AO: Wreck Center
Number of Pax: 6
Pax Names: Alliance, CowboyMouth, Cutter, Hackey Sack, Meatloaf, Styrofoam,
Number of FNGS: 0
Against pleas to cancel from family, friends, and fellow pax, 6 strong pax showed up for what’s likely to go down as one of the gloomiest of all Gloomings. Though we scaled back the typical five 30-min beatdowns to just two, this year’s inclement conditions served up a challenge every bit as difficult as last year’s event.
Conditions – Start 5pm: 5 degrees, 2 inches of snow, heavy winds, -15* windchill. Finish 8pm: 0 degrees, 4 inches, windchill -25*.
The Course – Starting at Katherine Chevalier Woods, 6 strong pax descended 10 miles down the DesPlaines River Trail deeper into darkness. The further we went, the colder it got and the deeper the snow became. We encountered hidden ice on the trail in many instances. And stopped for 2 tough beatdowns. No matter what we encountered and how bad the weather became, we stayed our course all the way to the finish.
Beatdown 1, QIC Cowboy Mouth, “Cowboy Counts” @ Schiller Woods South – Our old pal Cowboy Mouth pulled out one of his favorites for the first beatdown. It entails 4 exercises at 4 corners: Jump Squats + Merkins (4-count) + Skaters + Box Cutters. All performed in cadence. Each time you complete all 4 exercises, the reps go down in count (20, 15, 10, 5).
Beatdown 2, QIC Alliance, “Frozen Coupons Surprise!” @ Thatcher Woods – YHC had a sneaking suspicion Alliance would have a coupon or 20 up his sleeve. And sure enough, we ran right by them camouflaged in with a stone bridge. Brief warmup of Abe Vigodas x10 IC Fwd/Bkwd, Michael Phelps x10 IC, Mountain Man Poopers x10 IC, Don Quixotes x 10 IC. Next up was Elevens with two different collections of exercises at each station. Station 1: ManMaker Merkins, Overhead Press, Curls, Kettle Bell Swings, Squats. Station 2: Big Boi, Upstanding Row, No Surrender, Grave Digger (forgot one). We did 10 reps at station 1, then 1 rep at station 2. Then 9 reps at station 1 and 5 reps at station 2. We had to call it. Despite multiple layers of gloves and handwarmers, we couldn’t handle the frozen coupons without freezing ourselves.
Naked Moleskin – When you’re thrown a curve ball, it’s not easy making the right call. We ended up committing to running the Glooming on the longest night of the year and committing to running the full course. Those were the two things that felt essential to being a true Glooming event. Alliance’s counsel around safety was key. Had he not shared legitimate concerns, backup safety plans would not have been in place. But above all, knowing there were at least 5 other fellas who could be counted on to show up and get through anything was the real key to staying the course. Who knows? Maybe next year’s Friday Night Glooming will bring us warmer temps and more Pax. But this year’s Glooming will forever be known as one for those ready to take on the toughest of challenges. That’s what the Glooming is all about.
CoT: Gratitude to the fellas. If we can get through this, we can get through anything. And knowing you have a solid group that will be there alongside you, pushing you further, makes all the difference.