How Not to Do the Hercules Hoist

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 Hercules Hoist.

Father Ted screencap

(You may also name your sandbag Sampras.)

  1. Give your sandbag a name, like Flopsy or Bruce or Father Jack Hackett.
  2. Ask Flopsy or Bruce or Father Jack Hackett if it really wants to be hoisted. If the answer is no, respect its wishes and accept your burpees with grace. Sandbags are people too.
  3. If it is willing to be hoisted, then offer your thanks to Mother Earth for her willingness to support the sandbag so far, Father Sky for accepting the sandbag into his aerial realm, Sister Sisal for paying the sandbag’s price for flight with her sturdy tension, Uncle Pulley for maintaining a mechanical advantage near 1 (apart from friction), and Archimedes for first describing the simple machines. (He was from Syracuse, not Sparta, which I’m sure will anger people, but the truth isn’t always politically correct. But it sometimes is, so if you use “politically correct” as an insult reflexively without considering the actual correctness of the statement in question, you’re an ass.)
  4. Drum Circle

    Drum circle photo by Kit O’Connell via Wikimedia licensed under Creative Commons.

    Make certain you pull in harmony with the Earth’s heartbeat. You can do this by keeping time with a drum circle; if you did not bring a drum circle to the race, you may have to close your eyes and astrally project back in time to one of the drum circles you attended this week.

  5. When you have completed, leave an offering of kale seeds to memorialize the occasion and nourish future hoisters.
  6. Contrary to popular belief, it is not mandatory to dance naked around a bonfire in celebration, unless said bonfire is greater than eight feet high, or the moon is in its waxing gibbous phase, or you’re camping with a group of performers from a minor-league Renaissance Faire, which is not a story I’m planning to tell.
  7. Quit bogarting the good stuff, man.

Previous entries in the “How Not To” series:

Wall Climb
Spear Throw
Bucket Brigade
Monkey Bars

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