You may have already read the last of my posts, which went up last night. I reviewed the True grit and OCRA Inaugural 24 Hour Obstacle Enduro Race. It was a race of superhuman strength, both male and female. It was a race of determination, it was a race of ticker. It was a race of joy.
There’s a sub-phenomenon that is occurring within the phenomenon that is Australian Obstacle Racing. One that you should be aware of, and if you’re not already, you soon will be. This sub-phenomenon is called ‘Getting Chicked.”
A chicking involves a male racer being overtaken by a female racer. It is something which the ladies treasure, and take pride and pleasure in. It is something the men try to avoid at any cost. I’ve even heard of a bloke feigning injury to avoid a chicking he knew was coming to him sooner or later. What a rank amatuer!
Now I’m not going to talk about all the blokes who have been chicked, though I will include one of them in this yarn. That’s me.
I got chicked on the weekend.
I got chicked heaps.
And SHIT am I proud of it.
I am proud when I get chicked because it proves the chicker is awesome, and the chickee needs to train harder. I was lucky to be born a man. Let’s face it. We get better pay, more say on how society is run, we enjoy the lion’s share of the food, the senior roles in government and the corporate world, we are, on average, bigger and stronger (sometimes, not always) and we have to deal with less discrimination, harassment, physical and verbal abuse than the stronger sex does.
That’s right. Stronger.
I’ve witnessed my wife give birth to two children. Naturally. Without drugs. I would have been reaching for the pethidine before we even got to the hospital. I’ve seen my mother support my father through 30 years of illness, and stand strong as the winds of drug addiction, drought, flood and fire have buffeted our family back and forth. And yet still she is strong. It ain’t about how much you can lift, it’s about how much you can take.
The reason I am proud of this series of chickings that occurred over the weekend, a situation most blokes wouldn’t even discuss, is that I admire these chicks so much, and it is an honour to watch them chick me.
Leah Dansie did 10 laps for God’s sake. To look at her in civilian clothes, she is just a 5 foot 10 inch blonde bird. She looks like any other 5 foot ten inch blonde bird who looks after her body. But she ain’t. She did 110 kilometres and 300 obstacles over 24 hours. That is superhuman. She would have chicked me at least three or four times had I have done the event solo.
I don’t actually remember a chick going past me out on course. I only did two laps and I was moving pretty quick, so whatevs. But I got chicked alright. I know for a fact that Andrea Peebles chicked me a couple of times, because we started my second lap together, she watched me run (almost) flat stick into the barbed wire. I had to really dig both heels into the dirt and drop flat on my arse to avoid a serious maiming, but I DO know how to stop this big frame quick…when I need to.
We ran, we laughed, we joked, we ran. I would lose her in the hills or through the water, and then – after a short break yarning to a volunteer – I would put the gas down and, surprisingly, she would be out in front again. “How did I miss her run past me? Is she working with the Spartan Ninja,” I wondered. She knew when I was coming through though, because the way I get through races is to keep talking, to anyone and everyone I pass.
One of the volunteers claimed that I had an excess of energy. So I sang him a war cry from my St. Johns College Days. “Here’s to the man with the Big Red Nose. Hoo, Hah. Hoo, Hoo, Hah!”
So what? I’m an extrovert. I draw energy from other peoples’ energy. That’s why I could keep hitting the gas every time I saw Andrea Peebles, she is possibly the MOST positive person i saw out on the course. And there were plenty of positive people out on the course. I mean you don’t go and run 24 hours and 100kms with a negative frame of mind. It simply isn’t possible.
Speaking of getting chicked, there was team on course named Turbo Super Chicks. You’ll see a photo of them below:
The little pocket rocket on the left is Amanda Steidle, the brains behind www.turbosuperfoods.com . Anyone who has been in the obstacle racing game for a reasonable period of time, and knows anything about nutrition, is on her gear. It’s that good. She runs like the wind, is like a miniature Buddha, sipping on Turbo, and has a ‘finish line scream’ that puts a smile on everyones face.
Next comes Deanna Blegg. World’s Toughest Mudder. Supermum. Adventure Racer Extraordinaire. Survivor. Wise One. Legend.
Then comes Mel Curry’s husband (Do you notice there’s a bloke in the lineup?). Butcher, wholesaler, support crew to the incredible Mel Curry.
She’s the one who is blonde, in the middle. She’s about 34 years old in the shade, completed (maybe?) 8 laps, always had a smile on her face, and impressed the ‘spring chickens’ that make up Turbo Superchicks so much that they have dubbed her their hero. She has also given birth to and raised five children. Yes, 5. FIVE. And she ran 88 kilometres and conquered 240 obstacles. Impressive.
The comes Bronwyn Sparkes, a woman whom I had never met before last weekend, but I had been ‘friends’ with on Facebook for at least two years. She is lovely, she is beautiful, she is fit, she is fantastic. She was crook throughout the Enduro, but she soldiered on. She’s a Superchick, after all.
Then comes Kate Barsby. KB, the weapon. She is about as ocker as you can get in the female line of that species we call Australianus. She’s always calling me ‘champ’ and ‘matey’ and ‘bud’ and talking about how her mouth was as ‘dry as a dead dingoes donger on a dusty day in Darwin,’ when she was nearing the end of her lap. She’s alright, is KB.
And while I was never passed by a Turbo Superchick, I can guarantee that, had we started our laps at the same time, they would, indeed, have passed me. They would have chicked the SHIT out of me. Cause that is what they do. Not just in that they are fast and fit, they are graceful, they are dignified, they are classy.
I think that the definition of being chicked needs to include that, while a chick may overtake you, dominate you physically, and give you a bit of grief about it afterwards, they will never rub salt into the wounds. They will never go too far. They will never be crass, or ungracious, or boastful…as us blokes might have done.
That is why I am so proud to have been chicked. Over and over again.
Chicks are fucking awesome.