The Patriot Project holds events around the country to help raise funds to provide chiropractic care for our military. The events are open to both military and civilians and are a good chance to get out and get a workout.
At some point I did some basic math and realized that at my current weight + 5 layers of clothing (it was 17 degrees) + a 35# bac pack + water bottle and protein shake, I was going to be right around 300# total. I had a somewhat negative initial reaction to this (there may have been tears involved). Good thing I had this minor melt down after I had registered or I may very well have backed out.
Thirty five pounds is a legit amount of weight to be lugging around, especially for individuals like MK, that’s a significant percentage of her body weight. I did laugh slightly when I asked her what she was going to use in her back pack and she told me dumbbells. I suppose you could wrap them in towels or something to help pad them, but it still sounds horribly uncomfortable. I opted to use bags of sand, they’re heavy, but soft.
The night before the event I got a text from KBW that her and her wife also needed sand and another coach, PJ, who was doing the event was getting in late from vacation, so I ended up bagging up 175# of sand. My kitchen counter looked like I was involved in the sale and distribution of illegal narcotics! I had bags of sand duct taped up all over my counter, it was rather funny.
The next day we all met up at the event and distributed “the goods” amongst our packs. I had to laugh at poor PJ, he was getting home from sunny FL, the temperature difference was dramatic at best! I’m lucky enough to have a nice backpack with an internal frame and various straps and adjustments that make carrying that much weight more comfortable. We all had the same general reaction when we picked up our packs “OMG!” KBW, always the over achiever, carried an extra 10#!
We lined up at the start and I realized we were at the front of the pack. I didn’t feel the need to be an obstacle for all of much faster individuals, so I relocated to the back of the pack. Somehow MK didn’t get the memo and 5 mins into the walk I got a phone call from her asking where I was. The smart-ass in me took over and I told her I was in the Jeep, the pack was heavy and it was cold. What’s great, for a minute she believed me!
The game plan was pretty simple; we got on a local bike & hike trail and went 4 miles out and 4 miles back. The trail runs through the woods, but of course our trees are still naked from the winter, but I still found the scenery nice. The hike was much easier than I had expected. Some of it I walked alone, some I walked with friends. All of my friends are much faster than me and I was glad they stayed with me for a time, then went at their own pace, I generally feel really bad when they slow down to be with me. I talked with several people along the trail, everyone has their own story. I was amazed by the people who were running this event; KBW and PJ were among these super athletes! We chatted with military groups and watched the geese floating on the river.
Overall I felt great until about 6 miles in when I could feel blisters on both feet. I had opted to wear different socks because of the cold and that decision was coming back to haunt me. At the end I had only stopped once to get my protein shake out of my pack and I felt really good other than the blisters. KBW won 1st place for the women, her and PJ came in 12th and 13th overall. I really enjoyed the event and while I was slow, I finished. It was fun just to get outside and do something…anything!! Come on spring!!!