Gettin’ your fun in, your mud on, and your inner warrior out!
Ever crave a reprieve from the routine? A short cessation from all the social niceties? Temporary amnesty from the thralldom to our smart phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, automobiles, jetliners and all the rest of the dizzying and ubiquitous array of machines and gadgets that save us time, maximize our productivity and make us universally available to anyone that might call us, e-mail us, text us, IM us, tweet us, like us and dislike us?
Let’s face it. If you’re like me, sometimes a high quality of life diminishes your general well being and you just gotta romp around on your own two feet, communicate the old-fashioned way (“hoot” and “holler,” as we term it where I’m from) and get downright dirty as a pig.
Your ship has come in. And it’s of the Viking variety.
Fortunately, there’s an organized way in which to attain such a degree of disarray. It’s called The Warrior Dash and it’s just what the medicine man ordered for running wild through nature, slogging through mud up to your chin, jumping through fire, smearing paint on your face à la William Wallace and tearing roasted meat from the bone with no other utensil than the ones growing out of your gums. And if you want to do all this alongside hundreds and perhaps thousands of other responsible citizens turned noble savages for the day, then your (Viking) ship has arrived!
Mud. It’s life stripped down to the basics.
The Warrior Dash is an extreme 5K running race strewn with obstacles such as scaling walls with rope, crawling through mud pits with barbed wire strung overhead, maneuvering over cargo nets, stampeding over wrecked cars and leaping over fire. Lest you think The Warrior Dash is only for hardcore fitness and military types, realize that half the fun of it is the outrageous costumes of the participants—which are not only highly encouraged but rewarded with prizes—and the food (gigantic turkey legs and steins of beer are a mainstay and, frankly, just what a famished, post-race beserker desires) and live entertainment that await just beyond the very, very, very muddy finish line. If you are that hardcore type, you can line up at the head of your wave and, well, dash from obstacle to obstacle. But if you’re not, you’re entirely entitled to dawdle. There are plenty of folks jogging and walking between obstacles.
An observation regarding mud from someone fast becoming a connoisseur of it. As my buddy Matt who ran it with me (we met at the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program—“nerd camp” as we refer to it—well over half our lifetimes ago) said, “There’s nothing more fun than getting doused in mud from head to toe. A person really needs to do this at least once a year.” By the way, this was Matt’s third Warrior Dash in the last few weeks.
Recharge. Rescrub. Repeat.
This past weekend, three ENAers—Chief Technology Officer Bob Collie, Director of Engineering Jay Power and myself, Communications Manager Chad Truelove—completed the Warrior Dash in Manchester, TN, at Great Stage Park (best known as the home of the annual Bonnaroo music festival) and the three of us couldn’t be better recharged and rejuvenated for a week of being incredibly productive and universally available at the office. On a side note, I have showered three times since Saturday afternoon (the time of this writing being Monday), scouring myself with soap, and my ankles are apparently dyed a light shade of red from the mud. That might sound kind of gross to you. I think it sounds pretty cool.
Blitzkrieg is the zeitgeist
If you happen to be thinking that there’s not some inner warrior deep down inside you aching to sound its barbaric yawp from atop an obstacle—or that the general psyche of our modern, cubicled, traffic-snarled masses isn’t yearning to breathe free—then consider this. The Warrior Dash started in 2009 with a single race in Joliet, Illinois, that had 2,000 participants. This year, 65 Warrior Dashes are scheduled across the U.S. and overseas, with turnout expected to exceed 1,000,000! Moreover, the Warrior Dash is just one of a number of “mud runs”—Muddy Buddy, The Spartan Race and Tough Mudder are three others—that have been created and become quite popular in the last few years. (There’s also the GoRuck Challenge, which ENA Customer Service Engineer Mike Yoders—a.k.a. The Toughest Man Chad Knows—did last year, but the very idea of this crazed endeavor perniciously devised by Navy Seals strikes such fear in my heart that my trembling fingers can hardly type. Read the insanity.)
Ah, yes, I suspect there’s a warrior lurking within you—or, at the very least, an inner child that wants to get muddy. Let it out.
If you’ve ever done a Warrior Dash, or just have some great photos of getting your run and/or your mud on, send your photos to us!