Thursday, October 25, 2012

tough mudder

it was just about eight months ago that my older brother ken informed me that he was doing this thing called the "tough mudder" with some people from his work. i initially laughed at the idea - a twelve mile long obstacle course through mud, ice cold water, and the occasional electrically charged wire? never in a million years would i do such a thing. number one, i have never been a long distance runner. i played football - any running over a hundred yards was a flag for excessive celebration. long distance running equals pointless and boring. (that thought process is probably why i'm a good fifty pounds heavier than when i graduated high school, but anyways.) number two, i am a texan at heart - the only place for the words "ice cold" are in front of the words "root beer". cold and i do not go together well. and number three, i must sadly admit that i am an old man, far past my prime. as much as i love obstacle courses, my days of jumping over walls and getting electrocuted for fun should be over. all that being said, the more i thought about it, the more my excuses started to melt away.

first, i had eight months to get ready for this thing. plenty of time to get back in shape. if i ever wanted to lose some of these excess fifty pounds, i was going to have to force myself into working out. what better way than to sign up for a twelve mile run? secondly... well nothing was going to change my mind on the "ice cold" thing. cold stinks. but maybe if i dressed warm enough... and finally, if my brother (who is ten years my senior) was going to do this, how could i not? in addition to all that, us guys need the occasional crazy and stupid adventure. so with some gentle prodding from ken and my younger brother kyle, i said yes and the three of us signed up.

procrastination is a funny thing. it's amusing to look back at think how i had said, "i'll start training six months before the race", and how it quickly changed to "three months", and then, "i really only need a month of serious training." well to my credit, i did pretty good at training that last month, but i did only get myself up to three miles, not exactly comforting knowing i had to run four times that distance while doing obstacles as well. at least i finally got to use my cool nike plus running shoes which i had owned, unused, for the past five years or so.

the big day finally arrived, and of course, it was a "lovely", cold, rainy day. with fear and trepidation, ken, kyle and i made our way out to the course, the spot i was sure we would be calling our final resting place. :) we began the challenge and within a half mile we were facing our first two obstacles. first a crawl under some barbed wire through some nice, wet mud while being sprayed with a giant hose, and then a jump into a giant tub of ice cold water. now there were a lot of challenging obstacles that day, but that is the obstacle that i feared the most, and the obstacle that i, for a moment, thought i would die. my body absolutely locked up for a second and i feared they would need to drag me out of there. somehow i got out and continued on.

there was a total of twenty or so obstacles over the twelve mile course. some of the more memorable obstacles were the electric eel (an army crawl under barbed wire through mud and electric wires shocking you the whole way), the funky monkey (a set of monkey bars that sloped upward, then back downward, made harder because each rung was covered in mud from those who went before us - i made it half way before falling in the water - mad props to kyle for making it the whole way), walk the plank (a jump off a fifteen foot high ledge into a pool of water), everest (a giant quarter pipe we had to run up), and finally electroshock therapy (a sprint through a field of live wires, some of which carried a 10,000 volt shock). i have some good "before" pictures, but unfortunately no "after" pictures. (the company taking pictures charges $25 for one picture - ridiculous.)

i learned a lot that day. first, i really don't like the cold. really, really don't. second, a little training is a whole lot better than no training. while i may have only been doing a little running, ken and kyle didn't really do a thing to get ready for this, and sure enough, their bodies began to lock up on them near the end. all i could do was laugh and throw mud at them. that being said, i also learned that my brothers are studs. despite being completely unprepared for the long distance, they made it the entire way, something i still barely did even though i had trained a lot for it. that's heart folks. you can't teach that. i do love my brothers and am grateful for the bonding time. next time we just need dad, dan, hank, and justin out there with us. :)

i'm not actually in this video, but it's from our day and shows some of the obstacles we had to do. i think you can see ken's face in the back at one point (you can't really tell in the low quality video i got here, but check it out on youtube. it's at 1:53, in the mud in the background between the standing guy's arm - we were right behind the guy in the wheelchair on this obstacle, so i'm pretty sure that's ken :) ).

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Fun Family Home Evening

For Family Home Evening this last Monday we went to a corn maze near our home. We went a little earlier in the evening so it would still be light outside and we ended up being pretty much the only people there at that time so we had the place to ourselves! :) They had a little garden center set up with some small games for kids before you get to the corn maze. Claire loved doing the duck races and was sad when we wanted to move on. We ended up going back to the ducks a couple times that evening. :)

We wanted to let Claire do the tractor barrel ride and since we were the only ones there I got to ride it too! It was fun for Claire (and slow and too long for me), but it took Claire's mind of the ducks for a moment. :)

 Then we got to the corn maze. They had a fun little clue game thing for kids. We had to find these posts with different footprints on top and etched them onto our little papers to find out which animals were the criminals... it was interesting, but it gave us something to do inside the maze.

 We made it out and got our picture taken as ghosts. Everett was there too, but slept the whole time.
We saw the ducks one more time and then after buying Claire her own little duck we went home. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


some day, in the not so distant future, my kids will look at me and see the old and feeble man i will have become. i'll tell them stories about how once upon a time i was a pretty darn good football player. then they'll look at my huge gut and they will just laugh. so you'll have to forgive me for doing yet another football blog so i'll have something to show those darn rascals. i do try to limit these blogs to once a year.

now that we have a couple kids, amber can't make it to many games, but we got a baby sitter for everett so amber and claire could come to one game. there is nothing better than playing football and looking over and seeing your family there cheering you on.