“A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.” –Trinity to Neo, in The Matrix
I had a lot of déjà vu during the race. Even though I’d never done it before and had not previously seen any of the 25+ obstacles, mostly, there was a soothing familiarity to them. I had expected to experience a lot of things during the race (fatigue and bruises, obviously) but this was not one of them. It was a welcome feeling.
When we were younger we’d head out to the trails in the back behind the tracks that led to Pelham Bay. There, we’d do some exploring, some climbing – some ‘training’. Back then we (like most) were big into martial arts. Not that either of us took classes or anything, but we were big fans (think what MMA is today to it’s fan base). I still remember the Ninja magazines my brother would bring home that we’d flip through (I remember the one with a Ninja dressed in white attire on the cover. It stood out to me because they are usually dressed in black.). Back in the trails, we’d go off in the wooded areas. No one was around, just us. And there, we’d practice our Ninja skills. One time we played a little hide-n-seek. The trick was to camouflage yourself using the surroundings. With all those leaves on the ground and trees everywhere, you could hide anywhere. I couldn’t find him once for what seemed like 30 minutes. I don’t remember from where he sprung out of finally, either from behind one of them trees or from under a pile of leaves. He was always good at camouflaging himself and hiding.
Those walls never stood a chance at the race. It didn’t matter that they were as high as 8-feet tall; It didn’t matter that the last wall was inverted. I had scaled them all more than 25 years before. Louis showed me the proper way to hop fences when we were kids. We scaled trees and other things in the woods too. Those walls were no different; scaling them at the race took me back, way back.
I can see why Louis wanted to run in the race. He was always into those kinds of things. I had always enjoyed them too. I’m glad I ran the race. It was awesome. It awakened a lot of things in me that I hadn’t felt in a long, long time.
Until next year, Spartan Race. This year it was just about taking it all in and finishing proudly. I’m proud of my team and proud that we finished together. Next time we’ll go for the trifecta, maybe even compete in the Elite Wave(s) and go for glory – Spartan glory. Until then, I’ve got more memories to relive and new ones to make.
One race down, more races to go…