Thursday, December 22, 2011

Best Served EFFING Cold

So I know a lot of stuff...a lot of random stuff.  I know things like the full name of Los Angeles is " El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula",  I know that dolphins don't sleep, I know how to drive stick, I know how build an antenna out of copper wire, a soda can, a board and some nails,  I know all the dialog to both "Steel Magnolias" and "The Big Lebowski"  ( I didn't say that the things I know are all that useful) and I know how to take apart and reassemble and M-16 A2 service rifle with or without and M-203 Grenade launcher attachment.  In line with what I know, I ALSO do NOT know many MANY things.  I don't know exactly where Idaho is located, I don't know how to forge steel or what the "whip" does in the senate, I don't know how to spell chrysanthimum, I don't know  where my black TR skinny jeans are or what size tires go on my car. 

Of all the things that I know and don't know, There were a few that came into play this weekend.  I, in true Katya form, enlisted to participate in The World's Toughest Mudder about two weeks ago after some pirates got me drunk and stole my common sense.  I KNEW I wasn't prepared, I KNEW it was going to be cold, I KNEW it was not going to be licked on by kittens.  I did NOT know how unprepared I was (yes I did I kept saying it), I did NOT know HOW cold it was going to be (yes I did it is December...there is a lake involved) and I CERTAINLY did not know the many splendid virtues of a little thing commonly referred to as a wet suit (fact).

I GUESS I think I'm just too far removed from any real discomfort that can be brought on by elements.  I have been tanning, against the orders of the II MEF commander,  in The Middle East, so I have been really hot and slightly sun poisoned.  I have slid down the sides of mountains donned in frozen hoodies so I THOUGHT I had been cold.  I have literally almost drowned at the hands of one very large Radio Recon MCWIS instructor so I have been terrified in and of water.  All of these things can go ahead and eff themselves because they all got trumped. 

I'm not going to bore you with the inane details of the obstacles and the rules of this race...far better writers have illustrated these things and there is a website that can walk you step by step through what was required of all the participants.  So.. if you care...go look it up I'm not doing all the leg work here I ran the flipping thing you can make SOME effort.  I WILL however, choose to bore you with the equally inane (BOOM that's twice and I'm not positive what that word means) details of what the hell I went through...see I've been gone for a while you all forgot how self involved I am, and you forgot my affinity for run-on sentences crudely lacking in punctuation of ANY kind.

The majority of time spent on this course was spent wet.  Mud is wet, the ground was wet, Ice is wet-ish, metal gets wet, somehow wood was wet and yes...water is wet.  It's funny to me that I thought that some lulu Wunder Unders, a run swiftly tank, and run swiftly long sleeved t-shirt and a marmot zip up would keep me dry and warm...I mean duh they have wicking isn't that what wicking does?  Even funnier is my total and complete disregard for recommendations for gear MADE by the people who designed the course.  Hey, you there, maybe you wanna GET A TENT, GET A SLEEPING BAG, GET A WET SUIT.  Who me NAAAAAA I'm good.

The first lap I was spending 20+ minutes in a warming tent SIMPLY because I had to low crawl in a puddle or seven.  I HADN'T even GOTTEN to the "water section yet".  LET me tell you...there is nothing more completely whore-id than having to fully submerge yourself in 29 degree water after getting to slowly walk step by step deeper.  Oh wait I'm lying there IS something worse.  DOING IT AGAIN.  I have never felt that kind of cold before.  When I say I could feel nothing below my neck I mean NOTHING below my neck.  I KNEW things were there...I kept checking but I had NO feeling.  I got up to the "walk the plank" or as I lovingly call it "Go F*** Yourself" the chick manning the obstacle reached out and "snapped" my very fancy and kinda expensive compression pants and exclaimed "You're not wearing a wet suit" to which I replied " I'm not".  God bless her she was so supportive.  She told me over and over I could do it and I was almost done and counted me down to jump several times, but MAN I wanted to punch her in the neck and tell her that its hard and honestly, almost physically impossible to throw yourself off of a 30 ft platform knowing EXACTLY what it was waiting for you...kind of like how your body just WON'T let you bite yourself until you bleed (go ahead I will wait while the majority of you try...whose smart now).  The body kind of really has this built in self preservation thing going on and will do everything it can to stop you from hurting induce terror and common sense...neither of which unfortunately are stronger than stupid pride and sense of accomplishment but whatever.

Time for reflection gents.  Most of you who know me know that I do my best to find silver linings in most situations that are less than perfect.  OBVIOUSLY this situation was less than perfect.  I underestimated an event, thought myself a slight demi-god apparently, and in return for my insolence against the race gods, I got hypothermia and my ass handed to me.  SO my happy ending, 1. I now know what hypothermia feels's a LOT like being drunk.  2.  I am not impervious to mother nature.  No one is.  We take rain for granted until it decides to remind us that it is in fact a reckoning force that can devastate entire nations.  I took rain lightly and it annihilated me...only not rain know what I mean try to keep up.  I don't presume to be some great athlete, by now I think that has been made avidly clear.  This race reminded me that I'm far from able to accomplish all unknowns.  There are things that will be thrown in my direct opposition for which I will have no answer,  for that I am grateful.  I find a great many things out about myself when I don't do as I expect.  Humility is a fantastic training tool.

End note:  Don't be APPEARS I am smiling in most of the race pics but that's just the face I had to make so I wouldn't bite my tongue.

End End note: Hypothermia is a fantastic abs workout...look into it...OK don't really but yea


  1. Christ woman. I adore you and everything that you say. It's unicorn tears. And, for the record, this is exactly what I wanted to read about last weekend. Exactly.

  2. Brilliant. And honest. And entertaining. And inspiring. Other stuff too, but you get the idea!

  3. I was beginning to think the smile face was the last face you were making before it froze - Another great article!

  4. I love this: "Humility is a fantastic training tool." So true

  5. Way to go Mudder. I was there both day and night supporting you guys. And for some crazy reason I am hoping to qualify for it next year.

  6. This made me smile...Not because of the horidity of your experience, but because it was written with humor. I like it when people can make fun of themselves.