For a few days now I have been pondering what to type up next. Not much Jets news besides Wilkerson’s crash and the usual Sanchez/Tebow drama. Training camp begins soon. I assume the drama will start up soon.
I am not going to be working on my Jets documentary forever. It led to me covering the fans and giving them their chance to shine when no one else really does. Not just on video but in print. But there is more going on to talk about than just the New York Jets and it is time I branched out and started to write about many other topics.
Let’s face it, diversity is key. Need some variety here. The Bakery is getting stale with the same old topics. It needs to be freshened up with some new topics and coverage. And maybe some more about myself, what I am doing, and what I have been through.
What is the Warrior Dash you ask? Check their website at Warrior Dash. I can not be bothered talking about it so find out for yourself.
The Warrior Dash, the World’s Largest Running Series, is a 3.20 mile long course made up of 14 “hellish” obstacles. They take place on off terrain paths, in water, over walls, in mud, over fire, and many other obstacles. There are 45+ races in the United States every year and also Australia.
Some of the obstacles change from course to course, depending on the environment. This is the first time Warrior Dash is in New Jersey. It is being held at Lewis Morris County Park in Morristown, NJ and this is my first time running in this event.
Even the walking I would do filming at a Jets game is not enough cardio for an event like this. I would begin by parking at the Sheraton on the other side of Route 3. Then with some maneuvering, use a NJ Turnpike exit bridge to the stadium to cross the highway. Then walk from one end of MetLife Stadium parking to the other side, and back again. Even over to the Izod Center and everywhere in between.
I have been training for this since March considering I have not been in a gym for about six years. So I knew I had to dedicate time and energy to make sure I could at least finish the event. The Warrior Dash website does outline certain training routines for different skill sets. I am glad I trained beyond what they recommend.
The event begins at 9 AM. The first 500 warriors will line up for their dash through hell. Then in 30 minute intervals, waves of 500 Warriors will line up for their opportunity. I line up for my chance at 1:30 PM.
As I write this my mother sends me an e-mail saying she just read what the Warrior Dash involves. Then she asked if I was crazy.
I responded yes.
The race does involve and obstacle where one has to jump over a wall of flame. It is just a line of Duraflame logs. To get an more in depth review of Warrior Dash and other running series like Spartan Run, Rebel Race, Tough Mudder, and others go to Travelete.com.
I bring that up because some obstacles seem worse than they sound. They do not want it to be impossible where only few finish. That is the Tough Mudder, (recognize my sarcasm yet?).
If there is someone struggling, others have been know to provide assistance on the course. Many do act like sportsmen and want to see others overcome and finish. You can sign up as a group as well and run with your friends.
To me, the Warrior Dash is just another physical activity I enjoy putting my body through. I know a few may not like to hear that, but I enjoy doing extreme activities. I wrestled professionally for about 13 years (mostly on weekends), bungee jumped, went to Mountain Creek when it was Action (Traction) Park, played tons of sports when I was younger, and just enjoy a great challenge.
When it came to physical activities when I was younger, I was lucky to do what I did. My vision provided some, not major, limitations in activities my parents would let me do. Football was out. The one sport I wish I had played in my life.
At the age of 10 in 1984, wrestling was the one sport I stayed with. Did not give it up. Loved to wrestle. In eighth grade, I went through the season undefeated in the heavyweight weight class (149-275 lb, I weighed 163) and took first place in two county tournaments. was able to climb the ropes in gym class using just my arms. My sophomore year in high school I made varsity at 189 lbs.
I held my head just a little higher after making varsity after years of being teased, bullied, and made to feel insignificant by my peers. To many, it didn’t matter and some teasing continued, even from some of my teammates.
But it never stopped me from quitting wrestling or anything I did. I persevered though it. I have always had this mentality that I can do anything I put my mind to, no matter what my limitations are in life. I never like to hear the word “NO” or “you can’t do that”.
My attitude is “Yes” and “watch me”.
That was until some news I received over the summer of 1991. I noticed a change in vision. I had to visit a specialist in New York because my condition could not be diagnosed by my specialist in New Jersey.
I was attended to by one of the three leading specialists in the world regarding my vision issue. I underwent three and a half hours of testing to determine what my vision issues were.
It was determined I had subretnal neovascularization with pathological myopia. Say that three times fast.
To sum up the condition, imagine looking through two scars on your eyes everyday. You can see, but not perfectly and with some vision loss. That is me. Doctors told me no more wrestling.
I was devastated. I cried for a long time on that one.
At the age I was diagnosed, I was informed my condition occurs in one out of three million my age. It is a form of wet macular degeneration that normally happens to people in their 60’s and 70’s.
I was officially a winner in the unlucky lottery.
If I strained the blood vessels in my eyes significantly it could increase the scarring from blood leakage behind the eye. This was what the doctors were worried about and advised me not to wrestle or do any extraneous physical activities.
So, for my final two seasons on the wrestling team I was the team manager and recorded all the wrestlers matches. My senior year I was an assistant freshman wrestling coach. I had good knowledge, what can I say.
But after high school I went into professional wrestling. Yes, I know I was told not to wrestle but I did it anyway.
It was what I wanted to do and I was not going to let anyone tell me otherwise. I miss the physicality. I enjoyed hitting and being hit. Not too hard of course. But I enjoyed it. I love putting my body out there. The adrenaline rush makes me smile. If I could have gone into MMA instead of wrestling, I would have.
For years I wrestled and did other physical activities, including weight lifting, with no other damage any doctor can make out. I have been in the clear. I have always said every time I go out there and do something I risk the odds.
Odds makers in Las Vegas have gone broke betting on me. I am pretty good with numbers. I can figure rough odds playing poker.
Knowing my limitations and abilities does keep me a step ahead. If I need to pull the plug on something or realize a limitation. I will stop with no hesitation. I may be crazy, but I am not stupid.
I am a very headstrong, determined individual. When I set my mind to something, I set to accomplish what I start. I went headfirst into filming a documentary and learned on the fly about film making. Major thanks to Anthony Artis and others on their guidance.
The Warrior Dash is just another challenge I KNOW I can accomplish. If you don’t challenge yourself you will never know what you are able to accomplish. One can never realize their full potential.
I never want to look back and say I never tried. It is better to attempt and fail, than to not try at all. OK, so someone may have said that before me but it works well here (Thanks Ant!).
I keep repeating a scene from the movie “Rocky Balboa” in my head. Rocky tells Rocky Jr. that it is not about how hard you get hit it is about how hard you come back from that hit. That no matter how much you feel you are being hit further down you fight back that much harder.
Hey, draw inspiration from whatever adrenaline boosting IV you can get it from. As long as you do something about it.
I am dedicating my race on Saturday to two groups. For those visually impaired, who can see and do more than their limitations let them. Also, for those younger who need the confidence to fight back and overcome obstacles & realize their full potential. I am not sure if there is a non-profit or .org for that one.
I think the obstacles I’ve faced in life have set me up well mentally for the obstacles at the Warrior Dash. Glad I was able to get my body physically capable as well.
I know the Warrior Dash is going to be fun. Another event in the long line of physical activities I decided to sacrifice my body to. I know I am going to hate the cardio in between the obstacles. I hate doing cardio, but a necessary evil. It is the obstacles I am looking forward to the most. Getting down and dirty, using my hands, climbing ropes, jumping over walls, stopping speeding bullets.
OK, I got carried away.
I plan on doing one of these events a year. My wife Gina wanted me to do the Super Spartan Race in September as well. No way I am ready for an 8 mile race. But for my 40th birthday, I do plan on running the Tough Mudder.
Here comes another e-mail from my mother.