it done.


  1. Though you and I don't see eye-to-eye on physical activities, I applaud your every endeavor and wish you the best on your challenge, which I'm sure you will breeze through with little or no problems. Love you!

  2. I'm reminded of this bit of wisdom from my 14 yr old son Phillip
    "YOLO - That is 'douchespeak' for Carpe Diem"

    Allez Vera!