Believing Is Seeing

Here’s the official video from Tough Mudder NorCal Tahoe.  Yes, I got electrocuted.  Willingly.  Twice.  (The Electric Eel is missing from the video though… )  More updates later.  Long weekend with a sick dog and a sick me.  In the meantime, are you tough enough?

HELL YEAH!

So Busy Right Now

I read somewhere the other day or week or minute ago, pretty sure it was a quote post on someone’s Facebook, “Stop the glorification of busy.”  Really, go back and read that again.  Here, I will write it again and add a word or two for emphasis:

Stop already with the f’ing glorification of busy.  

I want you to try and let it sink in, and feel a little disgust with busy.  Think about how busy controls you, how easily you let the phrases, “I’ve/we’ve/you’ve been so BUSY, sorry, I’m just SO SO SO BUSY!” slip out of your mouth, or through your fingers into emails and txts and that you have completely lost control of the meaning of busy because you’re so fucking busy telling everyone how busy you are.  I do it.  You do it.  We all do it.

I don’t think I want to enumerate the ways we all let our lives be consumed with tasks and stress, even to the point where planning a vacation is 100% stressful. (Oh wait, I have not taken more than seven days off in a row to relax and ‘vacate’ in close to 10 years.)  You can read about busy here, (it’s a NYTimes piece and is fantastic) as I did this past June, BUT then did nothing to change my patterns.  I am still equal parts busy and exhausted, stuck in a rut of believing that if only I can just get SO organized I will dominate my email inbox, my writing, my running, my social life, my hopes and my dreams.  Obviously being organized is important, but bouts of mad desk cleaning in between long stretches of inbox chaos are still not solving my problem of feeling beholden to busy-ness.  And bottom line, we all end up spending less quality time with the people we love because we are so damned busy doing whatever it is that keeps us so distracted and not getting enough sleep (that’s a big one for me…)

So here I am, the day before the Tough Mudder and nothing I have been drafting in notes has made it to posts from all the training I have been doing all summer.  Because you guys, I am busy.  And sorry, something had to give.  And you know what?  It was me.  Ugh.

I am excited for tomorrow and 12 miles and 27 obstacles of muck and mire, but I am more excited to perhaps have finally found some courage to look for a better way than just “be more organized!” to combat the busy trap.  I have totally coddled, enabled and now glorified Busy to the point where she is a screaming diva alcoholic toddler bridezilla spoiled starlet b-yotch from HELL and I am so OVER her. You should be over yours too.

I love a long summer shadow. Nothing busy here.

Goodbye, Epic Binge

It’s that time again.  Everything, not just the dusty casita, needs to be cleansed.

Here I am, in the middle of training for my third Tough Mudder and I just went on an epic 14-day too-much and too-little binge which included three and a half days of debauchery in Charleston, South Carolina.  (You have not been debauched if you have not eaten and drank to excess in the deep South; not even Vegas compares.)  It’s been too much caffeine, too little sleep, too much candy, too little veggies, too much bacon, too little quinoa, too much booze, too little water, too much laziness, too little exercise, too much TV, too little writing… it all boils down to no energy, no spark, dull skin and hard-to-button pants.  And yes, once my pants are compromised, I pay attention.  Vanity is a real bitch.

So today, with 35 days to go until Tough Mudder NorCal 2012, I am getting my cleanse on for a week or so, preparing the fridge for fruits and veggies, posting the blender in a prominent spot on the counter, and looking forward to some clean, bright, fresh eating and smoothie drinking.  I am also slightly worried about procrastination winning again and the crippling caffeine headaches, but I just have to let the worry be there, and then take a deep breath and a sip of a smoothie to calm it down.  I am going to try to incorporate more writing into the intended discipline here, as it’s all really connected and therapeutic.  And I miss it.

I did get some encouragement to stop the Epic Binge from a Tough Mudder quiz I took, found on their fantastic website.  After you look at the course map for what Mudtallica is facing, take the quiz for fun.  Here’s my results:

Mudder Muscles

Okay so I’m being a little dramatic with the above pic (taken at the end of last Thursday’s run) , but the light was low so I pixelated the shiz out of this for fun.  Also, BECAUSE MY MUSCLES WOKE UP FROM THEIR HAZY, DOTTY, SPECKLED AMNESIA!!  Just like Marlena on “Days of Our Lives” who had more bouts of amnesia and devil possessions that any other daytime leading lady in the history of soap operas, my muscles blinked a few times and remembered Roman.  Or John Black.  Or fake John Black.

Whatever, I’m feeling like a girl of 37!  And I love my muscles.

Tough Mudder Recap Teaser

Transition Time up in here.  I have been every kind of cliche about busy since late August: swamped, up to both ass and eyeballs, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, crawling across the finish lines of each day, etc.  I have actually been texting friends to ask if I texted them/voicemailed them/emailed them/snail mailed them because I CAN”T REMEMBER ANYTHING!  Transition Time this time is pretty much all welcome and exciting change that I created for myself, as opposed to Transition Time that is forced upon you and mainly reactionary.  That being said, I am nearing the end of my energy fueled by magic adrenaline, and now need to focus and balance and get back in front of the line.  It’s a much more inspiring view up there.

As a reminder mostly to myself that I intend to write a post about the Tough Mudder, here is the official video of the NorCal event from last weekend.  It was SO fun and SO beautiful up on the mountain and that beer tasted SO good at the end.  Here’s a sip.

TM Recapper: How Awesome???

How much fun was the Tough Mudder?!

