Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Single Guy and the Obstacle Course

The Single Guy doesn't just set out to find things to add to his Murtaugh List. Sometimes, these things just present themselves to him and they become unavoidable.

For the first time in about 20 years, the Single Guy experienced Field Day at school. It was a day filled with moving from activity to breath stealing activity. These fun times included relay races involving hula hoops and water balloons, kickball on the recently rained upon baseball field, arts and crafts, and finally, the ever impressive inflatable activities.

Children asked their teachers dozens (if not hundreds) of times throughout the day when they would finally get to visit the bouncy house. These over inflated attractions were arguably the hit of the day. And it's fairly obvious that these things get all the attention year after year.

So the Single Guy thought it would be fun to embrace his inner child. He saw the size of the inflated obstacle course and was a little taken aback. The thing was enormous. He had been under the impression that things like this tended to appear smaller as he got older. But that wasn't the case with this year's model. He wanted to play along, but he knew it would be a challenge.

And then the opportunity presented itself to run the obstacle course with the Teacher. The Single Guy strategically placed himself at the inflatable area at the same time as the Teacher and her class. She was challenged to an obstacle course race by one of the volunteer parents at the event. The Single Guy claimed that he would take on the winner.

Of course, he made that claim hoping against hope that the Teacher would emerge victorious against a slightly older volunteer parent. He played the odds and, in this case, won.

Winning would not be an option when he acted as challenger in the inflatable obstacle course. It wasn't that he didn't try to win. In fact, when the Teacher finally took the Single Guy up on the challenge of taking on the winner, he started out doing pretty well. Then he took a tumble over the first wall. Somehow, he fell off the course and landed on the ground. He didn't think it was possible, but he actually felt the grass beneath him.

Have you ever been cruel enough to flip a beetle over on its back? Have you laughed as its tiny insect legs flailed around as it attempted to right itself? The Single Guy now knows how it feels to be that beetle. Lying on his back, his legs were straight up in the air. He was disoriented. He nearly panicked when he discovered which way was up and realized that there was no easy hand hold to help him get back on course. He knew the race was already lost.

By the time he pulled himself back to his proper place, it was too late. He looked ahead and saw the Teacher was already at the top of the final wall, ready to take the final plunge down the long slide at the end. The Single Guy knew he had lost. But he was okay with that. His key loss led to some well placed self-deprecating humor which led to more than a few laughs on the Teacher's part.

The Single Guy might be willing to add inflatable obstacle courses to his Murtaugh List. But he's also willing to try anything on that list all over again. For the right reason. It was a good day.

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