Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Skydiving from 18,000 Feet


There is much I could say about skydiving.  How stupid it is.  How crazy.  How I can't believe I did something like that...but because Chris donated the most to my Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraising...I had no choice.  He had won my fundraising contest and requested that I skydive with him.

The last time I had a fundraising contest...Chris won that time, too.  He had me get a colonic...and I (unfortunately) didn't get video of that.  Sorry, ladies (and Darron).

This time I did get video...and, of course, I had to mention my testicles at least once.  Enjoy!




Post Jump Laugh at Chris for
Failing to Kill me.



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pure Barre is a Pain in My Ass

I'm in this pic.  Can you find me?
If you've never heard of Pure Barre before you (a) have some sort of penis, (b) don't follow exercise trends, (c) cancelled your subscription to Self and/or (d) have a huge, BLACK penis.

Why can't it ever be a huge, WHITE penis?  They do exist...I've seen Boogie Nights.

Anyway, Pure Barre is an exercise class which appears to be made exclusively for women: you don't run around...you can't "win," and there are no balls involved (literally).  You just do a bunch of stretching and thrusting and gyrating.  And that shit is hard.

Now, you may be wondering why I would know about this.  I clearly (yes, clearly) have a penis...so following my logic, not only should I have never done this before...I should have never even heard of it before!

Well, my friends, I honestly believe coming down off an Ironman must be like coming off a heroine addiction.  I am clearly going through withdrawals...and I NEED exercise-like things to do!  I also have track marks all over my arms and now (yes, now) blow dudes for money.  Hey wait...maybe I really do have a heroine addiction???

So, when Tauni mentioned that her Pure Barre class was having a "Bring Your Boy (or Girl) Special"...I was all for it!

Biggest.  Mistake.  Ever.

My ass is STILL sore...

***

When we got there, we had to wait outside, which only added to the awkwardness. The chicks were all adorned in their Lululemon Sunday best and full makeup, while every guy had on ratty gym shorts, brewery and/or fun run t-shirts and had a distant, lost look in his eyes -- How did I end up here?

This was only made worse by the fact that each guy was sizing up the other six guys in attendance: OK...I can totally do more pushups than THAT guy...wait, do they even do pushups?  Shit, he isn't wearing socks...is there some kind of physical advantage to NOT wearing socks?  Why didn't Tauni tell me not to wear socks?  Now I might not be able to use that bar-thingy in the class correctly.  I think there is a bar-thingy...it is called Pure Barre, after all.  Yes, there is definitely a bar-thingy.  And socks must make it hard to use.  I'll show that guy...I'll just take my socks off when I get in there!  Ha!  Brilliant!  Wait...that other guy has socks on.  Shit.  What are the rules here, people? 

Each girl in the group, on the other hand, had a light in her eyes, proud of her man for spending time with her doing something SHE likes to do.  And, probably more importantly, spending time with her doing something SHE likes to do that SHE is WAY better at!

When the waiting became more and more awkward, the guys started talking silently and nervously to their significant others...and made guy jokes to each other about masculine things...belittling themselves in ritualistic male fashion:

  • I bet my ass will look amazing after this...
  • I hope this doesn't mess up my nails...
  • Do these shorts make my cock look big...

You know, the normal.

***

What I wish I had known then...which is very obvious to me now...is there is a reason women love Pure Barre so much.  It's not the challenge.  It's not the increased flexibility.  And it most certainly isn't the toning.  It's that Pure Barre is all about slutting it up.  I swear to you...it is.

In a man's class, you do things like THE CLEAN AND JERK (Could anything sound more masturbatory?) or THE SNATCH (as in Doing a... not I am a...). Very manly.  Sounds like things people with penises would do!

In Pure Barre, though, everything is about TUCKING or SQUEEZING or TILTING.  These are things men don't do.  Men don't tuck (well, not most men, at least) or tilt.  And we also don't tend to squeeze anything...in public.  But in Pure Barre, every movement involves a hip tuck or glute squeeze or pelvis tilt...it all seemed very slutty to me.  Moving and gyrating and squeezing and BURNING THE HELL OUT OF MY QUADS AND ASS FOR OVER AN F'IN HOUR!  I just don't think men are meant to move this way.  Not white, non-circus-performing men, at least.

Really, I just can't see myself having the following conversation:

  • Me:  Darron, what are you doing tonight?
  • Darron:  I'm going to Pure Barre. I've been practicing tucking all week.

OK...that's a lie...I've had this exact conversation before.

***

In all honesty, Pure Barre is an amazing workout.  Really, it is.  It worked muscles in ways I had never thought of before...and I was impressed by the strength and flexibility of all the women in the class.

