Just Say 'Yes'!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In 2008, Jim Carrey starred in a movie called Yes Man, and I’ve grown to love the idea behind the movie.  His character makes a covenant to stop being a ''No Man'' and vows to answer ''Yes!'' to every opportunity, request or invitation that presents itself.  Not too long ago, I was presented with an opportunity to reconsider what would have initially been a ''NO way!'' for me when my daughter asked me to participate in a race with her. If you’ve read my blogs, you know I’ve done 24 races since I joined SparkPeople. So why would I be saying ''no way''?

I’m trying to pass the healthy lifestyle journey onto my kids, and my youngest, Rachael, has become my race buddy.  She completed the Hell Run and found that she actually loved jumping over fire, treading through streams and wading through mud.  She actually prefers these types of races to the standard 5k’s that we’ve been doing.  She brought up an event called The Rat Race, which is scheduled for October 20th in Dallas.  It’s an Urban Adventure Race beyond what we have tried so far. The catch for me was one tiny word--repelling. I am seriously afraid of heights.  I remember flying with my daughter when she was very little.  It was a turbulent ride and I was trying not to show the fear that I was feeling.  We hit a big air pocket, had a small drop, and she looked at me with the biggest smile and said ''don’t you just love the way that makes your stomach feel when it drops?''  It was at that moment that I realized she might be an alien baby because I never would have thought that!
So what could I do?  I didn't want to let her down, so I decided to research the race and find out what we would be repelling off of and whether or not I could skip that section.  I contacted the host of the race, and had a chance to meet Chris Jones, the man behind the event.  How can you not like someone whose job title is ''Chief Rat''?  The entrepreneur behind the race has a history of competing in all types of races: running, biking, triathlons, etc.  He wanted something more, and The Rat Race was born. It’s an ''Urban Adventure'' race event, and is currently scheduled for Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and San Diego.  The event will include 3 miles of running, 15+ miles of biking, 1 mile of kayaking, climbing/ropes and 10 check points - one of which includes a City Revitalization Project.  You can register as a solo participant, or have 2 or 3 person ''rat'' teams.

Photo courtesy of Chris Jones

There are some unique and very fun aspects of this race.  The course remains undisclosed to competitors until the morning of the race, when they are given a map and required to reach checkpoints at various locations.  At one checkpoint, the racers will be assisting in a Revitalization Project.  It’s a chance to not only race and have fun, but also a chance to help with a project in the city.  The goal is to contribute 400 volunteer hours to the city during the course of the races.  I consider that to be truly unique and imaginative. Next year, they are looking to expand to 16 cities!

Photo Courtesy of Chris Jones

One thing that made me feel better about training for this race was the fact that there will be ''skill clinics'' available over the summer.  So now I’m training for this event and it will be my first triathlon and Urban Adventure Race all in one.  Will I pass out on the ropes?  Who knows, but here is my motivation:  if I’ve learned anything after being on SparkPeople for almost 3 years, it’s that you can accomplish more than what you ever thought or dreamed just by taking small steps in the direction of your goal.  My step is admitting my fear, facing it head on, taking a skill clinic, and overcoming it in October.  Who is with me?

As I write this, I know that this is my last article for the dailySpark. I have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to share my journey with you.  I hope you will check out my SparkPage for the rest of this story over the coming months. I’d like to end this with a challenge for you--can you dream bigger?  Don’t make this healthy lifestyle journey just about a number on a scale.  Make this a journey to a new you, a fun, exciting life, and a world of opportunities that you didn’t think you would be able to have or do before you started. 

What can you do to dream bigger today?  Have you done a fun run or any type of race before?  What is holding you back from believing in yourself and chasing some fantastic goals?

