Obstacle Course Racing at it’s best.
On October 26, 2019, I had the most excellent time checking out my 2nd visit to #StadiumBlitz. Stadium Blitz is an OCR (Obstacle Course Race) set up in various stadium’s throughout the US & by a family of retired NFL football players, The Gronkowski’s. The first one was in Buffalo, NY and the second in Tampa, FL. I had so much fun at the first one, I had to go to the second one.
I first became acquainted with Chris Gronkowski through a Twitter feed a year or two ago. I used to have a large following on Twitter and Instagram prior to my shutting it down and redoing it (a result of hacks). I became familiar with Iceshaker. Chris markets his IceShaker product well. I knew the Gronkowski name because I’m a football fan, & anyone who follows football, knows of the Gronkowski’s. My Godsons also love the Gronks, so that was another reason.
My Godson’s Noah & Justus are football fans, & have been playing since they were tikes. They love the Gronkowski’s. Noah is playing football at Oklahoma Baptist University (@OBU_Football) on scholarship & has aspirations of going into the NFL. As a “Godmom”, I wanted him to have a contact for advice & good example of a work ethic from guys already in the business. The Gronks “fit the bill”. There are also Jaguars players that do, too. Probably the funniest thing (that made my day) after attending a Stadium Blitz, was a text I got from Justus. I had told him & his brother about my race. He said, “That’s really cool that you met the Gronkowski’s.”. He now follows me on Twitter. Glad I graduated to “coolness” with a Twitter “follow” by my Godson.
Over the course of the last 2 years, I had been in touch with @STRONGfitmag with a fitness project I was working on. I wanted to work with Paul Buceta, the best in the industry of fitness photography. I was trying to think of a fun way to be involved in fitness if I ever got published. I was looking for a nationally marketed line of equipment .
I had been reading the paper on the flight to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City last year (to watch my @jaguars play the @chiefs). I noticed somewhere that Rob and his family had been marketing some of their@GronkFitness line products with livefit.com. I took a look at the site & later started following them. Before leaving Atlanta that morning, I emailed Paul Buceta & asked if I could use Gronk weights in our photo shoot. He said sure, but they already had weights. He still sent an address to ship things to if I wanted to use them.
When I got back to FL, I ordered the stuff I wanted to use & sent them to Canada. They are still in Paul’s studio for any model to use. I used other branded weights in the shoot, too.
I had no idea of anything like #StadiumBlitz at the time of the January 2019 photo shoot, & I didn’t even know that was in the works. My photo shoot rolled well with Paul and was a blast! I like to laugh, too. Paul & I played a joke on other staff at the magazine. It was a pleasure to meet Kim, Paul’s wife and hear of the escapades of a legend, Bob Kennedy. Unfortunately, I never crossed paths with Bob Kennedy before he passed, but he was such a motivator. He was extremely “cut and dry” as a fitness writer and Paul had great stories from knowing him. (Bob ran publishing over at Oxygen Magazine before passing from cancer). It was fun to share stories with people at StadiumBlitz in Tampa.
The first #StadiumBlitz was up in Buffalo, NY. I was excited to go, had pulled into NY after working from Dublin & then flew to Buffalo for the fitness race. I’m a flight attendant, not a multi-millionaire with my own lear jet, and love my job. My career allows me to do fun trips. I don’t however, use flight passes on anything involving money for my second job as a “model/actress”. For the photo shoot to Canada, I bought tickets on Expedia to get there & didn’t violate any company policy of my employer. If any of the pictures made money, I could be subjected to getting fired. Same thing applies for commercial projects or anything else I am making money doing.
Stadium Blitz in Buffalo was a blast! People couldn’t have been nicer. Everywhere I went people were friendly. I stopped by the G & G Fitness store there (where I had bought weights online sone months prior for the photo shoot). I tooled around town & I went by Dick’s Sporting goods, too. I wanted to pickup new shoes for the 1st event as I got a new jacket at work, & wanted it to match. I told the guy there at the store in Buffalo about the Stadium Blitz. He was in his 20’s, & excited to hear of it. He hadn’t heard of it prior to my mentioning it, which I thought was interesting. He was a millennial, and most millenials I see are glued to devices. I’m 52, and not glued to a device and knew of Stadium Blitz because of social media! Ironic! I loved this kid’s energy. I’m sure he’ll go to one sometime later on.
I got to New Era Stadium a bit early and sat in the rental car and jammed a bit to music. It was fun to be early as it gave me a chance to meet the other vendors who had booths there. We all got a group pictures with the Gronkowski’s and then went out in blocks of 10 for the race. I’m not concerned on my finish time these days as with this, I had never done a OCR before and didn’t even know what I was getting into. I was highly entertained by a lady at my start corral who said she had lost weight and was there with her son and saying things like “don’t go so fast, I don’t need to blow out my knee on this event”. Such a scream! I was laughing in line with her, and lots more along the course.
The obstacles included walking on a 2X4 and I lost balance there, so I skipped it after the first fall off, as I didn’t want to slow up people behind me. In between running to obstacles, you will be climbing stadium stairs. I’ve used the stairmill in my cardio training, and didn’t find this too hard.
One obstacle was to carry several pounds of weights up and down stairs. I was careful with his in both Buffalo and Tampa as slipping and going headfirst will likely lead to a “stair facial” and breaking something.
Another obstacle included a ladder climb. I was a touch nervous in Buffalo, but it was easy once I got going. I knew after doing it the first time in Buffalo, I’d need gloves for my next one as I didn’t want to lose grip on the metal stairs.
There was one obstacle where you pulled and pushed 90 lbs. back and forth. In Buffalo, this was easy. In Tampa, I could barely get the weights moving, and even asked the guy next to it if there was more weight here than Buffalo. He said no. My next question was about the grass. In Tampa, at @RJStadium ,the grass was wet & it was real grass. Up in Buffalo, the turf was astro turf & easier to glide weights on. (As a football receiver or running back, I’d be asking about all turfs I was running on in all stadiums). I had greater appreciation for the NFL combine after learning all this.
I went on to run a few more stairs and obstacles in between. If you can’t finish an obstacle (or don’t even want to try it), you can skip it. You get to log points on what obstacles you finish by scanning your monitor. As a retired marathoner, and several time finisher of the Gate River Run 15K, one thing I used to worry over was whether my race times would be recorded. The same goes for these style races. Thus far, I have not run into problems anywhere.
The fun part about doing these #StadiumBlitz courses are that you will get a run through the locker rooms on occasion and parts to the stadium you would never see if you were at a football game. That is what makes this OCR unique. It’s a fun surprise to see what you will be doing next. In Tampa, the weather was much hotter, and I was drenched like a wet dog coming in off the beach, but I had a good time and a good workout:-).
Interested in #StadiumBlitz in 2020? Visits in the new year will include going to Notre Dame, Kansas, Texas, Rutgers in NJ, and the next one will be in Tallahassee in February. To register, click on stadiumblitz.com, or get the #StadiumBlitz app.
I plan to attend the one in Tallahassee as I live only a 3 hour drive to get there. I told some of my FB friends who are diehard @FSUFootball Seminoles fans. This will be a fun way to get out and have fun. If you are interested in following or signing up, get on the app, Stadium Blitz, or register online at StadiumBlitz.com , love to see you there.
What are your goals for 2020? Do they include fitness? Hope to see you at a Stadium Blitz in 2020:-)