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Wiping Out In My Own Words

July 2, 2009

Trust me people, this is definitely not as easy as it looks!  I was that guy sitting at home on the couch yelling at the TV because the people can’t seem to make those easy jumps.  But now I know if you don’t step just right (and many times even if you step just right) you will be bending in ways you didn’t think contortionists are flexible!  Now that you have had a chance to watch the show, I wanted to tell you what all you missed out on that didn’t make the show!  For those of you that haven’t seen the episode yet (shameless plug for ABC) just got to here and click on Free Episodes to see it.  Hopefully I am not breaking any rules by telling you this stuff, but here goes!

So the time rolls around for our episode to be filmed.  We all have to be at the site at 7 AM, which many of you smart people already know is super early.  I was a little excited about it so I got there at about 6:40.  Only problem was I had to drive almost two hours to get there, so I was already feeling the tiredness trying to set in.  Oh and of course I forgot my breakfast that morning so I had to stop and eat gas station food (never a good idea really).  After arriving we are all hurried into a trailer so that no one could see the course and have an unfair advantage.  So after several hours of hanging out, eating some food, and hearing the rules we all had our interviews with Jill Wagner and then proceeded to wait around some more.  Then it was finally time to start.  So they brought us all out of the trailer and lined us up next to the start of the Qualifier.  Here they went over all the rules again with us and gave us a very vague description of what to do.  Then back into the trailer for the first contestant to start.  Well after a good while of sitting around and no contestants leaving we found out that the obstacle they had planned for us had broken during testing and they were having to replace it with something different.  Great.  So then lunch time arrived and we ate food.  After lunch they finally had everything ready, we had another brief and vague explanation of what to do, and back into the trailers we went and the first contestant started!

They kept us all in the trailer so that no one had an unfair advantage of seeing several people run the course and getting to think through and plan things out.  I think they also did it because it really tests your nerves when you see people come back to the trailer looking like death just worked them over and barely let them live!  We even had a few people taken over to the ambulance to be looked at before returning to the group.  We were randomly selected to make our runs and I was 19th.  This was more of a curse I think because more people had the chance to get the course muddier and wetter and my body had more time to think it should be sleeping!  Finally my time came!  I had been fitted for ankle braces and a wet suit (because the water was freakin’ ice and it was a rather chilly day) and it was off to the top of the Qualifier.  After screaming random blabbings, it was time to get set and make my Wipeout debut!

Up first (after the random run that isn’t an obstacle but people fall on) was the Spiked Fenders.  These basically are barrels that spin, bounce and have spikes on them that you have to run across.  There are two sets of three broken up by a platform in the middle.  Here I go!  One fender!  Two fenders!  Down!  I fell into the mud.  Fortunately I went in rather straight and didn’t get covered in mud.  Climbed up to the middle platform and took off for the second set.  One fender.  Two.  Face plant into the third!  Doh!  Now I am covered completely in mud.  It is all over me.  It is in my mouth.  It is in my eyes.  It is in between my contacts and my eyes.  Not good.  I rub away all that I can with my muddy hands and move on.  This was the wipe out that was in both commercials briefly and then was showed from the middle platform on in the actual episode.

Next up was the Punching Wall.  Here you have to scale the wall while being punched all over the body with punching gloves.  Ok, this isn’t too bad I thought.  I held my body further away from the wall so the gloves wouldn’t connect too solidly.  One punch in the chest.  No big deal.  Moving on.  One punch in the crotchal region.  Ouch, but still ok.  Second punch in the crotchestral area and I’m down in the mud again!  Bummer.  Now I have to fight my way out of this mud pit and back on to solid ground.

Up the muddy, wet, and slick ramp to the top of the Big Balls.  I have been looking forward to this!  I really wanted to make it!  They have a guy that works for Wipeout that can make it across the Big Balls every time.  The other day they twittered about him making it all the way across with his coffee in his hand and not spilling!  This has to be doable!  It’s on!  After a short second to grab a new breath, I heard the Motivator start to move so I took off!  My plan was to place one foot on each Big Ball and move on to the next.  This plan worked amazing!…well at least for the first two Big Balls.  Then it all caught up with me and I was flailing about in mid air!  Then suddenly I had a quality face plant into the third Big Ball.  Now time to swim to the ladder and climb.  My body is starting to feel the strength draining out as I am climbing the ladder.

At the top of the ladder are the Trampoline Hurt-les.  These are padded hurdles that “randomly”go up and down with trampoline stretched across the top.  They are definitely aptly named!  They for sure hurt.  As you are trying to crawl across the top of these hurt-les they are tossing you up in the air and then you come down onto trampoline which bounces you right back up in the air.  I crawled my way about halfway across these hurt-les until I was tossed up in the air by the hurt-le and came down quickly only to be toss back up in the air immediately so I didn’t have time to brace myself or adjust my position at all.  I could tell this wasn’t going to continue forward and it was a matter of seconds before I wiped out so I opted to take the controlled wipe out and move on.  This was quite a fall though with the Trampoline Hurt-les being higher up than the Big Balls.  Now to swim over to the even taller ladder and onto the last obstacle.

