This week it became clear to me that Julia and Suzanne have conspired to kill me.
At first I thought that Julia was just being encouraging. I thought she was just trying to help me overcome some mental obstacles that were preventing me from achieving my goals; nebulous goals that I didn’t even know that I had.
Her first attempt on my life failed as I survived my first competition a few weeks ago. I had quietly assimilated back into my daily gym routine when I got a message on my screen while at work, “I need a last minute partner for a Rugged Maniac event – this weekend.”
Honestly I have never ever considered a Spartan Race, Rugged Maniac or Tough-Mudder. These look rather intense; they’re for the young folks who still are deluded into believing they are invincible and immortal. I know better.
Now don’t get me wrong, I had a great time with Julia at the WOD-4-Paws event, but I had a month to prepare for it. And it was about thirty minutes of work spread out across a whole day. Now I got about 100 hours notice for a 20 obstacle mud run. I went online and checked out the event. It looked absolutely ridiculous to me. But I like Julia and I didn’t want to leave her in a lurch, so I said I’d get back to her.
Meanwhile, I sent an e-mail to Suzanne at work telling her about this. I asked if she had any objections to me spending another weekend day with Julia and I sent her the link to the Rugged Maniac site so she could see, for herself, what it was about. This was my subtle escape plan. Suzanne would view the site and call me at my office and say, “You stupid old coot, why don’t you leave the games to the kids. If you try this you’ll kill yourself!”
Then I would politely send a message back to Julia saying that Suzanne had other plans for me, so I would have to decline.
Instead, Suzanne quickly replied, “No problem. Have a good time. Tell Julia I said ‘Hi’ “. Oh crap! Then she said “where is it”? I told her it was in Southwick. She told me that was a short drive from home. “It’s less than an hour drive.”
So I spoke with Julia, I expressed my reservations about running a 5K obstacle course when I can barely run 400 meters (no, that is not negative self-talk) and she told me it would be easy because I would run a short distance and I could catch my breath as I crawl over a jagged, razor covered field. Then I would run for another brief time and then swim under mud for a quarter mile. Run a bit more and then have my clothes set on fire as I jumped in more mud to quench the flames. Her ploy was working, I now was convinced this would be easy and I knew I could do it. So I agreed to be her team mate once again.
When I got home I chatted a bit about this over dinner. I told Suzanne that I was amazed that she agreed to me doing a mud run obstacle course. She said, “5K obstacle course! What are you stupid? You can’t run 400 meters without whining” I asked her why she agreed after I sent her the e-mail with the link. Her response, “I never look at any of the links you send me. I don’t live on the internet like you do.”
Then she said, “Oh, by the way. The drive is one hundred miles each way, about two hours. What time do you have to be there?” I asked whatever happened to the one hour drive she told me about in our e-mail exchange. She told me that she was confused with the Southwick Zoo in Mendon, not Southwick, Massachusetts, out by the western frontier.
The next day at the gym I was greeted by Julia and her former team-mate Katie. They were all giddy about me taking Katie’s slot. As I walked away I heard Julia whisper that Suzanne and she were going to split the Life Insurance money.
I fear that I’m running out of time.