Someone said I
shouldn’t try my designated #40 climb before the actual day of my
Birthday Challenge. But
an 11d is hard for me and I wanted to focus on something, anything
wanted a priority and I wanted to feel success.
I set out to do a Birthday Challenge because I was inspired
by the motto, “Live your life.” As I designed my challenge, I
was reminded that it should involve some elements of pain, but
mostly, it should be fun!
I spent 3 days in
July working the climb, each time learning something new.
It was great relief when finally, after getting all of the
moves down, redpointed it the Tuesday before my challenge.
The pressure was off and although I wanted to do well in each
event, I was particularly invested in the climb.
was a perfect day for climbing, running, pushing and pulling.
I woke early enough for Brad and I to stop for lattes and Red
Bulls on our way to Devil’s Lake.
I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen, but I was
pretty confident that given at least two tries, I would send the
climb again. And I did!
First go, I was there.
above: vera at the
summit, then sending the climb
below: running and
various samples of chamorro (guam) cuisine.
We rushed down to
Madison so I could meet my two running partners:
Cricket and Geri (my sister).
I admit that I was nervous about the 20K.
I would have to run 12.4 miles in mediocre condition because
I hadn’t put in near enough miles to at least do this run in
style. My plan was to run the regular arboretum loop, add in a loop
on the trails, and finish up along Monona Bay.
Geri and I started from my place and headed towards the
arboretum. I felt
it was my duty to remind her that I’m a slow
runner, and once we
met up with Cricket, I emphatically reminded both of them – once
again, that I run slow.
Cricket set a
good pace – one I mostly could keep up with without too much
discomfort. We finished
in 2:30, a satisfactory
time for me given my condition.
I was most surprised by the run and more importantly, by what
I was learning about myself throughout the challenge.
Having not sufficiently trained, I felt like if I could do a
12.4 mile run somewhat “off the couch” and complete it feeling
good, that I could really improve my performance with some focused
|Next were the push-ups
and pull-ups. I
didn’t get to them until the end of the evening.
My dad cooked a spread of delicious Chamorro food (red rice,
chicken adobo, lumpia, eskabeche, fine dene, pancit, marinated
cabbage . . . ) and before I knew it, people were arriving for the
party. The evening wore
on and it was Lisa Scheibersdorf who kept me on task.
While everyone ate and socialized, we snuck out so I could
pull the first two sets of the pull-ups.
After the first set of ten, I dropped to the floor to do my
push ups. Typically, 40
push ups are not a challenge for me, but I hadn’t ever done them
immediately after a set of 10 pull ups, so I was fatigued by the 36th
push up. I hiccupped
and then rushed through the final 4.
After a break for
food and drink, a small audience joined me for the final two sets of
pull-ups. At this
point, I was pretty much done with everything except for the 4
Seabreezes and the 400 crunches.
Okay, no excuses . . . but, I have one.
My daughter, Misa, was a little freaked out by all of the
people and required what seemed like 100% of my attention.
I only got to one of the Seabreezes and decided to put off my
sit-ups and complete them the following day, which I did.
Birthdays have never been a huge deal for me, but this one
was. It wasn’t just
because I turned 40. I
think it had more to do with my personal life changes, my family and
their interest in me, and because it was really cool to feel like a
“bad-ass”. If I
learned anything throughout this challenge, it’s that the motto,
“Live Your Life,” is not abstract . . . you have to do it and
you have to do it every day.