Monthly Archives: November 2014

At a Certain Point…

… hyperbole and paranoia and exaggeration and preemptive denouncements of Black Friday will be a bigger part of our economy than Black Friday ever was. That point is expected to occur on December 2, 2014, at 8:45 am, and while it’s hard to say which individual will push us over the line, I’m looking at you, Al Roker.

Al Roker. By Chuck129 (User:Chuck129) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Al Roker. By Chuck129 (User:Chuck129) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

To slightly relate that joke to OCR: If you want to be a #Spartan or #Warrior or #Mudder or #Hero or #AllAroundAwesomePerson or #AnythingElseGoodAndCool, then when somebody bloviates without saying anything useful, ignore them. And when millions of people join in, ignore them too.

I don’t know if that’s in any of the bylaws, but it should be.


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Filed under Funny, Obstacle Course Racing

Ninja Warrioring, Sort Of

I really love my gym. (At least my main gym. I also have, to steal from Dave Berry, a small emergency backup gym for the days when my schedule doesn’t let me get to the real one, which can be a bit of a haul for me to get to ever since I moved about 4 months ago, from a terrible but conveniently located apartment to a much nicer but more distant one. At least I got a parenthetical comment approximately 27 times longer than the original sentence out of it.)

Anyhow, my gym: it’s called Enrgi Fitness, and it’s pretty much all group-class oriented, which is an approach that works for me. The instructors are really, really good (at some point I’ll write about That Horrible Parkour Class for comparison) and while there are general class formats, there’s a lot of variety within those classes so it’s not the same workout every time.

Yesterday it hosted a cool event: Ninja Warrior Sweatworking.

Sweatworking is a series of networking/workout events created by Jeana Anderson and that get hosted by various gyms around Chicago. This one took the form of a mock-up of a Ninja Warrior course.

Yes, I’m a fan of the show, even though it’s not nearly as cool as the original Japanese, and they’ve done the NBC Olympics thing where the background stories take up about six times as much time as the actual event and there are about fifteen too many hosts (or at least it seems that way) and the amount of Gbajabilamitilation, or Mattrodding (male heterosexual glee at seeing another man take his shirt off) is a bit odd. Many of the instructors and other members are fans as well, so it was a nice fit.

The gym doesn’t have a full-sized replica of the course, but it did pretty well at mocking one up. There’s a 25-rung monkey bar set which was part of it; they attached some rings and grips of various shapes for us to travel along; that was tough and I didn’t exactly do it entirely, although I did better than I expected. For the warped wall, they put markings to jump and reach for high on a regular wall; I actually did pretty well at this, thanks to That Horrible Parkour Class. (That’s what I call it; I never said it was fair to call it that.) the quintuple steps were actually pretty tricky; they used four Bosu balls that we had to jump between, which wasn’t too hard, but at the last one we had to transition to a smaller… thingy, I guess, sort of a gel disk that’s sort of like the Bosu but smaller and flatter. It was also positioned more forward than sideways, so we had to change the direction of our motion.

There were 12 obstacles in total, and we had a couple minutes at each to try them out before running the course.


(I’m on my ancient laptop rather than my less ancient desktop, and I have no reason to believe the caption is showing up properly. But that photo, taken by Enrgi Fitness, shows the participants of the Ninja Warrior Sweatworking event. I’m in there, at the back. No, not that guy, next to him. Maybe one over.)

Having something like this does raise a slight problem, though: I want a full-sized course of my own, and no practical way to get it. I guess it doesn’t even need to be my own. I’d be happy to share. (Well, tolerant of sharing, at least.) I’m not sure how to make that happen. I’ll let you know if I think of anything.

(I also need to come up with a video submission to apply for the show, since they’re now accepting applications.)

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Filed under Funny, Obstacle Course Racing, Training

2015 Goals

An omni-preliminary (which is like super-preliminary or mega-preliminary, only moreso) look at my obstacle course race plans for 2015.

2015 plans

If you can’t read that, and you probably can’t (seriously… who taught me to handwrite?), above the line is the Spartan races I’m currently thinking of doing. Specifically the stadium sprint at the Mets stadium, the sprint in Indianapolis, the Virginia Super, and the Carolina Beast.

