Yesterday was truly an adventure! I should have expected no less at Shale Hill Adventure Farm where my friend Rosie (of Rock Bodies) decided to bring a small group for her birthday. Only a personal trainer would choose trekking through five miles of brutal obstacles as a way to celebrate another great year! I’m really thrilled I was invited along!!
We didn’t bring our cameras on the trail so unfortunately you can’t see us all muddied up, but definitely take a look at Shale Hill‘s site for some great videos and pics of their course. They have the first fixed obstacle course in the country! We spent our time belly-crawling through mud under barbed wire, scaling walls, climbing ropes and poles, hurling ourselves over hay bails, carrying logs, sand bags and buckets of rocks, swinging from ropes and jungle gyms and doing so so much more. It was INTENSE, but really fun! Think of it as a playground for adults, and if you go get ready to feel like a kid again!
I personally have never done something like this before. People often use their course to prep for obstacle races, like the Spartan Race which is held fairly-close by. Those who have trained for the course can do it in 1-2 hours or so. Except for Rosie, we were all new to this type of exercise and we went through the course at a more casual pace, ending in three hours flat. We took our time on the obstacles, really trying to get a taste for them even if we couldn’t beat them. It was great that everyone in the group tried just about everything.
My absolute favorite was climbing ropes set up in a grid going quite high into the air. The objective was to climb it, go over it and climb down the other side. As someone who is afraid of heights, this was a pretty big deal. In fact, many of the obstacles challenged my fear, but thanks to rock climbing for the past year and a half I’m getting much better at gritting my teeth and getting through it. I also rediscovered my love of jumping over things. The hay bails were far too high to actually hurdle, but I used my old high-jump technique to propel my body on top of them and roll over; or in some instances just get up high enough that I could claw my way over. My shins are pretty pissed at me for wearing shorts as they’re covered in scratches today.
The only very-minor bummer of the day for me was that my Vibram Trek Sports that I wear pretty religiously for outdoor fun, ripped at one of my big toes, causing my toe to jut out bare at times. This mostly bother me because I only bought them two years ago and my KSO’s ripped a bit at some of the toes only about a year after buying them. So my track record with Vibrams is 1-2 years right now. That’s a bummer considering how much I love them and how expensive they are. Any tips from others out there on either another brand of minimal shoes or ways to repair my current Vibrams?
If you’re in the VT area or are vacationing up here I highly recommend checking out Shale Hill Adventure Farm. You won’t be disappointed…but you will have your ass kicked!