I need to have some fun with today’s blog – so I hope you’ll join in! Here goes…..
If you’re like me, you’ve got a personality trait or two that impacts most areas of your life, for better or worse.
My Trait #1: If you give me a good challenge, I’ll probably agree to do it. Even if it’s something most people in their right minds wouldn’t. For example…..
In 2012, my friend Amanda challenged me to do something called the Warrior Dash – a 5K Mud Run with various insane hurdles to get over. First she told me it would be fun, and that I didn’t really have to be a runner to do it. I wasn’t convinced, so I suggested perhaps people my age don’t do things like this (surely not, I thought!), to which she replied (and I quote) -“sure, plenty of old people do it”!
Did she really just call me OLD? With that, she had given the challenge – and I accepted! I would show her!
I was off and running, literally, to get ready for Warrior Dash. I took a running class. I pushed harder than any middle-aged non-athletic woman in her right mind should. As a result, a few months later, I was sidelined with a stress fracture. Warrior Dash was not to be – that year.
But that didn’t mean the end of the Warrior Dash! Of course not, because….
Trait #2 – Once I tell you I’ll do something, I keep my word – period.
Fast forward 2 years. After recovering from my injury and doing a lot more running, I signed up for the 2014 Warrior Dash. And this time, I finished! 3.4 miles running – lots of hills, barbed wire and mud – climbing cargo nets – even swimming across a lake. The best way to share it is with pictures, so here goes:
I figured my clothes would get trashed, so I wore the most hideous clothes I had available. When were those shorts EVER in fashion? I can’t imagine why I ever bought them….15 years ago.
The rest of my sporty ensemble:
Ugly white shirt with red dots, which turned into my very own wet t-shirt contest shirt (thank goodness for sports bras!)
Garmin sports watch – which, fortunately, IS as waterproof as they say!
The shoes I never wear because they don’t fit right. Kudos to my trainer friend Todd Soura for telling me to put holes in my shoes before the race – otherwise my wet shoes would have been even heavier and I probably would have drowned in the lake.
I LOVE my hat, so I took it off just before the race started.
I did this race because Amanda told me plenty of old people do it.
See all the old people? Yeah, me neither….
At the start of the race, there was a little mud. I’d heard you should stay up off your knees to avoid scraping them. That worked when we were going under netting. Later on, it changed to barbed wire closer to the ground. If you didn’t get down on your knees and elbows, you ended up with holes in your shirt from the barbed wire. Yes, I learned the hard way….and ended up with holes in my shirt AND sliced knees.
As I was running this infernal race, I have to admit I wondered if I’d finally taken things too far. Was it possible there are things people my age just should not do? I was two years older than when Amanda originally challenged me – if I’d just let this thing quietly die, I don’t think she would’ve ever noticed.
But I did it – because I said I would.
I couldn’t let myself off the hook. And by the time it was over, I had two gashed knees, one less toenail, and a bruised tailbone.
But I did it…and that’s what counted.
It all comes down to those traits that drive my entire life. Give me a compelling challenge and I’ll do it – no matter what. Just ask my second grade teacher, who I’m lucky didn’t march me straight to the principal’s office after I accepted an (inappropriate) challenge. Or the people that convinced me to go rappelling down cliffs. Or to be the target in the dunking booth at work. Or spend my vacation with people living in poverty.
These personality traits have worked great for me – they helped me finish my education well, they helped me in my career. They helped me honor commitments to God, even when the going got rough. They’ve helped me be there for people when they needed me. They’ve been a real plus.
Yes, God gave me some pretty good traits when He made me, but the problem is that Satan knows just how to exploit them.
Because the ugly truth is when I’m challenged and I tell you I’ll do something, the ME inside my head kicks into high gear. I can slog my way through lots of things – by myself – no God needed. That’s my natural tendency. And sometimes that means I end up covered in mud – literally or figuratively. Over the years, I’ve been reminded countless times how I can take the toughness and feistiness God built into me and use it in ways He never intended – as self-reliance, rather than determined reliance on God.
I know y’all are thinking now “What did they talk her into doing in second grade that almost landed her in the principal’s office”? Or better yet…..”What crazy NEW challenge can we give Diana – do you think she’d really do it?”
You never know friends, you never know. I just might!
But be forewarned. Because I’m not the only one with these quirky little character traits that can be both good and bad. No…..You have some too. (Yes, I’m talking to YOU).
SO – here’s the deal. If you’ll share a brief story in the blog comments about a wonderful character trait of yours that’s landed you in some funny or awkward situation, I’ll consider a new challenge.
So bring ’em on! Let’s have some fun We’d all love to hear your stories in the comments!