Think of your funnest day ever, then put it at 8,000 feet above sea-level  and spray water cannons at it and make it a bluebird day and have about 3,000 athletic, ridiculously good-looking be-costumed guys and gals (and if you’re a gal, there’s way more guys, so BONUS FUN!) and add free beer too, and a lot of purchased beer later, and you have yourself a Top Ten Funnest Weekend of All Time.  Oh my holy stars did we have a blast!  (Except for one rolled ankle, the loss of three of everything – clothes, shoes, gloves, socks, and uniform shirts – and almost hitting a deer on the drive up.  But the generous amount of fun and constant laughter kept our attitudes soaring above pain or fear and hatred of thieves and/or over-zealous janitors.)

In the spring I proposed this crazy idea to a group of good friends, all of whom had had particularly rough patches ranging from financial insolvency to break-ups to life threatening illnesses in parents and scariest of all, kids.  The group that came together was smaller than we started with, but all were there in spirit, the four standing Mud Hunnies carrying the challenge for the rest.  This was one of those experiences where my intentions for the event and the outcome I envisioned were in perfect synchronicity.  I marveled at the absence of struggle over the logistical minutiae: food was bought, recipes planned, shirts designed and decorated, housing secured, the bigger car was available.  It all just fell into place!

Mud Hunnies 2010

So off we went to Bear Valley, the Land That Time Forgot, or perhaps, just the inspiration for the ski village in “Hot Tub Time Machine.”  To get to Bear Valley, we had to travel through Copperopolis (“I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel…”).  Yes, it is a real place, but seems like it might be inhabited by pod people who sell ice cream cones, lottery tickets, and expound on the copper mining history of their “town.”  We left peel-out marks for fear they’d start eating our brains, or worse, our totally rock-solid quads which we really needed for all the climbing in store.

The event itself was, in a word, hellacool.  (With the exception of Lost & Found, it was also very well organized: I asked a Forest Ranger what he thought and he said that in 30 years with the Forest Service he had never seen such a well-run event.  You go Tough Mudder!)  Once we got signed in and took turns writing our bib numbers on our foreheads in permanent black marker (we are so badass), we headed to the start area with our wave.  They spaced out the waves by 15 minute increments so that there would be less chance of back-ups at the obstacle stations.  After some opening ceremonies with the national anthem (yes, I CRIED), the Tough Mudder Pledge, some bagpipes (yes, I CRIED, those fuckers should be illegal, there is a direct line from the pipes’ wail to my tear ducts), handshakes and hugs, and lots of pump-you-up shouting, we were off!

Hike: Ascent 2 of 3

From then on, we were confronted with hills up and hills down, mostly very steep, and every ½ mile or so, another obstacle.  They ranged from belly crawling under wires to high-knees through tires, to climbing over giant charley-horses with the help of your team and others, to schelping a large piece of wood along a path, to being submerged in FAH-reezing cold water TWICE.  And some other muddy stuff too.  The hikes were the physically hardest of the course for sure.  My teammates all said afterwards, with full bellies and beers in hand, that the course was not nearly as challenging as they had expected.  I on the other hand kept having that perfection of synchronicity between intention, expectation and outcome.  The course was just as hard as I needed it to be and as fun if not funner (!) than I imagined.  And I imagined some seriously good fun!  We decided it was a most excellent social event and that we are coming back for more next year.

We were THE VERY LAST CAR to leave the parking lot that afternoon.  (Until we were the last to leave the bar back at the condo village that night.)

We are SO awesome.

Day 1: Bring Me The Discomfort

Yesterday was one of those shiny perfect San Francisco days:  bright autumn light, Giants in the playoffs and the Blue Angels roaring around the city for Fleet Week.  When I left the office, which lucky for me is right next door to the ballpark, orange and black clad baseball fans were filling the streets and the completely bitchen jets were flying loud and low over all of our upturned eyes.  When I got close to Embarcadero Center I smiled huge to see that they were flying a Giants flag at the very tippy-top!  And I don’t give a hoot about baseball!  I sent off a txt to several SF friends declaring my joy because it was too good not to share.

 

Teamwork.

 

Today is equally beautiful, and the Giants won last night.  Oh, and there were scores of men in uniform all along the Marina Green this morning and I was lucky I didn’t crash my car with all my gawking.  I am very predictable when it comes to congregations of hot military dudes, what with all my wide-eyed smiling and giggling.  They are just there doing their job, setting up for the air shows and flotilla watching, and I am having soldier flirting fantasies like I am a WWII nurse doing rounds on the base.

That pause only lasted so long, and then I realized, holy omg, tomorrow, for real, in real mud, elevation, weather, water hazards, walls, and yes…  fire, I will be the knee-deep in extreme discomfort as  the Mud Hunnies and I take on the course at the NorCal Tough Mudder in Bear Valley.  I am very excited and just like soaking up the good vibes of the gorgeousness of yesterday, I think this whole event will be a triumph because everyone is there to challenge some part of themselves so that they might overcome something else that has been going unfixed in the daily slog of life.  When I proposed this challenge to my friends I specifically pointed out that each one of us had already conquered some pretty harrowing circumstances and were in the midst of overcoming several more.  Each of us used sports and nature to provide a space for us to hear the answers we knew were inside of us, and then build the strength (physically and emotionally) to confront the obstacles, solve the problems, heal the pain, and find our laughter again.  I expect to be laughing a LOT tomorrow.

In a quiet moment this morning, pre-soldier leering, I picked some Angel Cards.  As usual (!), they were perfect for a little meditation on the Mudder and life, but my brain is pretty full to hit the whole “life” today at least.  I am positive I will work it out with my team tomorrow. Wooooo hoooooooooo!!!!

 

The Purpose Angel is climbing a mountain. She is a Mud Hunnie too.