one woman's quest to live the life she's imagined all while daring you to do the same

Urban Raid Obstacle Race: A metaphor for success

At 5 AM this morning, the first alarm went off. Boots the kitten had just begun his regular morning routine fight with the paper bag. And the debate began.

Are we really going to do this?

I was still sore from marathon training, or was it kickboxing, or was it water polo? And Elisa had pulled her calf at bball the other night.

Each of us took turns limping to the restroom before we got back in bed moaning and groaning.

It didn’t look promising.

At 5:15 …

What do you want to do?

At 5:30 …

It’s your decision.

At 5:45 …

Babe! What are we doing?

At last, I made the call. I decided sleep wasn’t worth the guilt I would feel missing this beautiful morning and the opportunity to see a part of NYC we hadn’t visited AND an opportunity to try a race we were really excited about 3 months ago when we signed up (when we had imagined we would surely get more than 4 hours of sleep, be fit as fiddles, well before I had committed to marathon mania.)

Boots’ kitten crazies had heightened when he realized he had an audience, which made our decision even easier. Up we were.



The sunrise on the Hudson as we ferried our way to Governor’s Island was worth the fatigue. We got to the course with little idea what we had signed up for.

We knew it was a 5k. We knew there were obstacles.

We knew that many people had gloves. Further evidence we were ill prepared.

There were only two visible obstacles near the start line, the rest were hidden within the course all over the island, 14 in total.

I had ignored this sign, posted near the start line. I prefer to remain ignorant about most things.


Elisa stopped to get clued in.

She laughed as she pointed to the ridiculousness. We’d been warming up for almost an hour and still felt painfully tight. We weren’t even sure if we’d make it past the first obstacle.

My game plan: Listen to my body.

I wasn’t in it to win it–nor could I if I wanted to, and that’s fine by me. Just getting to the island felt like a big win already.

Surprisingly at the start of the race, my body loosened. By the time I got to the first set of hurdles, they looked awfully tall, but I just took them one at a time.

All we can ever do.

Rounding the corner of the island, to be met by the beautiful Statue of Liberty up close and personal, was another big win.

Next was the tire toss, and, this time, marine hurdles, then ropes, and so on.

One at a time.

I didn’t fret what was ahead, partly because I didn’t know any better–partly because it didn’t matter.

One breath at a time, one step at a time, one obstacle at a time, all while taking in the beautiful morning, the gorgeous park, and scoping out the hammocks for a possible nap later.

I didn’t worry about what was to come, or fear that I couldn’t do it, or feel anxious that I might mess up.

I had one goal: Listen to my body.

Sometimes that’s all we need to succeed: the gumption to try, a little bit of ignorance to how difficult it might be, the willingness to smell the flowers along the way, and the discipline to hold steady to a single and solid intention.

I leave you with this: What’s your single solid intention?


Much Love,


The big finish. (vid)


Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit, yo!









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