Now I know what FOMO feels like. A week ago today I pulled a muscle in my side while attempting to loosen some tire lug nuts. The unknown guy with the air wrench won that battle. In addition to the pull, I also bruised my heel a little bit stomping on the iron. I eventually won the battle over the five lugs, but lost the war in staying injury free this season. So while two of my sons cranked out some amazing performances at Goliathon XII Try the Obstacles Day (TTOD), I was sidelined, missed out on some key training just two week before my next big race (Spartan Stadion at CBP). Despite my situation, my afternoon was filled with proud papa moments.
At first I didn’t want to go. I was hurt. But #3 son wanted to go because Goliathon XI TTOD earlier this year was his first experience with OCR. He was hooked and there was no way he was going to miss this event. Then he got the idea to invite #1 son to go too. I’ve trained both of them at home this year for upper body and obstacles. In addition to that, #3 son has trained us both to run so he gets experience in his college major for exercise science. So the little family unit decided to do this thing together. I was the photographer and sideline trainer. My boys took it from there.
This time, the course had six obstacles open and ready for about a hundred participants. Most of the regulars were there from both the volunteer and participant sides. After registration ($25 if not already registered for Goliathon XII, $15 if pre-registered), a volunteer warmed up the group for about 15 minutes with stretches and dynamics. Then we broke up into six groups and headed to the obstacles.
We started at Balancing Act. This one is not too tough when it’s your first obstacle. But after a full day on the course, when you’re tired and maybe a little wobbly, this one can knock you out. You’ll recall from my previous coverage of this event that each obstacle is tiered. Green is easiest. Orange is intermediate. Blue is hardest. Blue is so hard in fact that of the tens of thousands of participants over the years, the number of those who have successfully completed all of the blue beasts is still less than twenty.
At Goliathon XI, #3 son fell just short of his goal of 30 points. At TTOD this time, he got a few huge confidence boosters. They started at the next obstacle, Arachnophobia. He got beat on this one last time. It was a brand-new obstacle that included a slack line traverse. This time he figured it out – slowly. But his older brother flew across it on his first try. He was a natural. I was shocked. I knew we worked hard on his core all year. I just didn’t realize how well it would pay off.
Our next station was Hangman. This one tore up #1’s hands a bit so I got him some gloves out of my toybox. That helped and he was able to traverse the boards after a little coaching from me. Then it was off to Ninja Killer. This one took out both my boys. But they both worked really hard and almost made it to the end of the rings.
That’s the great part about TTOD. At each obstacle you get as many tries as you want. You can try any and all tiers of difficulty. There’s plenty of coaching available from volunteers and other athletes. What other race is there where you can do this before the event? It’s actually against the rules in Spartan.
Next we headed to my nemesis, the warped wall they call Over the Moon. My #1 son never saw such a beast before. So I started him on the green wall and suggested he do his best and then grab the rope. Which he did. He came back down and then I told him to give the orange wall a shot. Which he did. No problem. I did not see that coming. Meanwhile, his younger brother prepped for his assault of the blue wall. Which he did. I was bummed because I did not get pictures of the moments. So I climbed up to the top of the obstacle to get a better angle on their next attempts. Unknown to me, #3 told #1 to try the blue wall. Which he did. No problem. I almost fainted over the edge. To say they got a confidence boost literally over the moon was an understatement. To me, it was outta this universe.
We walked to the last obstacle of the day – Slippery Wall Monkey. #3 went first and struggled on the orange lane while #1 had no problem with the green lane. Then he watched his younger brother’s failures and suddenly his confidence dropped to about zero. But he tried it anyway and got soaked.
Both my boys went home sopping wet but still pumped up from the day. I was sad I missed out on the physical experience but thrilled that my boys totally exceeded my and their expectations. We’ll be back on October 5 for Goliathon XII.