Once again I'm starting a blog out with "Where do I begin" (OK well technically I guess I started this blog out with "once again I'm starting a blog out with "where do I begin" but you all get my point).
This weekend as you all may know was the 10 year anniversary of the attacks on our nation that took place on Sept 11. I, along with MANY others, chose to commemorate the day in the way we know best...self induced physical pain and mental anguish....YAY!!!!
The events of this weekend started out Friday where I, against her will, forced Mini Me to leave school at noon and sit trapped in my Jetta for 5 hours while we listened to the SAME songs on satellite radio (we can talk about THAT later) and paid lots of tolls enroute to New York, New York. Now I was excited to drag her along as she had never been to the big apple that never sleeps of lights and dreams...or whatever it's called, and I was also excited to YET again force this poor minor to stay up all night in the cold and watch/document me doing stuff. We ALMOST got her in to participate but alas she is too young and I'm not her parent (yet) so I couldn't say it was OK for her to sign a death waiver...Deb, MMKN we need to make me a legal guardian so I can start putting her in some REAL danger?
We arrived, made it up to the apartment, got settled in and were on our way. The PLAN was to hop on a subway and hear to the GORUCK Head Quarters for he fundraiser and to kick or the event. What ACTUALLY happened was we walked a few blocks over to the subway paid like 10 bucks for some cards to ride the train then couldn't figure out which one to get on so abandoned that plan and just got into a cab. I made the fatal mistake of trying to tell the cabbie where to go and how to get there...not so much from my own knowledge I just read him the text that my NYC native friend, Maurya, sent me. OBVI this didn't make him happy and he took me his way, explaining to me the whole time how he knew where I needed to go and the best route to take and had he gone the way I wanted him to go it would have cost me much more money. SO I thanked the defensive man tipped him well, got out of his cab and waved as he drove off PROBABLY laughing at the fact that he had just dropped me at the wrong spot and was internally amused thinking about what is was going to be like for me to try to figure out where the hell I was. SO I dragged Mini around in some circles for a little while until MScan, via phone, talked me through the steps I needed to take to get to where I ACTUALLY wanted to be. It was amazing..."put the sign for the Holland tunnel to your back and walk forward" She told me that after she realized that asking me to walk south on Canal street was like asking me to invent carbon. "Do you see a post office on your right? Cross the street. Now cross to your left to the next corner. PAUSE and make a 90degree turn to your right." I did all of that and as if in the matrix there she stood...amazaballs.
We got to the GRHQ and I met with the illustrious team of dudes I would be challenging with the following evening. Had some beers donated some cash and we all left to get food and then sleep. At that time of the night in NYC there is really only one genre of facility you can go to in order to get fed and that is a bar. We handed off a fake ID to mini, made her memorize the dates and addresses on it and crossed our fingers. Took a death cab over to the destination (Travie pointed out that you are paying the man to drive you around so getting your monies worth by near death crashes was all part of the ride) WE GOT IN!!! We all ate, drank and planned the next day's activities.
Slept...awoke...left. In order to not make this a novel I will skip menial details about strangers in NY that talked to us and serenades from crazies on the subway. I will just say Mini got the full NYC experience. FF to 7pm we made it back to GRHQ and got ready for our class to kick off. We got pushed to the right a little and didn't end up leaving until midnight but I was OK with that. We became the last class to run the challenge, class 063.
Now...here is where things start to get a little hairy. One of the fall backs of participating in events such as the Death Race and the Beast and the GORUCK Challenge is...you can't really effectively describe it to "civvies". I can write that as a group we conducted a few hours of Indian runs and inch worm pushups, bear crawls. I can tell you with words that we arrived in Washington Park on the NYU campus at 1am where we did walking lunges for 2 hours all while being verbally and physically accosted by the locals and carrying packs with bricks and random other "coupons " donated by our cadre. I can write that we were presented with a log that weighed no less than 1000# and told that we had to take it back to where it came from...which was in Brooklyn.
- Go ahead and Google the distance from 385 Broadway to Brooklyn...I'll wait.
I can WRITE that after carrying that mother for 4 hours and 20 minutes to the banks of the East River, we were told to get on line and walk into the water, sit down and do flutter kicks. OBVI we didn't do this synced so we had to do it again. Then we were lead out of the water where we were lined back up and sent off on our way back across the BK bridge buddy carry style.
- I would like to stop here for a moment and mention that I puked on the BK bridge. Actually I puked off of the SIDE of the BK bridge onto a cab. Thats what happens when you get carried for a while after you just ate some shock blocks and granola.
I can also write that once we got to the skyline where the ghosts of the Twin Towers stood we all stopped surrounded by what had turned into a police escort, and took a moment to realize that at that moment is was 9am on Sept 11th exactly 10 years after that history changing day. I can write about the tears and the feelings and the sobriety of that moment. I can write what it was like to run the rest of the way back to Manhattan, to a statue where we were lined up after 11 hours and were told that our final task was to hug one another and realize what we had all just been through together. I could write eloquent, descriptive poems about all of it...but unless you were there you won't fully understand what it was like. You won't understand because I CAN'T write what amazing feels like. I CAN't write what the faces i saw looked like. I CAN'T write what "worth it 10 fold" feels like as I try to negotiate stairs and chairs today. I can't write it, sorry...I guess you had to be there.