This weekend I did the Insane Inflatable 5K with my nephew who just turned 12. It’s not a race. It’s not timed, but finishers get a medal and a T-shirt. It’s basically a 3 mile course with 10-11 inflatable obstacles participants climb up, slide down, or run through in some way. It’s a great family event. There were people from little girls to silver-haired ladies, athletic looking guys to not so athletic looking people participating.
I have to admit, I felt a bit nervous as our wave was about to start. I mean, inflatables or not, some of those obstacles were pretty tall for a girl who’s not crazy about heights. The starting obstacle was a climb to this big slide onto the course. Trust me. It was higher than it looks!
“If a butcher is 5’8″ tall and wears a size 14 shoe, what does he weigh?”
(I’ll keep you in suspense. Leave a comment if you think you know the answer!)
I had a lot of fun just spending some time with my nephew. He totally blew through those obstacles. I’d come through to find him standing there just waiting for me. He told me he thought about going ahead, but then he realized I’d just run and catch up to him so he decided to wait!
But besides loving hanging out with my nephew, I learned a few things while I was playing on inflatables.
- Trying new things is fun! This was an EASY obstacle course. Anyone of any fitness level could do it. The obstacles weren’t really challenging in terms of fitness level, but climbing, sliding, dodging, ducking under and going over things was new to me. The height of some of the obstacles was a bit intimidating to me, but the inflatables had high sides so I couldn’t see how high up I was which helped squash my fear. The finish line obstacle was the highest at something like 74 feet. That’s me in the orange shorts. But when I got to the bottom of this massive slide, I realized how much fun I had! I especially liked the climbing parts. Hmmmm, maybe I should think about doing a real obstacle course.
- I CAN conquer fear! Well, at least minor fears. Looking at the height of the slides made me quake just a bit, but when I got to the top, I didn’t really feel scared at all. What did make my heart race just a bit was an obstacle that required us to climb up a ramp, through some crisscrossing posts and onto a platform. To complete the obstacle, we jumped from the platform onto a series of balls. To me, the platform seemed kind of high and then there was this gap between the platform and the ball…I’ll admit it. My heart was beating a bit faster. Yes, that’s how much of a fraidy cat I am, BUT I took the leap without too much of a pep talk, landed not at all gracefully on the ball, but made it without falling to the end of the obstacle…where Caleb was waiting for and laughing at me! But I’ll take these tiny victories against fear.
- I need to work on balance and agility. Keeping my balance was probably the toughest part of the obstacles. The air in the inflatable created a very unsteady surface, so just staying upright was a bit tricky at times. While recovering from a sprained ankle a while back, I did an exercise that was great for both balance and strengthening my ankle. I stood on one leg on a pillow for 30 seconds, alternating legs. I need to add that in to my exercise regimen a little more regularly. For agility, one suggestion I read about was to map out letters like A, B, C and run the shape of those letters. So my neighbors might think I’m nuts running in all directions in the backyard, but that’s okay if it increases my quickness.
Would you do an obstacle course?
What’s your favorite riddle?