Post by Ambassador Angela Kalal:
It’s true, even though we teased, fought, and tormented each other, when it came right down to it my brother was one of my best friends growing up. (Mom warned me that someday I would say that.) Being only a year apart in age, we shared “adventures,” read: trouble making, together up through college. In recent years, miles and life pulled us in separate directions.
Then, one day late last fall, I got a call from him. He, a former collegiate rower, was now feeling out of shape and wanted to make a change. Seeing as I’d battled pretty much all my life with weight, he figured he’d reach out to see how I went about initially losing it. I explained that a lot of it was changing what I ate but it also involved finding something that I love to keep me active and motivated. For me, this is rock climbing and obstacle course racing.
Well, he must have taken what I said to heart because a few months ago I got a text that said “Do I want to do a Warrior Dash?”
My response: “Absolutely not without me!”
Next thing I knew I was registering for the May 2013 Warrior Dash in Inola, OK and purchasing airfare for a LONG OVERDUE trip to Arkansas.
In the meantime he decided not only to commit to the Warrior Dash but also registered for a Tough Mudder in September. Thus began some serious training. He studied my husband’s race videos on Vimeo and asked all kinds of questions about obstacles. We created a beginner running plan that he could follow (and, perfect timing, I could modify into a recovery plan from my knee injury.) There was even a day we Facetimed Planks together every hour on the hour. When I arrived in Arkansas last week, I found that my brother had been training his butt off (literally!) Both he and his wife obviously were putting in gym time and it showed.
He killed it! The event itself was very well run and the obstacles were your standard Warrior Dash obstacles – mud, trails, trenches, cargo climbs, balance beams, and barricades. My brother crushed them all like they were nothing and he was the one who pulled me out of the water during the swim. (Swimming is my kryptonite.) He gave 100% and ran every section even when it felt like everything inside was telling him to stop.
This was his first event since his days of rowing in college and as we crossed the finish line he let out the loudest scream with the biggest smile on his face. And that – that indescribable feeling is what it’s about. Not a lot of people get it but I am so happy I got to be there when my brother rediscovered it.