In 1977 Clint Eastwood starred in “The Gauntlet”. This was a story where he played a cop sent to transport a prostitute for trial on minor charges. As it turns out, she was actually going to testify against a leading mobster and he was chosen specifically by a corrupt Police Chief because he was a mediocre cop and deemed “expendable”. Time after time, their transport vehicles get riddled with a ridiculous number of bullets as the Chief has listed them as "armed and dangerous". They are on the run from the mob as well as the cops. Together they face challenge after challenge after challenge...
I bring this up as June is presenting itself to be my gauntlet. As earlier mentioned, I’ve challenged myself to complete two physical “events” per month. These can be anything that would be above and beyond a normal workout. I have run races, participated in indoor triathlons, and track meets. The idea being that having a target event on the immediate horizon will keep me focused on working out.
From January through April, I managed to find and schedule events pretty easily. I actually averaged three “events” per month. May proved to be more challenging as family events ate up most of the weekends and scheduling two events became difficult. I ended up “creating” two events. On May 17th, I completed a 2 mile swim at the local YMCA. I’ve swam that far before, but not in a long time. Last night I completed a “CrossFit Challenge”. This consisted of 10 rounds of 6 exercises. It took me 86 minutes and the best term I have found to describe what I went through is “brutal”. Through years of football, rugby and triathlons, I have never had a workout that kicked my ass as badly as this one did. That which does not kill me…. Fortunately, through both the swim and CrossFit Challenge, I have amazing friends that came out and did them with me. I am blessed.
So here I sit looking at the month of June that I’ve scheduled. I have signed up for four events. There are two other events that I may also do. The first is an “Aqua Bike” race this Saturday. I will swim 400 yards and then go for an 11.25 mile bike ride. It is actually the first two legs of a sprint distance triathlon. I simply do not have a 5K in me at this point. On the 8th, I am going to Olivet College to throw shot put and discus at the USAT&F Michigan Outdoor Masters Championships. There is a 2K Open Water Swim on the 19th. On June 22nd I throw shot put and discus again at the State of Michigan Games. The next day I will swim the 50, 100, and 500 Freestyle as part of the State Games. The month rounds out with a Sprint Triathlon on the 29th. I may look to try to find a biker and a runner to do it as a “Team”.
It is a lot. As I type my body aches from the 50 burpees, 100 pushups, 150 sit ups, 250 air squats, and 500 jump ropes from yesterday. The thought of doing six events amidst business travel, end of year school events, a soccer potluck, Cub Scout activity, and who knows what else has me a bit intimidated.
During my CrossFit Challenge, my coach Zach Parsons, kept pushing me to get through the next set of exercises…to keep chipping away at it. As I look to June, I’ve decided to keep that focus on the next event. Chip away that one. Then keep moving. Always keep moving.