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Warrior Dash Was First Hurdle In Personal Obstacle Course

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Good afternoon on this August Tuesday everyone.  The Warrior Dash was this last weekend and it was a fun race.  The race was the only thing fun about the day.  It rained the entire morning and really made the course extra muddy.  It was hard to run in areas that made sense to run in.  Did you understand that?  In other words, the expected dry areas to run on were now just sloppy and dangerous.  Many people were sliding and slowing down.  Some were complaining about how their time would be affected.  Others did not care.

Import 2My heat began at 1 PM.  My wife and I were thankful were had donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and have access to the VIP tent to stay out of the rain.  That was a highlight.  Able to wait it out the rain and remain dry majority of the time.  Also a few private port-a-potty‘s.  Even though I was prepared, I was still emptying my bladder every 15 minutes.  Nerves will never go away.  The same thing would happen in wrestling before going through the curtain.  Go to the bathroom a few times and then it was showtime.

There was even a wait to get on a few obstacles.  One obstacle in particular where one had to crawl under barbed wire had a good 5-7 minute wait just to start it.  Thankfully the rain stopped right before the start of my heat.  Even with that blessing from above the course was treacherous at points.  I may not be the best conditioned athlete, but certain points I know I could have been running at if it was not so muddy.  When I start a physical activity, I like to finish as hard as I start the event.  The mud detracted from that as caution and safety took over.

I think I was the only one to finish the race with no mud on their chest, head, and face.  I wear contact lenses for a race like this.  I also wear swimming goggles to protect my eyes in a race like this.  I received compliments on my use of swimming goggles.  Some wore tutu’s, other team’s matching shirts, and others barely anything at all, I wore swimming goggles.  If I could have any of these courses mud free, I would.  There are many like myself who would love a course with nothing but obstacles & less distance running, without having to join the military.

The distance running in majority of these mud runs is a necessary evil.  At least cut back on the mud.  There is no need for it to be waist deep.  I would love to see more challenging obstacles in the typical Warrior Dash without having to sign up for an Iron Warrior Dash or Urban Warrior Dash.  Some of these groups offer more than one kind of run.  The Spartan Race and Tough Mudder do the same as well.  There is even a kids Spartan Race.  I think that is a great event for kids.  I plan on tackling the courses for the Spartan Race and Rugged Maniac in the future.  I know I will need to work on my stamina and do the necessary cardio.

Import 1One of the best personal reasons for me to do this race is to complete a personal challenge.  I have run this race two years in a row with no teammates and I savor the sense of self accomplishment in finishing a race of this kind.  Where teammates are helping each other on each obstacle, I tackle them alone.  The feeling of no limitations on my personal self increases the light on the person I have kept down for years.

Myself.

I have always played it careful when it has come to letting my true self shine.  Years of bullying bullied suppressed the person I know I can be.  Fearful of others opinions without even considering my own.  Not putting me before the comments that were being made of me.  I am not just talking about physical bullying, but verbal as well.  There were some girls in middle & high school that would also be verbal bully’s.  Verbal bullying went on for me well into college.  I can remember working at a company in college where my peers would make me feel small from it.

There are times certain incidents will pop into my head.  I never let them take control of me or my confidence these days.  I use it to be more determined to succeed.  Another step in that direction is to go all out, not caring about what anyone thinks.  As Nike says, to just do it.  I keep preaching about leaving that proverbial comfort zone.  It is time for me to take my own advice and be comfortable in my own skin.  To be the opinionated, sarcastic, wise ass that everyone knows me to be.  Not in a bad way though.  It is just my personality and who I am.

Camera Roll-250In the movie Tombstone, Val Kilmer is Doc Holiday and Kurt Russell is Wyatt Earp.  Doc Holiday passes a comment regarding Wyatt Earp’s wife.  Wyatt Earp chuckles while his brother Morgan, played by Bill Paxton, took offense to the comment.  Wyatt tells Morgan that Doc meant no harm by the comment, that it is just his style and he doesn’t mean anything.  The same goes for me.  I never mean any harm from the comments or jokes I may pass, it is just my nature and who I am.  I only poke fun at the people I like.  I never mean any disrespect.  My sarcastic, wise ass humor has always worked with my quick wit and intelligence.  It is just who I am.

I have been standing alongside the highway of life, holding my thumb out, hoping to hitch a ride with someone instead of taking the chance to drive that road myself.  It is about time I did.  I have had control of the wheel many times.  I just never mapped out my own course.  I seemed to rely on others for that.  No more.  Time to put myself out there and not worry about failing or criticism.  I have learned from other failures in life, why should it stop me now?  Everyone needs to experience the failure as much as success.  If you never learn from your failures or mistakes, then you will be doomed to repeat them.  I have had my fair share of mistakes and failures, believe me.