The Mets sprint is the closest to a sure thing; my brother is a runner and a Mets fan, and when I posted on Facebook bragging about running 10K for the first time ever, he invited me to a triathalon where the run was 10K, and I counter-suggested an obstacle course race (I think a Super somewhere on Long Island, but I don’t remember for sure), and he counter-counter suggested this one. It’ll also be my nephew’s second birthday, which isn’t exactly justification, but I’m happy to count it that way.

The other three… well, 4 seems like the right number of OCRs for me to plan for next year (up from 2 this year, and ever), and I feel like a trifecta would be a tough but possible goal. And an eminently salable, extremely inspirational hook for an orgasmically lucrative book.

Also, those are dates that likely would work nicely, training-wise (and being-able-to-have-some-break-in-between-wise).

Below the line are some goals for next year. In other words, things I’d like to be able to successfully complete, since I had to either burpee or get assistance at them this year. More goals will come, but I’m still a bit mushy about planning them. (25-minute 5K, maybe?)


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Filed under Obstacle Course Racing, Spartan Race

Being Inappropriate

I swear sometimes. And sometimes my sense of humor is blue or inappropriate, and sometimes I find bodily functions funny.

None of those happen all that often—swearing and farting and inappropriate stuff are a lot funnier if they’re used judiciously—but I’d like to set the precedent early so that nobody reading the blog expects it to be Sesame Street.

(That was a hint. If you’re really appalled by the kind of things I mentioned, look away. I don’t promise to always warn.)

I had a nice workout ha-ha recently. One of my co-sufferers/friends/awesome people was there, and I asked after her husband, who wasn’t. They often work out together, although recently his work schedule has forced him into a different time slot. And today, she told me, he was ill and not working out at all.

Montezuma’s revenge, she said, which I guess could be TMI, but I’m really not too bothered by that kind of thing, and she was pretty safe in believing I’d be okay with it, so it was cool.

She explained that he was going to be fine, just that for the next day or so he wasn’t in a mood to do much of anything.

Especially not Montezuma’s Revenge box jumps.

Then another friend nearby who has the same lackadaisical attitude towards Too Much Information coined the term “squirt jumps,” and it’s lucky the class started then or things probably would have gotten tasteless.

I don’t generally laugh through warm-ups, but we started with squats, and that was just too close, and we probably made a spectacle, but at least it was audible and not solid, and at least the instructor didn’t say he wanted us to rip out ten more.

And yes, the workout did eventually include box jumps, and no, none of them went to a dark place.

I guess the lesson is to always drop the kids off at the pool before your workout.


And that’s why you don’t teach lessons.

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Filed under Funny, Training

Fat Boy, Big Wall

This is the inspirational story of how an overweight man took up obstacle course racing and learned how to get over the walls on the course—and in life.

Oh, fuck that noise.

I mean yeah, I’m an overweight man who started obstacle course racing, and hopefully I’m going to manage to get over those big walls that some courses have, but inspiration?

I guess if you want to be inspired, whatever that means, knock yourself out. I don’t really believe in inspiration. At least not in the inspirational genre, and it’s ability to actually inspire anything.

So where did this come from? I saw a book yesterday. I didn’t look at it in-depth or anything, but I saw enough to know that it’s about obstacle course racing, and that it’s a personal narrative rather than a book about the sport. And I’m pretty sure it was intended to be inspirational, because I doubt there’s any other angle that would get that book published.

I wasn’t inspired to purchase it. That’s not a dig at the book. Even if it’s terrible (and it may well not be) actually writing and completing a book is a significant achievement, and so is taking that book and convincing somebody to publish it. The person who makes something is usually far greater than the person who sits back and judges it.

On the other hand, it did make me wonder if there might be room for something… I don’t know, fun. So that’s what my goal is here. I’m going to try to write an entertaining blog about obstacle course racing. And ideally turn it into a multi-million dollar book contract. If you find it inspirational or instructional, feel free. But beware. I’m not an expert, and a lot of it could be lies anyhow.

I hope you enjoy it.


Filed under Metapost, Obstacle Course Racing