Obstacle 11: Walk the Plank
This one was so scary! We had to jump off a 15’ high platform into a 15’ deep pool and swim out. But first, we had to climb the platform. There was a huge line for this obstacle, since they only let 7 or so people go at one time, and most of the time, at least one person refused to jump. So of course I had lots of time to dwell on my fear of falling. And my fear of drowning. And just how many fears I have. Where did they all come from?
Anyway, we stayed to the side so I could use the rail to pull myself up the slanted wall to the top of the platform. Some kind stranger yanked me up the final few feet and then I got to see just how high 15’ really is. I had been prepping for this one, so I just kept chanting my mantra (in my internal voice, of course) – “don’t think, just go.” I felt a little nervous, but the girls in front of me were scared to death. One kept encouraging the other to jump, but she wouldn’t go. After the third countdown, she finally went. Then the encouraging one froze. She wouldn’t let go of the handrail. While I was sympathetic, I was also getting cold, stiff, and impatient. So when it was my turn, I was determined to not be “one of those girls” who froze at the last second. The countdown came “3, 2, 1, Go!” And I went.
The fall took forever. I marveled that I had time to think about how long the fall was. Then I wondered some more about whether or not I would ever hit the water. And then I did. It was all very smooth, not jarring, and I sank down into the water, probably more than 10 feet. I had time to marvel at how long it seemed to take before I started going back up again. But I reached the surface pretty fast, and then it was time to swim. The water was choppy and freezing. I started to kick, but went backwards. Luckily there was a lifeguard with a floatie. She had me grab on and dragged me out of the way so the next bunch could jump. I climbed out on the cargo net and ran off, very proud that I made it.
Obstacle 12: Hangin Tough
This was a set of rings (like gymnast rings) that we had to swing across. There was a pool underneath so if you fell off, you just had to swim to the ladder on the other side. I grabbed the first ring with both hands and started to swing. As I reached for the second ring, I fell off. Michele and Peggy had pretty much the same fate. Maybe next year I can get across the rings!
Obstacle 13: Cliffhanger
This was probably the tamest of the obstacles. It was a giant pit in the ground that you had to climb down and back up. The problem was how steep it was – nearly vertical, which meant sliding down. Not so fun on a rocky surface! The climb back up was frustrating, but eventually my two steps up, one slide back got me to the ledge. From the ledge, you needed to be pulled up. Two kind strangers hoisted me up and away we went.
Obstacle 14: Boa Constrictor
Another claustrophobia-inducer! I had figured this was one I would have to skip, but seeing it in person was less scary than the pictures. Essentially, you shimmied down a tube into a pit of water below, crawled across the pool, and then wiggled your way back up another tube to the top of the hill on the other side. I had no trouble, and actually enjoyed the crawl through the water - it was warm!! (I’ll try not to think about why that might be…)
Obstacle 15: Spiders Web
Disappointment here. This was supposed to be a cargo net obstacle, but they used the cargo net on the Walk the Plank obstacle, so we just had to swim across a pond. Granted, that’s not so easy when you’re fully dressed and 8 miles in, but it still seemed pretty tame.
Obstacle 16: Kiss of Mud
Another barbed-wire obstacle. This time the mud was spa quality and super-soothing! I did not want to get out.
Obstacle 17: Berlin Walls
This final set of walls was probably 12’ high. Since I had fallen off the second set of walls, I was a bit gun-shy. Plus our male team members had run off ahead, so we needed to rely on strangers to help us over. I let my weight convince me no one would be willing to help and decided to go around. (And I seriously did not want to fall off a 12’ high wall…I had already pushed my luck!) Michele was fine going around, but Peggy wanted to try it. So we waited our turn. And waited. And waited some more. After an hour, we finally got up to the wall. Some guys offered to help Peggy, and Michele decided to go over, too. It was really hard for them! We’re all short girls, so there was a lot of hoisting and pulling to get to the top. This is on my list to conquer next year, too.