A couple of months ago, my friend Kira asked me if I wanted to do a Warrior Dash. My only question: How long is the course? She told me 3.2 miles, plus a couple of obstacles along the way.

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A couple of months ago, my friend Kira asked me if I wanted to do a Warrior Dash. My only question: How long is the course? She told me 3.2 miles, plus a couple of obstacles along the way.

Either I didn't hear her or simply wasn’t paying attention when she mentioned there would be obstacles. Crawling under barbed wire, swimming through mud, scaling walls, jumping over fire—-yeah, I probably would have never agreed to any of that.

As they say, ignorance is bliss, and good thing too, because I would have missed out on this amazing experience.

I have to admit, though, it was kind of hard. Trail running isn’t really my thing. The extent of my off-road adventures is Central Park’s Bridle path (real trail runners are probably laughing at that statement as we speak), so navigating a mountain (literally, people ski down Windham Mountain during the winter!) laced with rocks, roots, and other debris was enough to throw me off balance more than once—-especially when you add in all that mud!

I did love the dirt though—it was a welcome break for my body, since I am constantly logging miles on the streets of NYC.

Once I made peace with the fact that trail running is a lot slower and more technical, and that I would probably have to do some walking up those super steep hills (Hey,I ran 11 miles the day before and took a spin class, don’t judge me!), I decided to focus on overcoming the obstacles.

Surprisingly, I excelled at these random tests of strength, coordination, and agility. Who knew I could channel my inner Lolo Jones and hurdle across a fire pit? Who knew I could shimmy across a rope? Who knew I could climb a 15-plus foot wall?

For that I specifically have to thank As1 and Equinox’s Titan Method for helping to build my upper body strength because I am almost positive I might still be trying to climb over that darn wall if it wasn’t for them! (FYI: You can go around most obstacles if you so choose, but where’s the fun in that?)

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All fun aside, the Warrior Dash and others like it (think Tough Mudder and Spartan Race) are a test of your physical ability and your fortitude. And while you can sign up with a blasé attitude, I advise that you not attempt a race like this without doing some serious training or at least being in somewhat decent shape. Shoot, even I felt like I should have been more prepared!

One last rec: Embrace the mud! It is everywhere! I definitely tried to avoid it in the beginning, but after the first half mile I realized that was pretty much impossible. So, like my fellow warriors, I too splashed around in that thick, brown, murky goo until my heart was content. Hey, sometimes you gotta get a little dirty!