For many people, holidays are a joyous time of celebration with a loving, functional family. For those of us who don’t live on television, however, holidays are a time when any kind of unusual stimulus can trigger a round of, ahem, uniquely familial behavior. Wonderful as OCR may be, it’s also strange enough to be deeply triggering.
So for those who endure holidays with family with their teeth clenched so tight they could use them to cross the Platinum Rig, we offer this guide to make dealing with your relatives a bit easier.
SITUATION 1: Your mother is worried. Climbing, jumping, crawling, and running through the woods sound dangerous. Especially since she went online and found that twelve thousand people have gotten Ebola from mud. So you need to find something safer. (It’s only because she cares so much about you.)
SITUATION 2: Your father growls that it’s stupid to go gallivanting through the forest like some rainbow-flavored pixie when you could be doing something practical, like digging holes or plumbing.
SITUATION 3: Your sister scoffs at hearing about the bruises, scratches, and general soreness from your most recent race. There’s no way it could be that hard if you can manage it. And after all, she ran most of that 5K that one time.
SITUATION 4: Your brother is appalled and recoils in disgust whenever you mention the mud, fire, ice, electricity, communal showers, or off-brand beer.
SITUATION 5: Your oversupportive aunt absolutely loves that you’re doing obstacle course races. She’s so inspired by what you’re doing and its potential to, as she says, “heal the earth.” In fact, the committee of deities from the mish-mash of pantheons that serve as her personal spirit guides have appointed her to spontaneously compose a song in your honor. On her lute.
SITUATION 6: Your drunk uncle responds to your OCR stories loudly, incoherently, and with gestures so wild they threaten to send him hurtling through the front window.
One final note: None of these strategies will actually work; our family’s responses to obstacle course racing have nothing to do with OCR and everything to do with the fundamental nature of relationships that have been built over the decades. So the real strategy is to ignore everything they say and work on building converts at the kiddie table. Maybe even put together an impromptu post-turkey course in the backyard. You may not be able to convince your parents, but it’s always a good time to build a better future.