Monday, December 16, 2013

I Conquered The Beast

My muscles are screaming and I'm still reeling from exhaustion, but I did it. I finished the Spartan Beast yesterday.

This was without a doubt the single hardest thing I've ever done physically. The race itself was approximately 14.1 miles long and it took place in the rocky, unforgiving hills on the outskirts of Glen Rose, TX. 

The race was interspersed with obstacles and challenges designed by sadistic people- things like 200 foot army mud crawls under barbed wire, climbing wet, muddy ropes 50 feet high, dragging heavy blocks of cement through forested creek beds, and carrying 100 lb buckets of wet gravel up and down +100 foot hills with deathly steep inclines.

It transcended brutality.

The experience was also very emotionally draining for me, and it's hard to pinpoint exactly how I feel right now. I'm happy I stuck to my word and I'm proud of my achievement, but I'm a little razzle-dazzled right now, & my brain fuses are still trying to make sense of everything that I went through.

I know I'll look back on this experience with more fondness, but for now, I just want to get things back to a state of normalcy...then maybe start preparing for next year's Dallas Spartan Beast. Who knows....

Thanks to JD & Lisa Thompson for supporting me early, and thanks to Carol Harney for making a BIG donation to the mudrun literally the day before I did it. Thank you so much!

Here are my actual results- out of 3668 contestants, I got 569th overall, finishing in the top 15.5% of participants. Not too shabby, but I can do better. ^_^

 I was also wearing a GoPro HD headmounted camera during the race, and I'm going to be editing together a nice little video for you guys to see soon!

Once again, thank you all for following this stupid-yet-passionate pursuit of mine! I may try to do it again, albeit a little differently next time around.



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Mudrun Is Happening Even Though the Sponsorships Didn't!

Hey y'all!

It's been a while since we last saw each other! There have been fall festivals & cat-stuff galore between posts, boy let me tell ya.

I got onto the front page of the Wise County Messenger which is some pretty sweet publicity & I've increased my social media followers to over 30,000 people!

Holy balloons!

Even with all that heat, the project didn't really take root like I had hoped or planned. Throughout the whole ordeal, I recieved ONE sponsorship and even THAT came from our senior volunteers, J.D. & Lisa Thompson, after I told them that I didn't have any sponsorships & they felt bad for me. Ooof.

I think all the stuff with sponsorships & t-shirts was too complicated & also times are tight. Let's not forget the fact that if people want to donate to CARE, they'll just donate to CARE. Either way, I'm doing the mudrun & I'm going to represent CARE, & if people want to donate to the facility because they heard of me doing ice-plunges & box jumps then so be it! I changed up the sponsorship section to a plain-jane donate section & that's that!

Speaking of box jumps, by the way, I slammed my opposite leg on the SAME concrete culvert during workouts the other day (not parkour!) I didn't need stitches, but my initial thought was, "Not again!!!"

I'm doing the mudrun in two weeks, I'm scared as hell, but I said I was going to do it, and I'm going to do it.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Noticing a change - quick update

Hey all you's folks!

I've got a few moments right now in between work & working out so this is going to be shorter than normal.

Last night was one of the first times I've noticed a really significant change in my body's athletic ability since starting this whole thing. We were feeding, & during big cat feeding (especially with CARE's holistic whole-carcass feeding method) you're generally getting really dirty & lugging around some pretty hefty stuff. It's an arduous ordeal but it gives you a good chace to work out your CARE Muscles.

Basically, we have our tractor with a front-end bucket lift, we fill that bucket with meaty goodness, then we lift the bucket to the level of the enclosures, & we toss din-dins hither and thither to the hungry lions and tigers who run around like crazed lunatics below.


I've fed countless times & I've always been able to get the job done. It's at least a two person job- one to drive the tractor, one up top to toss. Sometimes, when we're short-staffed, I have to fill both positions which involves driving, placement, climbing, tossing, descending, driving to the next one, & repeat. It takes a bit longer to perform, but again, I can git-r'-dun (oof).

Last night I had to do just that for the first time in probably a month & a half- only this time I noticed a fluidity like I've never experienced before. I was scaling & descending faster & with significantly less effort, and I was gripping & tossing the heavy food with greater ease.

It was neat!

I guess the workouts are starting to pay off. Maybe soon I'll have to get new pants.

Anyway, I've gotta go run!