All the men, on the other hand, probably wouldn't go back, unless they were practicing to become exotic dancers.  You never know.

I did appreciate that they offered chips and margaritas after class...a real MANLY thing to provide.  Unfortunately, after that crazy workout...I wasn't hungry, but I was slightly turned on.  So, I just went home and did some clean and jerks instead.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Ironman Coeur d'Alene -- Summary, Hints, Poop -- Part 3

Clothes Optional at Ironman CDA
114.4 miles down, only 26.2 to go, and I was going into uncharted territory.  Doing a marathon by itself is insane...so I didn't know what was going to happen with a little nine-hour warmup.   It's also humbling to know that the winner of Ironman CDA was already done with his race by this time...that's ok.  I spotted him the marathon.

The run was two loops...so you got to experience it once and dread it once like the swim and the bike.  The route wound through local neighborhoods and the town was going crazy!  There were parties and people just hanging out outside their homes, and there were volunteer areas about every mile.  The race directors also put a substantial uphill and downhill right before the six-mile turnaround...so you got to do that twice as well.  Assholes.

I was SHOCKED how great I felt the first 13.1 miles...but that all started to fade the last few hours.  My spirits were still good, but the body was...slowing...down.  The road felt like molasses, my body no longer gliding...but more trudging.  I KNEW I was going to finish at about hour 12...but that's of little consolation when there are still over two hours to go.

***

A couple of things I tried that I had never done before were sampling the coke(a cola) and warm chicken broth they had on the course.  I know...I know...I KNOW you are never, ever, EVER supposed to do anything new on race day...but I was so sick of my food and I just wanted some variation.  The last time I tried going off my plan, I projectile vomited strawberry Gu about ten feet...so I was a little apprehensive about straying from my nutrition plan, but I am SO glad I did.  The sweetness of the coke (advertised to be flat...but totally NOT flat) and the warm saltiness of the chicken broth definitely broke up the monotony of taste in my mouth (insert Darron joke here).

I also made it my personal charge to say something odd to every volunteer I got food from...like:


  • Might I try some of that mystical broth I've heard epic tales about?
  • Ahhhhh, more broth, please!  The giver of life!
  • I don't want your crap sports drink...just coke please (said sarcastically).
The thing I didn't like is that they all responded to me as "De Soto," which was the name of the local SD brand of tri clothes I was wearing.  Good for De Soto's marketing department.  Fucking annoying to me:

  • You're funny, De Soto.
  • More broth for De Soto!
  • De Soto, put your wang away.
I can tell you, it got old!  I also had a bib...with my name on it...just inches, INCHES beneath the De Soto branding.  You never know what will annoy you 13 hours into exercising...this annoyed the piss out of me.

***

The Finish.

It's hard to describe the feeling of the last mile of Ironman Coeur d'Alene.  I couldn't believe it.  I had done it...or was about to do it.  And I found myself thinking things like Damn, I would have to literally die now not to finish.  Just die.  Not slowly die...but die instantly.  I don't know if those are positive or negative thoughts...but I found it comforting that those were my two choices at that time...death or finishing seemed like all I had left to give!

(spoiler alert...I didn't die)

The last few blocks of the race were lined with people...and, in the distance, you could hear Mike Reilly (the "voice" of Ironman) crowning people with Blah-blah-blah YOU R A blah-blah-blah.  But as the last mile became 1/2 a mile and a 1/2 mile became a 1/4...the closer I got, I could make out the names...and I could make out his call.  So-and-so YOU are an Ironman, and the bright lights...and the stands...and the people...the cheering...and the clapping...and the yelling...and I couldn't believe it.  I had done it.  This thing. This moment...a moment created years ago in my mind of something to do.  Something to conquer.  Something to define me...but it didn't do this.  It wasn't this day that really did anything. 

***

Ironman brands itself with the motto "Anything is Possible."  I usually don't go in for any of that hokey BS...but of all the things I felt...I think that is what stuck out the most.  Anything is possible with enough time, practice, desire, and perseverance.  Well...I might never make it as a power forward on the Lakers....so maybe "Anything (within reason) is Possible."

Don't get me wrong.  There were numerous times along this journey that I questioned myself.  Why?  Why bother? Why keep going?  It is so much easier to stop training.  Stop running.  And swimming.  I HATE SWIMMING.  

And I think one of the (many) points of doing something like this is about what you find along the way.  It isn't about what's easier...I think it's about moving forward.  One step at a time.  And sometimes those steps are backwards (weird).  Sometimes painful.  Sometimes filled with failure.  Sometimes steps that are out of your control.