On my YouTube channel I will be starting a weekly video blog.  I may decide to post more than weekly if the desire and enough topics come up that warrant it.  I have a strange feeling it will on occasion.  Many issues about current events, the New York Jets, my past, my future, other projects, random opinions, being bullied, and plenty of other topics that require more commas.  Sometimes writing is not enough as certain emotions and body language make video a better form of self expression.

I do not want to ramble on, cramming topics that have no relation to each other into one post.  Your mind would be over the place more than a Jack Russell Terrier.  Which means I will have to come back more often to update everyone.  Sounds good here.  I enjoy saying what everyone else thinks.  Making statements and passing comments that make others gasp, but know those comments are true.  If you are not a fan of that, sarcasm, and comments that “straddle the line”, then you may want to read another blog.  If you are one who enjoys that kind of wit and banter, then I encourage you to keep coming back to enjoy yourself while having a few laughs.

Time to get some other items done.  Will be moving in a few weeks so time is spent packing and tossing out items that have been sitting in closets for over 10 years.  Many bags of clothes and other items have already been donated to Goodwill.  Still a ton more to go through.  I will have my first vlog up next week.  It will be raw with no graphics or effects, but no sense in waiting considering I have waited long enough.  See you all soon, on here and on YouTube.

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Overcoming Obstacles Before The Warrior Dash

For a few days now I have been pondering what to type up next.  Not much Jets news besides Wilkerson’s crash and the usual Sanchez/Tebow drama.  Training camp begins soon.  I assume the drama will start up soon.

I am not going to be working on my Jets documentary forever.  It led to me covering the fans and giving them their chance to shine when no one else really does.  Not just on video but in print.  But there  is more going on to talk about than just the New York Jets and it is time I branched out and started to write about many other topics.

Let’s face it, diversity is key.  Need some variety here.  The Bakery is getting stale with the same old topics.  It needs to be freshened up with some new topics and coverage.  And maybe some more about myself, what I am doing, and what I have been through.

What better way to start than to talk about my foray into the Warrior Dash this Saturday.

What is the Warrior Dash you ask?  Check their website at Warrior Dash.  I can not be bothered talking about it so find out for yourself.

Just kidding.

The Warrior Dash, the World’s Largest Running Series,  is a 3.20 mile long course made up of 14 “hellish” obstacles.  They take place on off terrain paths, in water, over walls, in mud, over fire, and many other obstacles.  There are 45+ races in the United States every year and also Australia.

Some of the obstacles change from course to course, depending on the environment.  This is the first time Warrior Dash is in New Jersey.  It is being held at Lewis Morris County Park in Morristown, NJ and this is my first time running in this event.

Even the walking I would do filming at a Jets game is not enough cardio for an event like this.  I would begin by parking at the Sheraton on the other side of Route 3.  Then with some maneuvering, use a NJ Turnpike exit bridge to the stadium to cross the highway.  Then  walk from one end of MetLife Stadium parking to the other side, and back again.  Even over to the Izod Center and everywhere in between.

I have been training for this since March considering I have not been in a gym for about six years.  So I knew I had to dedicate time and energy to make sure I could at least finish the event.  The Warrior Dash website does outline certain training routines for different skill sets.  I am glad I trained beyond what they recommend.

The event begins at 9 AM.  The first 500 warriors will line up for their dash through hell.  Then in 30 minute intervals, waves of 500 Warriors will line up for their opportunity.  I line up for my chance at 1:30 PM.

You can track my start of the event and when I finish on Facebook or Twitter.  Pictures will also be posted by Warrior Dash’s in house photographers as well as race day updates by myself.

As I write this my mother sends me an e-mail saying she just read what the Warrior Dash involves.  Then she asked if I was crazy.

I responded yes.

The race does involve and obstacle where one has to jump over a wall of flame.  It is just a line of Duraflame logs.  To get an more in depth review of Warrior Dash and other running series like Spartan Run, Rebel Race, Tough Mudder, and others go to Travelete.com.

I bring that up because some obstacles seem worse than they sound.  They do not want it to be impossible where only few finish.  That is the Tough Mudder, (recognize my sarcasm yet?).

If there is someone struggling, others have been know to provide assistance on the course.  Many do act like sportsmen and want to see others overcome and finish.  You can sign up as a group  as well and run with your friends.

To me, the Warrior Dash is just another physical activity I enjoy putting my body through.  I know a few may not like to hear that, but I enjoy doing extreme activities.  I wrestled professionally for about 13 years (mostly on weekends), bungee jumped, went to Mountain Creek when it was Action (Traction) Park, played tons of sports when I was younger, and just enjoy a great challenge.

When it came to physical activities when I was younger, I was lucky to do what I did.  My vision provided some, not major, limitations in activities my parents would let me do.  Football was out.  The one sport I wish I had played in my life.

