“SO my husband and I decided to give our older girls (ages 15 and 18) a fun, family bonding experience for their birthdays this year. The Rugged Maniac seemed to be a perfect opportunity to share in an experience that built on teamwork, unity, and physical fitness. The plan worked. During the race each of us could only go as fast as the slowest family member. With our equal number of people, we would occasionally split off into twos. Either way, this activity turned the tables of our family dynamic as it was such a pleasant experience to see my teenagers encourage each other and “want” to wait for their parents! The obstacles were many and there was a variety of them that tended to challenge muscles we never knew we had!
May 29, 2016
The race was both challenging and fun. There was music throughout the course to help pump up the participants. During the challenging times, we stuck together, made a couple inappropriate jokes to lighten the mood and then broke out into a 20 second dance routine to celebrate the accomplishment with dabs and whips. During the breezy times, we worked out our competitive aggression on each other by racing to the next obstacle. This was the perfect opportunity to be silly and non-judgmental in carefree environment. We were able to share in our fun with my mother who was on the sidelines capturing the spectator experience with our 8-year-old son.
In short, it brought the kid out of all of us. Our teenagers responded positively and were more than happy to engage in the endless photo opportunities with us. At the finish line, there were all smiles when we reunited with Nana and our younger son. The after party was a blast. Contests, dancing, and bull riding were open to all ages, and even children and their parents were participating among the 20-something crowd. Me and my daughters were waiting in line for the mechanical bull and just when we thought our fun was through, we heard the crowd behind us get really loud.
We departed from the line in search of the action when it became clear that there was a dance battle about to begin. Gently pushing through the clapping crowd, it became clear that our 8-year-old son was the center of attention. It didn’t surprise me that “he had to get his” out of the day of fun as well. He gave his name to the DJ and was introduced to his 20-something pumped up opponent named Lil’ Butt Naked. As each dancer got into their consecutive corners waiting for the DJ to rain down the beat, the crowd gathered and cheered. The music started pumpin’ and the feet started thumpin’. After six minutes of intense dance moves and looks that could kill, our little man left victorious!
We left with not only our medals, but a new sense of togetherness and looking forward to next year’s event. Our eight year old reminded us to be sure and sign him up as soon as he is old enough. But for now he was happy with his own Rugged experience that he will remember each time he puts on his new hat and arm sleeves that he won from the Rugged gear tent.
I would encourage families to look into local obstacle races and take part in the experience. I have learned that stepping out of your comfort zone, and trying something new with the whole family can be a very positive experience and lead to bonding that otherwise would not take place.”
Thank you, Theresa, for such a great article and fantastic photos! My family is planning to attend and some of us participate in the next Rugged Maniac on October 8th thanks to your inspiration!