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 Monkey Bars
- At this point in the race, your hands are probably wet and muddy, which is terrible for impersonating a monkey. Dry them off as best you can by rubbing them on your shirt, or the grass, or a volunteer, or a passing goose.
- Grab the bars firmly, and hold the rest of your body up off the ground.
- There are several approaches from here on out:
- Arm-over-arm. This is the “standard” playground-style monkey-barring approach. When one arm is on a bar, the other arm swings to the next one. Much harder than it looks; the gene that permits children or orangutans from accomplishing this task easily gets surgically removed from all humans when they turn 18. Then the gene is ripped up into tiny pieces, burned, urinated upon, fed to a hippopotamus, and shot into space.
- Catch-up: Your first arm goes to a bar, then your other arm joins it. The bartender says, “We don’t serve arms here.” Then he said, “farewell.” The bartender was Hemingway, by the way. I don’t know if I mentioned that. Oh, wait, got distracted. Anyhow, this method is a bit easier, but a bit slower, and you will get tired just as quick.
- Skip: If you’ve got the arm length and the swinging momentum, skip a bar here and there. You’ll look a bit pretentious, but you’ll make good progress, unless you miss, in which case your fall should make highlight reels.
- Edges: Screw the rungs and travel along the bar holding the edges, like Donkey Kong Jr. It may seem a bit twatty to do it that way, and it probably is. It can feel a bit easier if your arms are long and wide-set like mine are. I’m weird, though.
- On top: Just do it like this guy. Physically easy, but balance is important. Plus, if you’ve got issues with heights, you should note that your face will be the height of the monkey bars plus the height of yourself above the ground, which is almost 800 feet, so it will scare the dookie out of you, which isn’t pleasant for anyone on the course. Also, it’s probably against the rules.
- Inchworm: This is easy: just weave your body between the bars. You may need more back flexibility than you’ve got, and you might get stuck, but hey! Cool photos!
- Upside down: Just hook your toes over the bars, and walk across. Not necessarily possible, but if you pull it off, you’ll be a meme for, like, twelve whole seconds.
- Teleportation. How hard could that be?
- Midway through the bars, when you are really tired, remember that you’ve still got a bomb from playing Candy Crush. So use it, and blow the frickin’ rig up.
Previous entries in the “How Not To” series: