WHAT I GAINED BY BEING A WARRIOR 

Recently I completed the warrior dash race.  (That’s me in the middle, Siraya to the right and Deanna to the left) The warrior dash is a 3.2 mile run that is filled with 12 obstacles including, but not limited to, swimming across a small lake, running through fire and climbing through the mud under barbed wire. If you notice our fabulous appearance that is the result.

So why, on a perfectly fine spring day, would three normally fairly sane people do such a thing? The reasons vary and the best I can do is to give you some of mine.

When I first heard of the Warrior dash it hinted at adventure. The kind one cannot find by simply strolling through the park on a sunny day. The inner child in me was jumping up and down raising both hands screaming “pick me! Pick me!” It was that same voice that got me scolded for coming in with muddy and ripped clothes from some ill-planned adventure. As an adult there are very few opportunities to pursue such experiences. Although if my mother saw me I am sure she would not be happy about my clothes. So, allowing the adventure craving inner child to have some fun was one reason to do this.

Then there was the test of physical endurance. In our typical 9 to 5 world there exists very few opportunities to use the body for what it was designed for, and that is to move and utilize our muscles. Being able to see where I stand as a 41 year old man certainly was it’s own adventure. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with how my body reacted.

Knowing I was about to test my physical stamina brought us to the next reason for signing up for this adventure. When the day finally came I wanted to not be disappointed in myself for the way I performed. Keeping this in mind got my sleepy butt out of my warm bed and to the gym on more cold days than not. When I felt like I could not do one more rep or run one more step I thought about looking old and out of shape on the course and managed to push on. Knowing if I skipped a day at the gym that would be one less chance to prepare that I could never get back. Having this end goal in mind helped motivate me on a daily basis.

Another important reason for me doing this is to be a good example. Telling folks they can chase a goal and achieve it is one thing. Doing the same yourself and setting the example is quite another. I employed many of the tools I teach on this very sight to stay focused and motivated. ‘Walking the walk’ in my opinion, is part of being a true warrior.

All of the above reasons were very good and did keep me motivated to continue, but all of these reasons combined were not as powerful as this last one. All the proceeds of this test of endurance benefit St. Jude children’s hospital. Knowing there are so many children born without the basic abilities you and I take for granted made me put my heart into doing this. Knowing all the funds from myself and all my fellow warriors would benefit children and their families facing challenges I can barely appreciate made me feel like a winner before I even began. One finds it very difficult to complain when running through ankle deep mud, when you know it benefits children who may not even have legs to walk on. Using our strength, our endurance and of course our entrance fee to benefit these disadvantaged children and their families that share the struggle with them is what made me truly feel like a warrior.

Each step tested our mental, emotional and physical endurance, but knowing each step helped children and their families pushed us further than we could normally go. In this spirit, everyone we met on the course was so friendly and so helpful. To see such a large group of people pushing themselves so hard for such a great cause gives a warmth and fire to the heart. With that thought in mind I tip my fuzzy hat with horns on it to not only my two fellow warriors who stuck with me the whole way, but to each and every warrior who fought their own physical limits to help children who face far to many. Next year will I not only do this again, but I plan on raising even more money for St. Jude. I hope to see even more of you on the course!

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