30th Birthday Challenge: "Just Remember, that's why they call it a challenge".
0300 came quite early, but wasn’t as painful as I imagined. I was actually out of bed by 0303. A quick shower and I was ready to start the showing of “Saving Private Ryan”, one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s actually tough trying to pick 3 favorite movies - it seems like I have favorites from each decade. Anyway, my brother Andy volunteered to complete as much of this challenge with me as he could, and I can’t believe he was actually up at 0300 with me. We were somehow able to stay awake for the whole movie, and had a lovely breakfast of black coffee and a dish that has become known as “The Cure” over the years because we really don’t know the actual name, and it seems like we usually serve it for breakfast after a hard night of drinking. It’s pretty easy, just some rice, black beans, onions, cilantro and bacon. It tastes unbelievable though, I highly recommend it. We also tackled some pushups, situps and pull-ups during the show.
“The Cure” and Coffee
After the movie we made our way out to the trail. Due to some technical difficulties, we ended up at the second choice for trails, but no matter. We basically took down 3 10k loops. By the 3rd loop it was getting hot, and somewhere along the way the phrase “just remember, that’s why they call it a challenge” was born. My brother had never run more than 10 miles in his life, so he bailed after the second loop (still quite impressive). We were OK after the run, just a bit stiff. The first album was knocked out during this time as well; Pearl Jam’s “Ten”.
A short ice bath and shower later, we were headed to the gym. It’s not really practical to do a ton of climbing in the middle of the day in central Texas (I’m pretty sure it hit 103F that day), so we had to resort to the gym. A bunch of my friends showed up to climb, and the first couple of hours was a ton of fun. A gigantic hold broke off while I was standing on it, almost killing the dude that was belaying me.
The gym manager “gave” it to me as a present, and everyone ended up signing it. After a couple of hours, I had only taken down 11 routes and eaten a bunch of pizza, and everyone was gone but me and Andy. 333 meters ends up being around 30 or so trips up the wall. I kept telling myself that at some point I would just go ahead and “crank out a bunch of them”. I didn’t want to be a complete wuss however, and I tried sticking to the hardest routes I could handle. My initial plan was no falls, but I ended up giving myself 3 so that I wouldn’t drop down on route difficulty. I did end up climbing a couple of extras thanks to this limitation. I also decided to add on 3 bouldering problems just for fun. For around the last 8 routes or so, my arms kept cramping up anytime I would bend them farther than 90 degrees. At first it was kind of silly and annoying, but then started getting pretty rough. I sucked down as much Gatorade as I could handle, but it just wasn’t doing it. The last couple of routes were pretty hairy.
Climbing ended up taking a lot longer than I expected, and we didn’t get back to the house until around 1730 or so. I decided to do the 2nd run with my wife only, as we rarely get to run without the kids. It was not as bad as expected, but certainly wasn’t the fastest run of my life.
The third and final meal was a giant burrito, which unfortunately was about a 40 minute drive away. We took down another album during that drive, Blink 182’s “The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show” (probably not on anyone’s list of the best of all time, but I like it…). The third album that was covered throughout the day is a little something we call “the white album”. It has nothing to do with the Beatles, but the fact that the blank CD we use has a white label. It’s basically a personal “greatest hits”, with all the great one hit wonders I love.
By the time we cleaned up and got the food, it was time to head to the Tattoo Studio. I met with the tattoo dude a half dozen times previously, and there had never been anyone in the place. But of course, when we go to get inked, there are a ton of people there. We ended up waiting forever, but finally got it done. I think the best part was hearing the tattoo guy tell me how he could have been an FBI sniper, or gone to college to be a Marine officer, and how his sister makes 180K in computers but used to be a stripper. It really completed the experience for me.
By the time we got back, it was around 2230, and we still had 3 each of my 3 favorite drinks, 100 or so pushups/situps, 3 tons of weights, 2 movies, and some ice cream sandwiches to eat. Yikes. So we proceeded to try and cover a few things simultaneously. Nothing like watching “The Matrix“ on a portable DVD player while drinking a Natural Light and pumping some iron!
Things were going pretty good until we broke out the Irish Car Bombs. After that, our efforts started deteriorating quickly. We tried to push past it with some more pushups and situps, but it just wasn’t happening. We even added some ice cream sandwiches, but things were falling apart.
Around 0100 or so, my colleagues bailed and headed for the sack. I was determined to continue, because hey, that’s why they call it a challenge. I also decided at some point that 30 pullups wasn’t enough, and that I’d be better off with 3 sets of 30. Yeah right. I put it “Army of Darkness” at about 0130 and poured myself a Blue Moon beer. Around 0300, 24 hours after starting, I gave in, seeing as how I had to take my daughter to her 1st day of school at 9am anyway. So the final tally was:
The irony is that I had the most difficulty with the drinks and the food. Oh well, there’s always next year, and hey, that’s why they call it a challenge! Thanks to Steve and birthdaychallenge.com for planting the ideas for such a great time!