At the age of 10 in 1984, wrestling was the one sport I stayed with.  Did not give it up.  Loved to wrestle.  In eighth grade, I went through the season undefeated in the heavyweight weight class (149-275 lb, I weighed 163) and took first place in two county tournaments.   was able to climb the ropes in gym class using just my arms.  My sophomore year in high school I made varsity at 189 lbs.

I held my head just a little higher after making varsity after years of being teased, bullied, and made to feel insignificant by my peers.  To many, it didn’t matter and some teasing continued, even from some of my teammates.

But it never stopped me from quitting wrestling or anything I did.  I persevered though it.  I have always had this mentality that I can do anything I put my mind to, no matter what my limitations are in life.  I never like to hear the word “NO” or “you can’t do that”.

My attitude is “Yes” and “watch me”.

That was until some news I received over the summer of 1991.  I noticed a change in vision.  I had to visit a specialist in New York because my condition could not be diagnosed by my specialist in New Jersey.

I was attended to by one of the three leading specialists in the world regarding my vision issue.  I underwent three and a half hours of testing to determine what my vision issues were.

It was determined I had subretnal neovascularization with pathological myopia.  Say that three times fast.

I can.

To sum up the condition, imagine looking through two scars on your eyes everyday.  You can see, but not perfectly and with some vision loss.  That is me.  Doctors told me no more wrestling.

I was devastated.  I cried for a long time on that one.

At the age I was diagnosed, I was informed my condition occurs in one out of three million my age.  It is a form of wet macular degeneration that normally happens to people in their 60’s and 70’s.

I was officially a winner in the unlucky lottery.

If I strained the blood vessels in my eyes significantly it could increase the scarring from blood leakage behind the eye.  This was what the doctors were worried about and advised me not to wrestle or do any extraneous physical activities.

So, for my final two seasons on the wrestling team I was the team manager and recorded all the wrestlers matches.  My senior year I was an assistant freshman wrestling coach.  I had good knowledge, what can I say.

Yes, I know I had on a sweater.

But after high school I went into professional wrestling.  Yes, I know I was told not to wrestle but I did it anyway.

It was what I wanted to do and I was not going to let anyone tell me otherwise.  I miss the physicality.  I enjoyed hitting and being hit.  Not too hard of course.  But I enjoyed it.  I love putting my body out there.  The adrenaline rush makes me smile.  If I could have gone into MMA instead of wrestling,  I would have.

For years I wrestled and did other physical activities, including weight lifting, with no other damage any doctor can make out.  I have been in the clear.  I have always said every time I go out there and do something I risk the odds.

Odds makers in Las Vegas have gone broke betting on me.  I am pretty good with numbers.  I can figure rough odds playing poker.

Knowing my limitations and abilities does keep me a step ahead.  If I need to pull the plug on something or realize a limitation.  I will stop with no hesitation.  I may be crazy, but I am not stupid.

I am a very headstrong, determined individual.  When I set my mind to something, I set to accomplish what I start.  I went headfirst into filming a documentary and learned on the fly about film making.  Major thanks to Anthony Artis and others on their guidance.

The Hardcore Champion. Retired undefeated with the belt. I still have it!

The Warrior Dash is just another challenge I KNOW I can accomplish.  If you don’t challenge yourself you will never know what you are able to accomplish.  One can never realize their full potential.

I never want to look back and say I never tried.  It is better to attempt and fail, than to not try at all.  OK, so someone may have said that before me but it works well here (Thanks Ant!).

I keep repeating a scene from the movie “Rocky Balboa” in my head.  Rocky tells Rocky Jr. that it is not about how hard you get hit it is about how hard you come back from that hit.  That no matter how much you feel you are being hit further down you fight back that much harder.

Hey, draw inspiration from whatever adrenaline boosting IV you can get it from.  As long as you do something about it.

I am dedicating my race on Saturday to two groups.  For those visually impaired, who can see and do more than their limitations let them.  Also,  for those younger who need the confidence to fight back and overcome obstacles & realize their full potential.  I am not sure if there is a non-profit or .org for that one.

I think the obstacles I’ve faced in life have set me up well mentally for the obstacles at the Warrior Dash.  Glad I was able to get my body physically capable as well.

I know the Warrior Dash is going to be fun.  Another event in the long line of physical activities I decided to sacrifice my body to.  I know I am going to hate the cardio in between the obstacles.  I hate doing cardio, but a necessary evil.  It is the obstacles I am looking forward to the most.  Getting down and dirty, using my hands, climbing ropes, jumping over walls, stopping speeding bullets.

OK, I got carried away.

I plan on doing one of these events a year.  My wife Gina wanted me to do the Super Spartan Race in September as well.  No way I am ready for an 8 mile race.  But for my 40th birthday, I do plan on running the Tough Mudder.

Here comes another e-mail from my mother.