This past Saturday, I spent five hours of straight physical and mental exertion taking place in the second annual Fox Valley Amazing Race. Much like the reality show, we had to solve clues to take us to a location and then perform physical, mental, and just plain old luck challenges. There were 52 teams of four, and Andy and I teamed up with our friends and neighbors to make up the Middlebury Mob.
So, first question – does being incredibly out of shape and obese A) help in such a race, or B) not help? Man, it was HARD. I can still easily remember what it was like when I was a college athlete, how I worked out for hours every day. And I remember how strong I was. We all age, Megan. Is that what you are trying to telepathically tell me? Well, yes, we all age, but most of us don’t have our weakening states shown off in public display. LOL I will say that we rocked the mental challenges. I think we got some bad luck in the beginning. The very first thing was for me to hold a cup to my head with strings while my teammates threw mini marsh mellows into it from 10 feet away. That took some time. And then next we had to find a single red bead in a full bucket of wet sand, and you couldn’t take the sand out of the bucket. Some teams found theirs quickly…we did not.
One of the most pathetic attempts on my part was a jungle gym. That’s right, a jungle gym. Five year olds cruise across monkey bars, but apparently when you are…burdened with more weight to carry…those suckers are HARD! LOL Both Katie and I flew off them, carried by our momentum and ended up landing in a heap and taking a penalty lap around the track.
So when I signed up for this race, I thought it sounded like a blast. I was up for the challenges, knowing I’m out of shape, but who cares. Well, I did not anticipate a food challenge. For those who don’t know me, I am not an adventurous eater. I can’t stand any seafood, and I have texture issues with things like mushrooms. Ick. So when we entered a bar only to see a roulette wheel with an assortment of things I would normally never let near my lips, I think I turned a bit green. But I stepped up to go first (because you could pass it to your team mates, and we all knew Andy could probably handle taking anything if needed). Clickity clack went the spinner. I didn’t even look to see my options because I didn’t want to think at all. Just do it. Just do it. Just do it. Don’t think. I chanted to myself, and it was working pretty well. The clicking stopped. CLAM JUICE. Did I mention how I abhore all things from the sea in terms of eating them? Ok, so you can image my reaction. Why couldn’t I have gotten the wasabi? They handed a clear plastic cup with a yellow liquid in it that only made me think of other things I wouldn’t want to drink. I asked for a cup of water as a chaser to have ready. Plugging my nose, I tried to just chug it without tasting anything. I did it! ….
…. For all of a millisecond before it came right back up and out…and out of my nose, too. Ugh! I heaved it out and kept on dry heaving and gagging. FAIL. but I tried, right? Next was Katie who got a cold, smoked oyster, which she also ended up gagging out. Steve got a hot crispy pickled okra that he was able to stomach. He told us it had the consistency of a cut off thumb that had been aged in formaldehyde then pickled. Andy got clam juice and also had to take a second shot for me since I wasn’t able to stomach any of it. The rest of the day, I could smell that horrid stuff. Ugh.
All in all, it was a blast. Even the running up and down a steep hill to fill a bucket with water carrying only plastic cups, or putting together a puzzle with only square pieces and most of them of foliage. We were a tired, sweaty mess by the end, and very sore the next day, but we plan to do it again next year. Though I think next time I will just pass the food challenge immediately on to Andy, my lovely husband with the adventurous palate. And next time I WILL NOT fall off the monkey bars.
So where are the pictures, you ask? Well, I was too busy to take them, and I should have been using my iPhone to take some, but I was busy using it to look up info on the clues. A company called Clix took pictures of the event, and if you want to see me stomaching down the clam juice, click HERE, go to View & Order Prints and type in “Fox Valley Amazing Race”. You do not have to log in. Once you get in there, on the first page, you will see a woman with frizzy red hair wearing a blue tie-dyed shirt. That is me. And the other woman in a matching shirt throwing up is Katie. LOL. If you want a laugh, scroll through the pages of images. My team has matching shirts, but a bunch are funny.