Tomorrow, older son and I will drive across the Blue Ridge Mountains to Massanutten ski resort where on Saturday, joined by younger son and his girlfriend, we will attempt something called the GORUCK Nasty. It's an obstacle course up, down, and around the ski slopes. There will be 27 obstacles with names such as Swing Stop & Jump, The Dirty Name, The Belly Buster, The Tunnel Rat, Gorilla Swing, Small Body of Water, Confidence Climb, and, at the end, The Tough One. It is not a race, though I'm sure there will be people there treating it as such. My aim, and that of my compatriots, is to finish and have some fun in the process. We will help each other as needed, just as we will help the other 96 people in our start wave if they need it. Still, it is a bit daunting.
I have wrestled with all sorts of things that probably don't merit wrestling. Should I wear workout clothes or the water-shedding cargo pants I wore in my last three GORUCK events? Should I wear long sleeves or short, a hat or not? I will not be carrying the bricks required in the GORUCK Light or Challenge, but should I carry a pack with a water bladder? Though it is possible I will change my mind between now and Saturday morning at 10:00, when our wave of 100 people will start the course, I have decided to wear the clothes I wore for one GORUCK Challenge and two GORUCK Lights, the water-shedding cargo pants with a water-shedding, hot pink t-shirt. I will have arm sleeves along to wear or loan as needed. Since there will supposedly be water available along the course, I don't plan on carrying any, which will leave my center of gravity where I usually find it, not tilted off-center by the weight of three liters of water. The bursitis in my knees has been acting up lately, so I will wear lightweight knee braces over compression stockings and under neon-bright, lightweight knee socks to hold the braces in place. I did this for the other GORUCK events, and it worked nicely. I will wear the cross-trainers that I wear for morning workouts. I will likely decide against a hat since it usually starts to bother me partway through an event. The key to the car will go in older son's dry box, meaning that the only thing I will carry will be my rescue inhaler which I hope not to need.
Never having done any sort of obstacle course, I am not sure what to expect other than that I will likely be terrified at times, uncertain at other times, and blissful at just a small number of times. I will finish, and I will, overall, pronounce it fun. I will be glad that I did it. Perhaps most important, I will learn a bit more about myself, something I seem to be doing more in late middle age than I did as a teenager. I do like the person I seem to be becoming and wish it had not taken me this long to get there.