Take care,


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ice Plunge Video From Yesterday

Here's the video of my icy adventure. I stayed in for over ten minutes. I started to ramble pretty intensely about my inspirations about 2/3rds of the way through. I was trying to elaborate on what originally drew me to the facility & how I learned life-changing lessons in humility by being around the cats & their power- the idea that the cats and the facility was something bigger than myself. I tried to explain to the viewers how the cats made me realize how there are certain things in life that are stronger than you and cannot be forced or controled, but with time, patience, & dedication those things can be persuaded & managed. I was trying to illustrate how the cats helped me to grow, develop, & become an overall better & stronger person and how I feel as if I am forever indebted to them for the gifts they gave to me, but what came out was a bunch of jumbled babbling. Cold on the brain I guess.

Hope you enjoy!


Monday, November 4, 2013

So I did this today...

That is a picture of me sitting in a tank full of ice water. I decided it was a good idea to do something big, somewhat stunty, and rather dumb in order to get some extra heat for the project- so I invited some of the local news guys out, & we had ourselves a nice press event.

I sat in the tank of water (easily in the low 40s, upper 30s Fahrenheit) for over ten minutes- I was experiencing some interesting physiological effects after a while (couldn't feel extremities, brain stopped working at a desirable efficiency, etc.), but overall (& after a nice hot shower), I came out of the ordeal pretty well.

To pass the time & keep my wits while in the tank, I lifted weights, talked a lot, did crosswords, Vined my ordeal, & wrote a letter to my Aunt Sharon. It was painful, but I'm glad I did it because I think I achieved my three goals-

1) Use this event as a training event of sorts. Frigid water is a staple of the mudrun experience & I would be a fool to think that I won't be encountering it during the race. Best get it out of way now.

2) Show people that I mean business. I'm serious about this whole thing, & I want people to know that I'm willing to sacrifice & persevere in the face of adversity. I want potential sponsors to know that I'm a good bet.

3) Get attention for the cause. Drive eyeballs to the screen. Simple.

Anywho, I need to consume some warm liquids & rest up- it was a big day! I'm uploading the video of the fun & it'll be here on the blog soon.

Take care


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Back from Raleigh & a BCMR Revamp

Hello to you out there in the internet!

I got back from Raleigh, NC earlier this week, after attending the first ever Big Cat Sanctuary Workshop hosted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS).

There were representatives from 22 different big cat sanctuaries across the United States, and I gotta tell ya, it was a pretty neato experience.

I am the glowing bald orb in the center of the top tier.
 We got to do a lot of meeting & greeting, networking, putting faces to names, and hearing a ton about different aspects & experiences regarding the management of big cat facilities. I went with our Development Director & Board President, Jamie Reed and I didn't embarass her too much during the whole ordeal. Success!

It was pretty eye-opening because I was able to hear from others' experiences & what was so remarkable to me was how much in common we all had with each other.

It's an odd existence, being one of CARE's managers, and it can sometimes be an isolated one. We have an awesome volunteer & intern staff, but at the end of it all, those members get to rotate in and out. They can come and go at their leisure, while there are a few of us who always stay behind- the few who have tied their fates to that of the organization. With that, it was very refreshing to be in the company of those likeminded individuals- people who have sacrificed so much for the sake of the animals in their care.

We learned a lot, and we hope to apply a lot of what we learned to CARE to hopefully elevate it to higher levels. We at CARE have a tremendous facility and we truly do take EXCEPTIONAL care of our cats, now we just need to pump some more funds into the facility so that we can keep doing well what we do (providing world class care to big cats in need) and not stress and strain and spend undue amounts of energy worrying over things like the next months bills. I'm tired of it- and that's one of the reasons why I'm doing this mud run.

Which takes me to my next point. We're entering into November, my training regimen is still going strong, and I haven't recieved a SINGLE DONATION for this project. I will not, however, let that stop me. That means, I just haven't found the right angle yet. I think I need to rethink the monetary aspect of the fundraiser- still keep the bare bones elements- donations in exchange for advertising, but I think I need to simplify the process a lot more. I've got boxes and decals & squared inches & a lot of confusing elements, & I think that's off-putting to a lot of people.

Lesson learned. Now it's time to move forward. I'm going to scrap most of the 'How to Donate' section, & I'm going to come out with a new, much more simple way for the BCMR to make money.

This project has to work, the cats deserve it, and I'm determined.


Thursday, October 24, 2013