an After abortion: Warrior Dash 2016, And Maybe Another $1,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital?

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Warrior Dash 2016, And Maybe Another $1,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital?

Yes, that's me jumping over the firepit and dogpaddling through a pond of mud.

The video of my 2014 Warrior Dash is here. I'm in what started out as a pink top. As embarrassing as some of the footage is, I post it in hopes that people will again donate to St.Jude Children's Hospital either through my 2016 St. Jude Warrior website or directly on their own (the blogger-post embed function is not working; if I can figure that out, I'll post the video here directly).

I wrote in this post almost two years ago about how I was going to attempt this 3-mile, 12- (wasn't it really 14?) obstacle race.

Not only did all my donors help me be one of the Top Ten Fundraisers for St. Jude's Children's Hospital in the state in 2014, raising over $1,040, you were my inspiration! I lost about 35 pounds that year to get ready. And I only needed help on a couple of obstacles: the MudMounds (you'll see it in our video above). Every toehold I got, I lost and slipped back into the mud! A guy behind me hoisted me up on his clasped hands then pushed me up by my butt, while two more guys above me grabbed my hands and one of my coworkers grabbed one of THEIR waists and pulled back on him to keep him from falling down into the pit with me! My legs were like rubber at that point, so essentially four guys hoisted me the 10 feet up and over that last mound!

The trail mudpits in the video, I sank in to mid-thigh in some spots. Another coworker thankfully came back for me, to pull me out. I'd be stuck there still if not for him. Another guy lost both his shoes in it!

The one I was afraid I'd fall and break an ankle on, the GIANT CLIFFHANGER (cue the video), I aced! Pulled myself up by the rope, stepping up like climbing a slanted rockface, only it was slippery, muddy, flat wood. I got within 3 feet of the peak, and my left foot slipped! I regained balance, knocked some mud off my sneaker, babystepped it to within 1 and a half feet, then planted my left foot on the peak and my right foot held! Shifted my weight to my left foot and sat on the peak, and the rush of adrenaline was truly amazing.

Of course, that was right after the other guy we happened to catch on our video just ran at top speed right up the face of the thing to the crest, then raised his arms in victory. No ropes, no dilly-dallying. Show-off.

I did take a header in the woods earlier though: one of the few times I was able to actually jog, my right foot caught a tree root. It was like a slow-mo Three Stooges pratfall, still running, then falling to my knees, then sliding about 5 feet on elbows and belly! I was very lucky: hit no rocks or trees with my head. Just a few scrapes on the shin that I didn't even feel till it was all over. Adrenaline will do that to you, I guess!

Covered from chin to toe in mud from the last obstacle, Muddy Mayhem, but exhilarated! A coworker had tipped me off on that one: if your feet started sticking in the deep mud under the water **beneath** the barbed wire, rather than risking falling into the barbed wire, just belly-float on the water, using your hands to pull you along the bottom, legs behind you. That's how I got the mud beard.

And for raising at least $300 for St. Jude, you get the only hot, private showers and free food and Gatorade, and no long lines at bag check. Everyone gets a free ShockTop beer, and the medal they gave us all at the finish line, has its own built-in beer-bottle opener!... Could this get any more awesome?

Although I thought I rinsed off by dunking in the ice-cold pond before the hot shower, there were still **handfuls** of mud inside my clothes!? White underwear was B-L-A-C-K. I never saw or stepped through so much black mud in my entire life! It was like being a kid again!

Highly recommend it, and raise the $300 for St. Jude, if you do it. I got all my coworkers thinking they'll do it too, for the free food and hot shower!

It was absolutely one of the most empowering things I have ever done. Both the race, and the fundraising.

I didn't do the Dash in 2015 because they held it in mid-October and I was not going to jump in a lake or swim through mud at that time of year in the Northeast! I wish I had, though, because it turned out they didn't jump in the lake, and I gained #$%&@! weight back, not all of it, but now I have to lose it again to get ready, again, #$%&@!.

But now, here's hoping we can contribute again for the kids at St. Jude. Remember:

www.warrior.stjude.org/annbanno2016

and MAY 7 is the race.

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