No...none of it has to do with easy.

It has to do with what you believe you can do if you will just let yourself.

And Vaseline.  

Life is all about Vaseline (you heard it here first).

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Ironman Coeur d'Alene -- Summary, Hints, Poop -- Part 2


I'm smiling because I am winning!
After the swim, a feeling of euphoria ran over my body.  I felt at peace.  I felt accomplished.  I felt emotional.

This all ended when I went into the transition area and the "wetsuit peelers" tossed me around like a rag doll at Rag Doll Rape Fest 2012 (they really have those...go ahead, look it up.) while simultaneously making me feel like a retard.

Wetsuit Peeler: Give me your arm.

Me: *diligently complies*

WP: YOUR OTHER ARM!

Me: *confused, while still diligently complying*

WP: GIVE ME YOUR ARM!

Me: I think I am.

WP: NOW PULL!

Me: I am pulling.

WP: PULL HARDER!

Me: *Looking around to see if I was on camera or in my new flick, Marky Does Coeur d'Alene.  (I didn't see any pudding, so I felt relatively safe)*

WP: GET ON THE GROUND!

Me: Um....

WP: Now, lift your butt up. LIFT IT UP!

Me: You do work here, right?

***

Eventually, they peeled my wetsuit (and pride) off of me, and I ran off to the changing tent, where I saw more sweaty, male dong since that time when...well...since the day before (I see a lot of sweaty, male dong on a daily basis.  Don't ask.).  This was compounded by the fact that every few minutes, a volunteer would come over and ask if "I needed help" while I sat naked in a tent with a hundred other naked men.  No, I'm STILL good.  But I think Bob over there needs your help.  He somehow got his helmet caught in his pubes.  Bring scissors.

At this point, I started putting Operation I Will Not Chafe fully into motion.  I applied a generous amount of NEW vaseline onto ALL...sensitive...parts of my body while repeating: No, I don't need any help, to anyone who would listen.  I suited up, and squished and waddled my way over to my bike, to start the longest part of my journey.

***

My other plan besides making sure my wiener didn't start bleeding at any point during the day (this has happened before!), was to take my time...and wait for the run.

And you know what, it worked!  I met TONS of people while on my 112 mile journey around Lake Coeur d'Alene.  Chat, chat, chat instead of race.  I don't think I really talked to anyone while biking during a race before, but this REALLY helped.  It distracted me from the long day ahead, and helped relax me while I pulled over again and again and again to pee.  Seriously, I might have peed out the entire lake.  That's ok...I'm sure I completely ingested all the fish poop.  Yay, calcium!

By the way, you really learn a lot of interesting things about people when you talk to them during the middle of an Ironman:

  • There was the guy who lost his leg, and was doing his seventh Ironman to prove to everyone that he could.
  • There was the other guy who had trained for a couple of other Ironmans (Ironmen?) only to get hurt.
  • There was the lady who lost her sister and was trying to reconnect.

It went on and on and on.  And it made me realize while my legs burned and my desire wavered, that I was part of something bigger.

***

I had heard numerous times that something odd happens to you around mile 70 of the bike ride...and right on cue, at mile 68, I had a weird, out of body experience.  I felt like my legs weren't working and my heart was going to leap out of my chest.  I started panting and my head was THROBBING.

My first instinct was to get off of my bike (for a non-pee stop), but I knew that was a bad idea.  I decided to work through it, and for the next twenty miles, I found my race.  I found the energy I had to work through.  I found out what this was all about.

And it was hard.

Really, really hard!

So I started chanting two things:

"You are doing so well.  SO well.  You are doing so well.  SO well."  I was impressed with myself, trying positive thinking techniques at my time of greatest need...I also wondered if anyone else would marvel at my correct grammar.  I bet they would.

I also started a song..."You gotta get to 80...so you can get to 90....You gotta get to 80....so you can get to 90...because 90 would be so fine-y."

These chants pushed me through the hardest part of the second loop, which was all up. And then up.  And then up some more.  My brain and body were telling me to stop.  To quit.  To give up.

But my chanting and thoughts of how much time I had put in...and meeting all these great people who were missing body parts and loved ones...those all got me through.

And pee breaks.  Lots of pee breaks.  Honestly, I should get a job were I get paid to pee.

***

I was shooting for a 7:30 to 8:00 hour bike ride...and was pretty surprised when I got in at 7:18.  I never let my heart rate get out of zone three...and really let the experience, not my competitiveness, drive me.  That really helped me in preparation for the marathon.

The last part...and the most fun part of my day!