There are plenty of places online that will give you advice on how to complete various popular obstacle course race obstacles. This is not one of those places. This series of posts will teach you how to fail those popular obstacles. More specifically, this series will teach you how to fail obstacles—with style and panache. If you’re going to earn burpees, you might as well earn those burpees.
Today’s obstacle: The Bucket Brigade
- Prepare. If you’re doing a Spartan race, you know this classic is coming, so there’s no excuse not to make yourself strong in advance. So in the weeks leading up to the race, do at least two squats. And a push-up.
- As you approach the Completely Unbranded Large-Scale Refuse Bin filled with Unbranded Congealed Earth Matter, take a moment to prepare yourself mentally. Take a deep cleansing breath, emit a mighty bear-like roar, and throw a massive hissy-cow, complete with stomping, weeping, and flatulence.
Racers need to fill their own Unbranded Polymer-Chain Unbranded Congealed Earth Matter Container in a Basically Cylindrical Shape. But you can save time and effort and avoid the crowds if you send your valet to fill it for you. Double points if your valet is Stephen Fry.
- When lifting any heavy object, it’s important to protect your back by lifting with your legs. Lay down on the ground with your feet around the bucket, clench, and lift.
- Now that the Unbranded Congealed Earth Matter Container in a Basically Cylindrical Shape is airborne, you’ll be expected to traverse a lengthy path while carrying it. You can take inspiration from the nearest snake and how it moves: simply undulate your powerful rhomboids and latissimus dorsi muscles, while using your ventral scales to grip the surface of the earth and propel yourself forward.
- Hmmm… as it turns out, that’s pretty hard to do. You’d think snakes would be a much less successful species. Plus, the path is pretty long. And that thingy with the really long generic name (By the way, sorry about that. It’s a gag about Dumpsters and intellectual property that’s gone horribly wrong. See, Dumpster is a brand name, and they’re pretty aggressive about sending nasty notes to publications if they use the word as a generic term, and I’ve gotten them in the past, and so I mock. 3M is the same way with Velcro, which means that I’ve been required to use the term “hook-and-loop fastener” unironically, and I’m still a bit bitter.) is really fucking heavy. So maybe stand up and hoist the bucket onto your shou…
- Damn, the volunteers really care about that “don’t carry the bucket on your shoulder” rule. Like, try it again and she’s going to punch you, and then pull down your pants, and then call your mother and tell her that you’re being a meany bo beany face. So let’s not mess with her again. I guess you can just carry it at your waist.
- Six steps later and everything hurts. Step off to the side and rest.
- Okay, try it again. Huffhuffhuffhuffhuffhuffhuff! Great, four steps this time.
You know, I bet they won’t check to make sure the bucket is still full of rock all the way to the hole when you get back to the bin. So just dump a bit out. Trust me, your pile won’t be the first one there.
- Wow! 12 steps! That’s 22 steps total! You’re almost half of a percent of the way there!
- Wait, half of a percent finished really isn’t good. So, tip out a bit more rock.
- Who are we kidding? This ain’t happening. Just drop the bucket, and scoop up a handful of rock.
- Really? A muddy hill to climb with this shit? Goddammit!
- Okay, here’s the story: You fell, all the rock came out of the bucket, then the bucket exploded, and you did the burpees, and you’re not sure why nobody saw you.
- Yikes, this muddy hill is still pretty flipping long. It might be violating the spirit of the race, but piggyback rides are part of every valet’s job description.
Previous entries in the “How Not To” series: