The Inferno

    “I could do that. It’s not that hard.”

    That person talking is me. That fool. That egotistical blowhard. Me. What I was doing when I said that was watching American Ninja Warrior. Me. Slightly pudgy, barely athletic, and only of average strength. I could do that, I said. Wouldn’t be so bad if not for loving Mrs. Me being well within earshot.

    “You could?” She said with a wry smile and a touch of suspicion. “You could do that? You could race on monkey bars, run up and down huge hills, use a rope to climb a wall? You could do that?”

    Feeling confident that she could not call my bluff, and feeling like I was already tasting the tough skin of my own foot, I nodded and continued my braggadocio. I thought nothing of it… until I woke up the next morning.

    There I was, the next morning, in my slippies, reading the Oregonian and drinking my coffee when my wife slipped a note under my nose. The Inferno, it says.

    “What’s this?” I asked.

    “You said that you could do it,” She said.

    “Do what?”

    “American Ninja Warrior. Well, here’s your chance.”

    I gulped, knowing that I had gotten a little too big for my britches. With a good amount of trepidation, I asked: “What’s the Inferno?”

    “I’m so glad you asked,” her big blue eyes lighting up like the Aurora Borealis. The Inferno is an extreme obstacle course challenge. A race. It’s happening on September 10th in Salem. You and I are going to compete.”

    I gulped. I looked at her toned arms, her runners’ legs, her fit body. I liked what I saw, of course, but it also had me worried that I was going to be humiliated come September 10th.

    Perhaps sensing my trepidation, and no doubt trying to needle me a bit, she continued: “There is a 3-4 mile course with 15 obstacles, a six miler with 20 obstacles, and a 13.1 miler with 30+ obstacles. Running, swimming, climbing, jumping. Guess which one you are signed up for?”

    I gulped, hoping for the best and fearing the worst.

    “Don’t worry. 3-4 miles. Tops,” She grinned.

    I was briefly relieved, but then the reality of just how far 3-4 miles is sunk in. This was going to tough. Oh, my mouth had gotten me in trouble once again. I guess I was going to have to hit the treadmill and get in shape so that the day wouldn’t be a total disaster. “Gotta go,” I said to my wife, who was laughing uproariously.

    If you would like to subject yourself to extreme punishment, visit http://www.racetheinferno.com/. After the challenge, stick around for the after party, complete with food, drinks, music and revelry. Salem, Oregon is just an hour south of Portland, Oregon. I’ll be there. I hope to see you too!

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