Monday, September 29, 2008

Expedition Everest Challenge 2008

I have needed to get into shape for a long time for my health, yet I couldn't find the motivation to stick with an exercise program. I found out about this inaugural event at one of my favorite places, Disneyworld. It involved a 5K run, an obstacle course and a scavenger hunt, plus the chance to celebrate in the Animal Kingdom Park after hours. Turns out that the fear of public humiliation is a powerful motivator for me. I began to exercise in earnest. I am so grateful that my friend Jim agreed to go with me so I couldn't chicken out. Each week our time improved on the 5K walk/run. Last year we didn't get to celebrate his 50th birthday in a big way with all of the health challenges facing him. I hoped that this event would be a milestone for both of us, a chance to celebrate our friendship and our healthier selves.
OK, it's actually here. (What have I gotten us into?) After 6 weeks of training, we arrived at the Disney Sports Complex on Friday morning to pick up our racing packets and shirts. After a small snafu (I was registered on a team with myself instead of with Jim), we opened our goody bags. Surprised to find cookies, energy coffee beans, and a watermelon scented electric air freshener. Here we are at Base Camp Fury 242 on Friday morning. Our luggage had finally arrived at 3 am. When it seemed that we had been here a week with all of the constant activity, we would remember that our luggage had only been in town for hours!
Spent Friday afternoon at EPCOT celebrating the Annual Wine and Food Festival. We enjoyed the rides Soarin', the surprising ending at Spaceship Earth, and Mission: SPACE.

Had the most refreshing frozen margaritas ever on a hot day!

A packed crowd celebrated the closing of the unique Adventurer's Club on Friday night. All of Pleasure Island will be closing after this weekend to make room for something new. This is one time I feel that Disney is making the wrong decision.

We gave the Adventurer's toast "Kungaloosh!" and cheer "Hoopla!" in the parlor before the shows in the library. Felt like a real adventurer by night's end.

We sang the Adventurer's Motto several times. Seemed appropriate as we were headed into uncharted territory for Saturday night's race.

The cast of the Adventurer's Club provided many laughs.

Imagine my surprise finding Scott here dressed in a scout uniform and carrying a cow!

After a talk about the race course, we spent Saturday afternoon at Animal Kingdom Park, site of the race. You can see Everest in the background. By now, I am getting very nervous. Had a delicious lunch at the Yak and Yeti Restuarant where our new friend, Gracie, was our waitress. We ended up in Wave 11 of the race, meaning we started last at 7:50 pm (the first runners began at 7 pm). They played very loud music interspersed with Yeti growls and helicopter sound effects while we waited. Firewalks shot up as the race began, and then we were off running around the parking lot in the dark!

Yeah Team Bluffingwildly! We finished! Had medals placed around our necks! Celebrated by riding Expedition Everest and the water rapids rides many times in the dark. The darkness made the rides seem much scarier.

We did what we set out to do. We not only completed the 5K Race, the Obstacle Course (thanks to Jim, he did all the work in record time) and the Scavenger Hunt in 1 hour, 20 minutes....we weren't even last to finish! Our medals and sweaty shirts are shown hanging above. I am really, truly proud of us. I can't even express how this small accomplishment was life-affirming.

Picture us standing here in front of Mickey with our medals at the All Star Sports Resort (the guy taking our photo forgot to push the button). Kungaloosh!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are the champions no time for losers as you are the champions of the world!!!!