As many of you may have realised by now, I love a good challenge. I don’t always achieve the challenges I set for myself (I was supposed to give up social media stalking for Lent… never happened), but I always try and push myself as I’m naturally a very competitive person. That’s why, when in mid-February this year my friend Nicola asked me to join her team for the Yorkshire Warrior, I’d agreed before I even knew what I was letting myself in for- just to say I had completed a sports event, which was one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2015.
The Yorkshire Warrior is a ten of five mile assault course, with around 35 hard obstacles. I, of course, got roped into running the 10 mile course. In hindsight, this was incredibly stupid: when I initially agreed to join the team, I had both a foot and a hip injury; and although I’m relatively strong (both physically and mentally), I hate running long distances. Actually, I don’t hate it, I’m just not very fast and get out of breath easily! However, Nicola assured me we’d all stay together, and (thankfully) she’s a woman of her word.
On the 18th of April 2015, it was time for the race, and I was honestly more excited than I was nervous. Although I was the youngest in the team, everyone was so friendly and lighthearted that I felt like I’d known them all for years (previous to the event, I had only known Nicola and her brother). We set off, running deep into the Yorkshire countryside, over hay bales, fences, fire- plus a lot of mud! About 6 miles in I started getting blisters on the bottom of my feet, which were horrendous to run with, but I persevered… Although, if one more steward had said ‘you’re nearly there, just three more miles’ ONE MORE TIME I think I would’ve punched them.
The highlight of the course came when we got to a rope climb: this was probably the most nerve-wracking obstacle for me, as there was a high queue behind you because only five people could go up at a time. The technique was to lean back and walk up a practically vertical slope, whilst hauling yourself up by a rope. As there were loads of mud/water orientated obstacles beforehand, the slope was incredibly slippy, and we’d seen quite a few nasty falls. However, when I finally made it to the top (calling the rope a ‘bastard’ seemed to help), I looked down on what I’d just done with tears in my eyes- I felt so proud and elated with myself, for not only achieving that obstacle, but for having the guts to take on a course I’d done little training for, when only last year I’d despised exercise.
The end of the course came, and I treated myself to a mucky burger and several slices of rum cake, before getting hammered with the rest of the team on the coach home. I’m so grateful to be so close to amazing women like Nicola- she’s 40 this year, and yet looks about 25! She’s determined and straight-talking, but just oozes kindness- If i’m as fit as her at that age, I’ll be more than happy! It just goes to show that spur of the moment ‘yes’es and taking risks really do pay off when you look back at how much you and your body have achieved. I’ve since signed up for the Major Series even in October- tell me I’m not crazy, PLEASE?!