The final obstacle was a Zip Line Swing Set.  As I was climbing the ladder to the top of the Zip Line, I can feel that there is zero energy and strength left in me, but I was determined.  There is no giving up.  I pulled the Zip Line back and took off.  As I let go to land on the swing I braced myself expecting to have misjudged the swing or the landing…or something.  Turns out it really wasn’t as hard as it looked and my judgment was great.  I gathered myself and my strength for one final jump onto the Finishing Platform.  Ok.  Wait til the swing goes as far forward as it can…and… JUMP!  I did.  But, there was nothing pushing the swing other than my weight and the swing quickly left from below my feet and my jump was cut short.  That’s not good.  I continued to land on the platform squarely with my stomach!  My whole upper half of my body made it!  Only problem was my whole lower have didn’t and I slammed into the side of the platform creating a body jerking wipeout that was in the second commercial and in the show AND got a Super Slo-Mo instant replay!  Now to swim out of the water and making it the Finishing Circle.

As I arrived at the Circle, Jill came over to ask me a few questions.  I did everything I could to stand up straight and answer her questions, but my body hurt so bad and I was so exhausted all I could think about was how bad I needed to pee.  I’m pretty sure that’s what I told her too.  Now it was time to head back to the trailer, shower off and change as we prepared to find out our times and who would make it on to the second round, the Sweeper.  After 10 minutes of scrubbing off mud, I finally got my muddy clothes, the braces and my wetsuit off only to have them tell me to immediately put the stuff back on for round two!  Ahh!  I’m exhausted!  I don’t know that I want to be in round two!  But I forced all my energy to put my clothes back on and get ready double time for round two, only to find out that I was the first alternate for the round considering I finished in 13th of 24 and needed to be in the top 12.  Ouch.  Not only that, but I finished the course faster than two people that finished ahead of me in the list!  Somehow I gained time penalties that pushed me back behind them.  I ended up in 13th place by less than 7 seconds!  You have got to be kidding me.

After hoping and praying someone wouldn’t make it to round two so I could move on and then watching round two happen it was time to head home.  That was one of the longest drives of my life!  I was soooooo tired and had so much mud in my eyes that I could barely keep them open.  Finally I made it home and crashed.  I couldn’t go any farther that day.  I hurt for at least 3 days following.  If you had asked me in those first few days if I would go back to Wipeout and do it again, would I?  I would have easily and quickly said no way.  That was the hardest most physically taxing thing I have ever done!  It only took me 4:30 to complete the course but I wipeout six times on five obstacles.  I felt like I was tied up with American Gladiators on either side of me beating me with the Jousting sticks!  After a few days and the swelling in my eyes had gone down if you asked me if I would do Wipeout again I would have promptly said yes.

No I didn’t win $50,000.  No I didn’t make it to the end.  No, I didn’t at least make it to the second round, but I did complete the course I got to run.  I didn’t give up.  Several people did.  And I did get the chance to compete in a nationally televised game show that I love to watch!  Now I just have to figure out how to get on the show again and how to convince them to just let me play on the obstacle courses for fun!  Thank you to all of you who actually made sure you watched the show, or DVRed it, or just at least acted interested in it!  I had an absolute blast and I am so glad I did it!

Stay tuned for pictures coming soon on my blog as I milk this Wipeout thing for all it’s worth!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2009 12:41 AM

    Wow, that must have been tough! The family just finished watching you on Wipeout! Keep us informed the next time you do something wild and crazy….well, maybe not that often! :^)

  2. July 2, 2009 12:42 AM

    will you post the video on youtube?

  3. July 2, 2009 12:43 AM

    Looks like you probably had fun! Too bad we only saw your wipeout…

  4. July 2, 2009 12:48 PM

    dude…..they didn’t even show you on the episode! lame

  5. July 2, 2009 12:53 PM

    Dude, Wipeout was awesome. Though short lived, still cool to see you on tv man…

  6. July 2, 2009 12:54 PM

    wish we could have seen more of you on wipeout! That must have been a super tough course.

  7. July 2, 2009 12:55 PM

    I’m in Taos so didn’t get to see you on tv, pics look intense! How did you do?looks like fun????

  8. MissTheresa permalink
    July 2, 2009 1:12 PM

    Awesome! They have really made it much harder than when the show first started. It hurt just watching some of those wipeouts. I don’t wonder that someone might end up with a broken neck from the whiplash alone. Enjoyed the first hand experience you shared with us. I’ll definitely be rooting for you again next time! Oh, so close…

  9. July 2, 2009 1:18 PM

    Hey bro – we watched last night – very cool. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing!

  10. July 2, 2009 6:45 PM

    Dude: YOU ARE INSANE! Saw it on tonight and I am in pain from just watching! Kudos for even wanting to think about trying!

  11. July 2, 2009 11:44 PM

    You were on wipeout???

  12. July 2, 2009 11:45 PM

    how cool is that that you ran the gauntlet. hope your junk is ok

  13. July 2, 2009 11:46 PM

    What an experience! You’re an adventuresome soul! What are you planning next?? Bless you, dear!!

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