Down & Dirty Life Lessons

Hi, here is a different kind of message today.  I recently participated in a 5 km “fun run/obstacle race” called Down & Dirty.  I had a lot of fun and actually gained some life lessons along the way.  So I wanted to share:

  1. Try everything – Just before we started, the race director said “Please try each obstacle, just do your best, and if you can’t do it, pick an alternate activity like burpees or jumping jacks” (I hate burpees).  Just like life – try new activities, even if it might be hard, you don’t know what you can achieve until you try.  I actually did some of the obstacles that I did not think I could – I find we are usually capable of doing more than we think we can!
  2. Watch your step – That was the other message imparted to us just before we began.  Good advice on the course as the terrain was rough and there were gopher holes.  Good advice in life as it is easy to stumble across obstructions.  Don’t focus on the obstructions, but be aware of them and step right over.
  3. Work together – We signed up as a team, and it quickly became clear that we could do better together.  Some obstacles were a lot easier when we helped each other.  For instance, there was a sort of teeter-totter that was narrow and we had to walk across it.  My balance isn’t the best, but when I held my daughter’s hand it was easy!  And I did the same for her.
  4. Let strangers help you too – At one obstacle we had to climb over a barrier, and the volunteer there said “stand on my shoulder, I will help you”.  Awesome!  That is the only way I would be able to do it.  Remember, people usually love to help, let them, then say thank you.
  5. Pay attention to direction – we got to throw axes at a target.  The volunteer there gave us some simple instructions, then we threw our axes.  The instructions really helped, even though I was pretty bad at it.  Just like life, learn a bit, then try, then learn from your mistakes and try again.
  6. It’s okay to get dirty – Well, this WAS a mud run and we did get a little dirty.  We planned for that, we brought an extra change of clothes.  So be prepared for the hard work in your life, get a little dirty, have a back up plan or a change of clothes, but go for it!
  7. Expect some bumps and bruises, and maybe a skinned knee or two – yes, I earned some wicked bruises, and I don’t even know where they came from.  Just like life, you might get hurt a little, but don’t let it slow you down or stop you altogether – get out your band-aids and polysporin, patch it up and get on with life!  And don’t take it personally!
  8. Be prepared to give a little extra effort – In this part icular race the 5 km mark came at the bottom of the hill and we still had to climb that hill to get to the finish line.  Sometimes in life you have to go the extra mile (or at least 400 meters in this case).
  9. Give a little – This particular run was in support of the Cancer Society.  It is always good to contribute to charities or others in need.  Give a little or a lot, everyone benefits!
  10. Stop and enjoy the view – This run was located at a local ski hill overlooking the North Saskatchewan River.  As we ran up and down and down and up the hill, we took the time to look around a bit and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  Same thing in life, there are always opportunities to stop and smell the roses.  Appreciate what you can do and what you have!  My motto is “Life is an adventure – live in gratitude and enjoy every moment!”.