Let me start off with a confession: I am scared of heights. Maybe it’s because I overthink about the risk of falling, but most of the time it’s about having confidence that I can do it. The phobia is not mind crippling or hinders me in any way, but I wish I was one of those people who can confidently take the plunge to “Just do it”. (Cliché, but true)
So to challenge all the little voices of doubts in my mind, I signed up for an obstacle race called Spartan Race. The last time I entered an obstacle race was Viper Challenge (read about it here). In Viper Challenge, you were allowed to skip the obstacle if you’re not up for it, but this was not the case for Spartan Race; every incomplete obstacle will cost a penalty burpee. So, I had to choice but to suck it up, face my fears, and force myself to do it.
Spartan Race consisted of 6+km run and 22+ obstacles. The challenges will involve monkey bars, ‘burden runs’ such as running while carrying 20lbs sand bag or medicine ball, and yes, as expected, lots of climbing. The day before the race I kept saying to myself over and over again that I will not surrender to any challenges without a fight. Facing my fears in the eyes is the only way to overcome it, avoiding it will only make it worst.
This is moment that you have been waiting for: the most highest obstacle that you had to scale. (Picture courtesy of the Spartan Race Malaysia Facebook page)
There were lots of slippery mud too, and sometimes the safest way to descend a steep surface was just to slide down. Luckily, my Nashata compression pants came attached with a skirt so I was confident that the skirt will prevent any thorns or stones from getting into the pants or worse, cause the pants to tear. (Imagine the unnecessary bum show if that happened!)
This pants-skirt was a lifesaver.
Team Ayam Goreng 2.0 after a ‘refreshing’ swim in the mud.
Overall, it took me about 2 hours and 33 minutes (official timing) to complete the race. I believe it will take more than just an obstacle race to ‘cure’ myself from this fear of heights, but at least I have installed the confidence needed and remind myself that sometimes it’s just all in the head.
Sometimes it is more challenging to overcome your mind than it is to overcome a physical barrier. (Picture courtesy of @nakedspiritrunners)
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner.