A couple of weekends ago, I did the Warrior Dash (aka the Dash) held in Louisville, Nebraska. It’s a deceptively mild looking course, but we all know that pictures can be deceiving. It was.
The dash was 3.3 miles (about 5K) through some rough terrain, up and down terraces, through some woods, up and down some very steep slopes, and not to mention the 92 degree heat beating down on us. That doesn’t include the obstacles. Oh yes, there were obstacles. 12 of them to be exact. These obstacles ranged from jumping over 4′ tall walls, crawling under barbed wire fence, scaling walls with ropes, jumping over open fire, and crawling through some of the slickest mud I’ve ever encountered. You can check on the link above to see some of the obstacles. You get the idea though.
Anyway, as my wife and I were at the back of the pack walking (we weren’t there to set speed records, just to finish) I had some quiet time as we huffed and puffed our way up the hills. In the midst’s of this quiet time, I had some things come to mind that applied to just about anybody and I thought that I’d share.
There’s a Warrior In All of Us
When I was first told about the dash, I thought “Hey, it can’t be that hard. I can do it”. As we came closer and closer to the day of the event, I started to get cold feet. I didn’t want to face the heat or the hard work, but I had committed to it and darn it, I was going to do it. However, as we started up the first of several hills, I had even more second thoughts that maybe I just just bitten off more than I could chew. But I continued to trudge on.
Well, see the Dash isn’t about physical toughness, it’s about mental toughness. The Dash is designed to challenge you physically, but even more your ability to push through your mental road blocks of “I can’t do this” or “This is too hard” and finish it what you started. It continued to throw things in your way to derail your from your objective, the finish line. It was designed to tempt you with an easy way around the obstacles but it’s the true Warrior that at least attempts them and not takes the easy way around.
In life, there are always obstacles in our way. No money, no time, too much work, not enough work and the list could go on and on. Does this sound familiar to you? The point of it is that you have to find ways around your obstacles and push through them. Set a goal and stick with it! My goal for the Dash was to not set a speed record but to 1) finish the race and 2) do as many obstacles as possible. I’m happy that I did finish and I did 11 out of the 12 obstacles.
So with that, there are some obstacles in my way that I’m going to push through and get them done. It might take me a while, but it’ll happen. And here are some in no particular order:
- Finish my SQL Server 2008 Certification track. I’ve been putting this off for various reasons, but one of them is the fear of failing. But no more. I’m going to get signed up for the tests, study for them and if I fail, then take them again. There is no fear in failing! I’ve already schedule my next exam.
- Finish projects around the house that I started but never finished. Yup, I’ve got projects that never got down because of whatever obstacle was in my way (money, time, commitment, pick one). Well, I’ve started a list of things that I need to wrap up.
- Learn how to say no. I’m always that guy that will help at the drop of a hat. It’s me, what can I say. But this puts a very large “time” obstacle in my way. I’m getting better at this, but it’s still one that I want to focus on. Learning how to say “No” is a tough thing to do.
I could probably go on and on with items that I need to take care of. My list seems to be changing just about every day, but I’m going to start to document things and slowly work through them.
The second thing that came to mind was about Teamwork. You see, my wife and I signed up for the Dash as 1) a challenge to accomplish and 2) to do something together. When we started the dash together, we had different speeds in which we walked/ran. I’m 6’3′ and she’s 5’2. That’s to be expected.
In the first mile, she told me to go ahead and she would follow behind. I told her “No, this was something that we set out to accomplish together and we would finish it together, one way or another.” I refused to leave her behind and told her that. Did I want to go faster to try to push myself? You bet. However, the success of our little team as a whole was much more important to me than my individual score, so I acted accordingly. So, for the next hour or so, we walked the course together. Helping each other when need through the obstacles and pushing each other to finish the race. If I had left her behind, I wouldn’t have gotten that push, that encouragement from her and I’m not sure that I would have accomplished my goals. Note: About 50 feet from the finish, she hurt her knee jumping over a row of fire and had to be taken to the medic tent. She told me to finish and so I did, although I went straight from the mud pits to the medic tent. I don’t think they appreciated that!
Anyway, being a part of team means that you sometimes forgo your own personal objectives for the betterment of the team. A true warrior recognizes not only his strengths but his weaknesses. Being apart of a team is a very powerful tool if you know how to use it and will help you to promote your strengths as well as shore up your weaknesses. Take a moment to look around you and see what “team” potential you might be apart of. You might be surprised as to what you find.
Be A Warrior
So I challenge you to be your own Warrior. Whether that’s a warrior for your work, your family, or for just you, be a warrior. Recognize your obstacles and find ways around them. Recognize your teammates and use them when you need to and be there for them when they find their inner Warrior. Support them as they do you. I assure you that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to. Don’t be afraid of failure as that’s going to happen. Accept it, learn from your mistakes and move on.
Oh yea, and don’t be afraid to get a little dirty. A little dirt never hurt anybody. At least I don’t think so.