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POINDEXTRA 6/14/2019
Great article, but it's from 2012 and the links are now dead. It would be great if SparkPeople would check for stuff like this first and provide an update on the people and info in these old recycled articles. Report
DGRIFFITH51 6/11/2019
You have come a long way, the race sounds adventerous, enjoy! Report
ROBBIEY 4/21/2019
Great article Report
Nice article! Report
Thanks for a great article :) Report
good luck to you and thanks for sharing Report
Very good blog. However, it’s rapelling not repelling, although I used to do rock climbing and my brother always called my accounts of my exploits, my “ repelling stories” Report
Awesome! Report
It's time I started pushing myself. Harder. Report
Good reminder that we can do more than we believe. Report
I find reframing a negative to something more positive works better for me. I've made a lot of progress in being kinder to myself. Seems like "no" is the right thing to say as it calls me out on the carpet. Yet, accepting where I'm at helps me to strive to go farther. Report
That sounds like so much fun! I would love to do a race like that. I am a former runner and triathlete. I also dabbled in off road bicycling. It would just be awesome to be able to get out there and find my soul again! I have two bad knees and unfortunately, I cannot do the pounding I used to. I miss running most of all. I walk a great deal now, when my knees allow it!

Good Luck to you. I will be there in spirit!


Nola Report
Thank you. I needed the reminder. Feel the fear, but do it anyway! Report
Thank you for this very inspiring blog. As a mom, I immediately thought about all the times my daughter wants to try something creative, adventurous, daring, and I say no. I'm going to become more of a yes-woman starting now so we can both live a little more!! Report
Go for it. You'll have a blast! The best part about repelling is that YOU are in control. You can go down as quickly or as slowly as you desire and there's someone on the other end of the rope to make sure you don't injure yourself. Report
THAT is exactly what I want to achieve - the better me that is inside of me. The Me I used to be in certain stages of my life - but I lost her every now and again. That fun girl/woman that likes to go out, have fun, do sports, meet friends and all the other things that make life worth living ... as well as creating a fulfilling career for me. So thank you for bringing that into focus again. Report
That kind of race would be so exciting. I'm going to look for races of this kind in my area. Thanks. Report
This is awesome - I hope you have a wonderful time! I'm very afraid of heights, but I went rapelling more years ago than I care to name:-) The first part is the scariest - getting into position to come down. Once you do that and take your first "jump" down, you'll be hooked! I got done and ran back up to get in line again! Make sure that your "seat" is snug, or you can be yanked around at the bottom. Report
Said like a true Sparker! best of lunch to you! Report
Sounds like quite a challenge, and my hat is off to you and I wish you all the best on this endeavor--looking forward to learning about your progress!
Great Blog, I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Report
Awesome!! Sounds like fun! Good luck! Report
What an awesome race to sign up for Mich! I can't wait to hear all about your training with your daughter. They need something like this in Minnesota. Report
Good luck, have fun training! I too love "fun" and challenging races. My friends and I signed up to do a Beach Dash later this year, on the beach with obstacles. That's what we are training for now! Report
Sounds challenging, but really FUN!!! Report
Wow, the rat race sounds like a great adventure to share with your daughter. It is admirable that you will face your fears and say YES to doing it. If it helps, I have a minor fear of heights (it usually flares when I am in unsecured height situations) and I went rappelling when I was a leader on a youth adventure camp trip with our church. The hardest part is the first step of "sitting back", once you get over that hurdle the rest is quite fun! (also make sure your hair is tied back - I made that mistake and lost a chunk of it...ouch!) Great article, thanks for sharing your wisdom with us! Report
racing ,what a fun idea!!I am just able to walk but think running or doing marathons are a great way to exercise.We drove over to the coast a couple of days ago and spent the night near the ocean,I love the ocean but Hubby is really a mountain man that is why we live back in the hills of Oregon.I showered the next morning at the hotel and then looked in the mirror and and Holy Cow what a disaster I saw so much fat on this old body that I have to get serious about losing weight.We all need to "look at the mirror"from time to time and be very honest with ourselves then do what we have to do,maybe I can start small and work up to speed walking in a few weeks anyway I have to do something even Hubby has mentioned my excessive weight so I will start by just eating less,no more seconds and I love to eat.Ahhh, such is life!!! Report
