Noah and I set off on an unknown adventure last week--the Spartan Race. It's a boot camp style obstacle course held somewhere in the woods, about an hour north of Toronto.
The organizers do not release a course map, so you really have no idea what you are up against. Our only clue was watching the Spartans who had already finished their race. They looked dirty and banged up. Game on!
As Noah and I awaited our wave to begin, we were approached by a very tall man in a Spartan costume. He was the m.c. for the event, but turned the microphone off as he was talking to us. He also would not let go of my hand. When he left, Noah asked "Mom, how come all the guys who hit on you are jacked?". Whoa, I was hit on?!?! Cue awkward moment.
We jumped into the starting corral and were immendiately pummelled with high pressure hoses. Then we ran through a series of stink bombs, our wet bodies holding on to the stench. A mile long series of hills thinned out the herd. Noah opened up his stride and had me at a full sprint--trash talking and taunting the whole way. I made a mental note to teach my future grandchildren to treat him in kind.
We hit obstacle after obstacle-ranging from walls to scale, ropes to climb, sandbags to haul, javelins to throw, concrete to move, and tunnels to crawl through. Each had a penalty if you could not complete the task. Damn javelin, I missed the target and had to do 20 squat thrusts. If you think Noah stood there and cheered for me, you'd be dead wrong.
We had to balance on obstacles, row, belly crawl through a foot high, thirty foot long tunnel (with mud and rocks). There must have been a sale on barbed wire, because it was all over the place. We were pelted with buckets of ice and mud. We even had to jump over fire, whose flames were about knee high.
The worst by far was the hip deep mud pit. We had to wade through, followed by an army crawl through mud and pseudo-swim through more mud. It was intense, but you couldn't open your mouth to complain or smile or you'd be eating the stuff. They were throwing it all over the place.
When Noah emerged from the mud pit, he playfully chucked a mud ball at me. Karma intervened and he fell flat on his butt. We laughed so hard that when he finally got to his feet, we both took a step and simultaneously wiped out together. Two uncoordinated mud balls.
I completely enjoyed watching Noah take on each challenge. He'd eyeball the situation, cuss, and charge it. Pretty similar to my own technique actually. We competed against each other and were about 50/50 for the challenges. Spending this type of bonding time with my son was priceless. We were not only mother/son, but we were athletes. It was surreal.
I'd like to say we finished hand in hand, but Noah was not going to let that happen. I got hung up on the last angled wall (which they covered in plastic, so it was impossible to get a grip). But when I did cross the line (5 seconds behind him) he was waiting with his arms open to give me a gooie, bloody, muddy hug. I know he took it easy on his old mom, and could have beaten me by a lot more, but he didn't make me feel like he was going light. I adore that young man, and I don't think I'll quickly forget his muddy smile.
We both have some decent boo-boos. I hope one leaves a scar, it would be a great way to remember this amazing day.