Submitted by: Robin Dake
The Warrior Dash is a 3-mile cross country foot-race that involves obstacles like a mud pit with barbed wire overhead, a pond with logs to clamor over and a line of fire crossing the path to the finish line. I think it was the flames that made it most appealing. My 15-year-old daughter will be joining me, though I suspect I will only see her at the starting line and after crossing the finish.
Signing up really doesn’t make sense for me. I am not in any kind of racing shape – light years away from the strong, lithe, athlete I was in college when I thought my body and my dreams would never decay.
I do yoga and walk my dog, but I think a race that includes hopping over a series of walls and leaping across floating platforms involves a lot more than that. I definitely could have found other things to do with the $100 registration fees, but somehow, after hearing a description of the event, the urge to sign-up was irresistible.
I need to reacquaint myself with my inner warrior.
At one time, we were inseparable companions. We rode horses bareback across bumpy pastures, pretending to be Indian princesses. We raced through cross country courses with long spikes and sharp elbows, and we pulled on a backpack and set out on the Appalachian Trail all alone. We were brave and daring and dashing.
Somehow along the way, we lost contact. I didn’t hear from her as much and my life became less dashing, more about seatbelts and insurance policies. I got married and became a mother. I focused on my career and keeping my house clean. Then my marriage faltered and fell apart. I no longer heard the voice of my inner warrior-girl.
Just a few weeks ago, someone mentioned the Warrior Dash to me, and I remembered my old friend. I thought I heard her whisper to me, speaking soft words about challenge and bravery heart and joy. It was hard to clearly understand her.
And yet, the urge to sign up for the race was there. Running through mud and flames doesn’t feel like anything after going through a divorce. Those things are tangible, visible obstacles standing between me and the cool t-shirt. They don’t sneak up from behind and grab your ankles, dragging you down into a mire of frustration and depression. They are conquerable objects rather than things that must be endured and moved through.
Furthermore, with this challenge, I am in control. On that particular day in May, for 3 miles, I will know that hard things are facing me and I will need strength and stamina to get through them. I have time to prepare. It’s up to me to get in shape and build my wind back up. Whether or not I run the whole way or walk after the first hundred yards is totally in my control.
My Warrior-Girl is speaking to me once more. She tells me to go out the door at 5:30 a.m. to run up and down the road. She reminds me that an extra cookie might not be a good idea and she pushes me to do an extra pushup in morning yoga. At first her voice was quiet, way back and low. Now I hear her more loudly and more clearly.
So, we will go to the starting line together again. Whether we will run or walk, I don’t know. What I do know is it feels good to be reacquainted with my friend Warrior Girl and I hope on that day in May, she is shouting with joy.
Author Bio: Robin Dake is a writer and photographer living in North Georgia with two daughters and a dog. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Georgia and writes about a wide variety of topics from women’s issues to parenting tips. She was the recipient of two news writing awards from the Georgia Association of Broadcasting in 2008.