Wow, So many new things up there to tryout. Just came to know what extending our boundaries from comfort zone can be? Wish to see and explore myself...
Have a terrific one... Report
Great Story!!! I just signed up for an indoor triatholon at my YMCA!!! Report
Sounds like a great time. Best of luck to you & your daughter. Report
Sounds like plenty of fun and terror all at the same time! Have a terrific journey with your daughter! Lots of bonding experiences! :) Report
I'm finding that life is so much more interesting, the more I say, "YES."
I think you're going to have an epic adventure and I hope you blog about it. You need a cameraperson to follow you around.
I'm going to miss your articles. I hope you'll continue to blog your journey on your page. Report
Loved your blog... loved the mom/daugher connection, how precious! Thanks for sharing!!! Report
I was pulled into your article by the title...and delighted when I saw the reference to the Jim Carey movie! I recently saw that movie and it has really stuck with me, as well. I got to thinking about all the things I was saying "No" to simply out of fear or worry because of finances or time commitment - and I decided it was time to make a change.
Almost immediately, I was asked to help out in an area and said yes - still wondering what I've gotten myself into on that one; and then my pastor asked me about helping on a mission trip. I said "Yes" without hesitation. This is no small trip, but I am excited to see where the "Yes" will lead me.
Thanks again for the blog-post. I was glad I said "Yes," to reading!
anotherbattlewon.blogspot.com Report
That sounds like fun! I hope they bring it near me next as I would love to participate! Good luck and have lots of fun!! Report
Great blog. Best to you. Train hard and make yourself proud. You have given me some inspiration to be a better athlete (ha, by that I mean just making sure I consistently exercise)! Report
Wonderful blog!
I love your blog! This gave me an opportunity to experience what you are about to experience with you! Currently, I am fighting an auto-immune disease (hopefully, still in remission, right now); therefore, I am not strong enough to, even, experience anything like this. I used to love, partaking, in runs, walks, etc.; and, hope to get healthy, again, to be able to do these kind of things, again. Your daughter sounds a lot like my youngest. She seem to have no fears. Myself, and my oldest daughter, also, have a fear of heights. At amusement parks, I would always seek out families, that my youngest could ride with, on most of what I called 'the scary rides!' When she decided, at 6 years old, to do sports, like train as a gymnast, it did not surprise me. Good Luck with your adventure; and I am going to go right now, and visit your SparkPage. Report
SALEX52 - thanks for the correction. Apparently I'm even afraid of spelling it right! I'll get that corrected. Report
Sounds like fun! I would love to do an adventure-type of race, but my SO does not want to do one, so maybe I will just have to sign up and do it myself! Report
WOW WOW!!! I just went to your spark page, because I loved this article so much! I love your attitude!! Very inspiring.

I'm currently searching for something to strive toward. I have found I have a BIG passion for fishing, I have built my confidence up to take my own fish off the hook. I can now do it alone, when no one can go with me. That's amazes me. I can now walk a mile pretty effortless.................Hmmm. What else would I like to do?? I have thought about kayaking. You have made me think.....I WILL see about lessons or how to!! Thank you!
Have a great day and hugs to you!! Report
Just a small correction--I think that your issue was with RAPPELLING, which you found to be repelling (or more accurately, repellent). Report
Great blog. Report
Thanks for the great blog. Report
I'll miss your blogs! I am so happy I read this today.......I need something to work toward and this sounds like fun. San Diego is only 100 miles from me and my daughter lives there. Maybe she would do this with me. Thanks for the inspiration. Report
Wow, that was a great blog! It encourages me to say yes and do a lot better than I have been doing. I would like to know the outcome of your Rat Race? Thanks so much for sharing this with us and good luck on your race and your journey! Report
My mantra for this summer: "Say YES!" Thanks for a great article. Report
I'm signed up to do a Spartan Race in a few months. A bit terrifying but I'm excited about it:) I'll be racing with a group of friends so I know it will be a blast