The traditional birthday challenge, a wonderful physical exhausting event (or series of events) to celebrate your new age.  Age is just a number, a number which plays a vital role in what exactly I am doing every year come June 9th.  This last week my number happened to roll over to 28.  For the last five years I have been creating my own birthday challenges.  They have ranged from one single thing (2600 mountain climbers) to a day filled with various activities including eating, socializing, climbing and everything in between.  However, whatever the challenge may be it will always revolve around the age you are turning.  This year was a change of pace from the norm, as my friend and fellow coach, Sam, was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to come up with and complete a birthday challenge for my 28th.  For those of you that know Sam, he is a very energetic, creative and fun loving dude.  Once he jumped on board and took my birthday challenge by the reins I knew I was in for some good old fashion child like fun. 

This years challenge had a added challenge, it was raining and everything we were doing was outside.  That was great though, it added to the thrill of being a kid again.  Since I asked Sam to not only write my challenge but to join me, he came up with “2 people 8 challenges.”

  1. To start things off he presented a wonderfully roped up tree branch for us to get after some crate stacking (if you don’t know what it is check this out cratestacking).  Before moving onto the next challenge we both had to reach 28 crates.  This ended in a couple great falls before getting to the big number 28.
  2. Moving on, Sam presented me with a stack of logs and a wood splitting axe.  I immediately got into full Paul Bunyan mode and split 28 pieces as fast as possible.  Awesome, and even more awesome is the fact that no one lost a hand.
  3. This next one proved to be the most humorous on many accounts.  The first reason being, we both suck at walking on our hands and the second reason is the bucket we had was rather difficult to use due to its size.  This challenge was to take 28 handstand steps, but every time you fell meant bobbing for a apple (we ate a lot of apples).
  4. After getting smoked by the handstand walks we ran into the woods for some classic kid fun.  Yes, we pulled out the pellet gun and unleashed 28 rounds into nothing other than a Coach Kubi target.  That’s all I need to say about that!
  5. There was no time to worry about being soaked by the rain because we had a big ass log to flip down the train tracks.  Switching off Sets, we each did 2 sets of 8 log flips.  This in fact was a great workout given the awkward shape and the wet slick bark.
  6. After getting our pump on we took off running.  This is seriously a challenge for me since I am in fact not a runner.  However it was manageable since we took two laps around a awesome pond in the woods and stopping on each lap to do 8 pull-ups on a low hanging branch.
  7. To cap the physical challenges off, we headed over to a bridge to partake in a new twist on one of my favorite activities; climbing on a man made structure.  Equipped with my rock shoes, I was challenged to traverse across a wall of 4×4 foot bricks covered in a slick laminate paint.  Every time I fell off before reaching 28 bricks, I was challenged to complete 28 burpee 180’s before getting back on the wall.
  8. By this point we were both soaked, well worked and starving.  So due to Sam’s diligent planning, we capped off the morning with challenge number 8 which was drinking a 28oz avocado smoothie.  Yes life is great!

The point of a birthday challenge is to remind myself that age IS just a number.  Getting older is not a excuse to stop having childish fun or to limit your physical capabilities.  I look forward to the coming years so I can prove to my self and others that the bigger numbers just mean more opportunities to have fun and to get stronger as I go.



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