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Early Midlife Fitness Crisis

In some ways, I’m just your average 39-year-old mother of two. In others, well, not so much. However, I’m finding more people in my same situation and think of myself as less of a freak and more “super cool.”

This weekend I will be participating in the Metro Dash in Washington, D.C. This is my third, shall we say, “non-traditional event” I am participating in this year. I’ve already done two events that involved traversing through mud and bounding over hay bales (and subsequently ditching the shoes worn). Most gals my age, or so it seems to me, would opt for a nice, clean charity 5K.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good 5K. In fact, a 5K is the first official event I signed up for in my journey toward wellness. But it was time to up the bar.

A group of friends and I participated in the Metro Dash last year. Yowza. At that point I hadn’t done enough research on proper fueling for endurance events like this, and was the one who held the team back. To set the scene, we ran about a total of 7 miles and hit 6 obstacles along the way. These were not for the faint of heart, and I’m convinced that had it not been for my awesome friends, I would have hopped on the nearest Metro and found my car. Oh, and did I mention this was held in mid-July at midday on a day when it was 95 degrees (over 100 with the heat index) in an urban setting?

And yet, it didn’t stop me.

Before my first mud run–the Warrior Dash–last year, I wondered what I was signing up for. Part of me admittedly felt a little silly being a late-30’s mom willing to run through mud and leap over fire. How out of character, right? I thought that if nothing else, it would make for interesting pictures. Was it dreadful? Heck, no! What a rush!

Before we cleaned all of the caked-in mud out of our ears, my group of friends and I already decided we’d do it again…and we did this past May.

We opted again to do the Metro Dash this year, and for me in large part it was because they changed it up. No more 7-mile scavenger hunts for obstacles. No more midday heat madness. Just a mere 30 (yes, you read that correctly) obstacles stand in the way of the start line and a nice, cold G2 drink…and big smiles from my friends for having a great time together. We’re not out to break land speed records. We’re out to have a good time together.

So for those who find themselves in the same position, thinking “those types of events are for college kids,” think again. If your goal is to finish with the fastest time possible, fantastic. Go for it! If it’s just to challenge yourself to something outside the box, enjoy it! Pride is forever!

As for me? I’m addicted to the madness.

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[author_info]About the Author

 Lori Rypka is the Prime Parents Club Fitness Contributor, a mom of two wonderful kids first, a writer, wife, friend, personal trainer and marathon runner in training second. She enjoys helping others in their personal journeys toward living healthier lives. The biggest tool in her tool box: humor. Who says dieting can’t be fun? You can find Lori at, or on Twitter as @LoriRypka.



Lori Rypka has been certified as a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise since April 2010, and enjoys helping friends find their healthy selves. Follow Lori on her blog at Fumbled Into Fitness.


  1. Anja

    July 11, 2011 at 2:53 am

    You rock! Not too long ago, I went back to running myself. Feels so good! I signed up for a 5K Night run in two weeks. So excited!!!

  2. Betsy

    July 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I think this is great! I am racing in my first Warrior Dash thia month and I can’t wait!

  3. Cathy | Treatment Talk

    July 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Good for you! I ran my first half marathon last year (late 50’s), and had some doubts, but when I got to the race, realized there were a lot of “older” people. The Metro Run sounds interesting – have not heard of that, but sounds fun.

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