Standing in the corner of the frat party, all I could think about was the hot pink bottom of my floor-length skirt turning brown with mud and beer. A year ago, I would have been scouring the house for a glass of hard alcohol to get my BAC above a point two. Six months ago, I would have been watching my friends snort blue lines of Adderall off the tabletop. This weekend, though, all I could worry about was how much it was going to cost to dry clean my skirt once I got back to Chicago.
I went back to Lehigh for the infamous Lehigh verses Lafayette football game – the most played rivalry in college football (147 meetings to be exact) – the rivalry that landed me in the hospital my senior year. I went back to see my friends, specifically one that spent the last six months on a cruise ship, and walk the tree-lined hills that were my home for three years.
There was a lot of excitement and trepidations surrounding the visit. The day before I left, I was unsure if I wanted to go at all. I had an amazing time in college, some of the best experiences in my life happened on that campus, along with some of the worst. College lasts four years for a reason – to act as a transition for the real world. Graduation is not just about receiving a degree, but about leaving student-life behind and all the drunken drama that came with it.
Fun fact: Chicago has one of the largest population of Mexican immigrants in the United States.
I live on the border of a town with the one of the densest Mexican-American population. My middle school was about one-third hispanic and two-thirds caucasian. We matriculated into a high school that was one-quarter hispanic and three-quarters caucasian. Then I went to a college that was about at white as you can get.
I like living on the border of such a diverse community because it lets cultures blend. One of my closest friends growing up there let me into her life as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. I went to her quinceanera and spent a lot of time with her family that could not have been more different from my own.I learned how to dance the Cumbia and more importantly, I developed a fine palate for Mexican food (dear Lehigh people, La Lupita is not authentic Mexican cuisine).
I’m in training, and because I’m a crazy person, I’m in training for this: The Chicagoland/Northwest Indiana Mudathlon. What is it besides a huge mess? I’m glad you asked. It’s a three-mile run filled with over 40 obstacles and 100-yard mud pits. I told you I’m a crazy person. But there is one crazier than me. The one who spawned this interesting plan. Her name is Anna Biondi (@AnnaBiondi) and she came up with this little scheme after completing the Warrior Dash – an equally ridiculous mud-based race.
The race is in exactly one month, and I am nowhere near physically or mentally prepared. Starting today I will attempt to run or bike every day to build stamina and will continue working with Justin (who has been a major grouchy-pants lately) to build muscle. Here’s where you come in…join me, either actually or in spirit. I will be posting weekly updates along with my plan for the following week, so you can train with me. Even better…join our team to get down and dirty in Valparaiso, Indiana on July 23. The success of this venture depends on a few things: My determination, the support of my teammates and figuring out some form of income to pay for the entry fee. For now, I’ve completed day one and am optimistic.
Jab – cross – jab
Jab – cross – roundhouse
Back step – side kick repeat
Got that? Ok now first sprint up and down a hill, forward and backward lunges, side shuffles then a couple dozen push-ups and mountain climbers. Sore yet? Ok how about some sit-ups and planks until your whole body shakes?
Exercise is an important part of my life, mostly because unemployment means I have nothing to do but watch reruns of Grey’s Anatomy. My daily bike ride to the gym is my only excuse to leave the house. It’s also important because before college I was an athlete, a varsity athlete if you can believe that. The swim team was more spirited than talented, but we were a team none the less. The highlights of my swimming career were not the races I won or the personal bests I set (27 seconds for the 50 free if you were wondering), but bonding with my teammates. Together we TP’d the lower-classmens’ houses then they saran-wrapped our cars. I became known for the rubber-duck collection in my glove compartment that would make guest appearances on teammates front stoops. There was also the giant rubber duck donning a pink rain hat that traveled to all of our meets and stood on the sidelines with us as we screamed chants across the pool. At the end of the year all of the other captains and I signed the duck and left him as a reminder of the best captains that ever graced the halls of Highland Park High School. Then we went our separate ways.