This is it. The day you have waited for. The moment that all of your training has been leading up to. You have done practice runs, obstacle races, workouts, CrossFit, and weight training. You have changed your diet, upped your vitamins, and done the body flushes. You are ready for this. Time to take on the elite wave. Time to finally podium. Time to get that big check. Here we go. Three. Two. One. Goooooo….
Is that a Charizard?
It seems like your decision has been made for you. Sure, a big check would be great, and sure you have put in a lot of training, but this is serious. You have been following Pokemon for over 19 years! You have been training to be a Poke master for almost 14! How could you let this go? How could you let such a great opportunity slip through your fingers? You’ll just take a little detour away from the marked path and ready your balls to be thrown at that taunting red circle.
You look around to celebrate, but everyone has moved ahead on the course, none the wiser to the amazing feat you have just accomplished. Oh well, back to the path you go. Time to spend the day running through mud, over walls, up ropes, and more. Like a weirdo. No one gets this OCR hobby of yours, at least you are finally joining civilization through Pokemon Go.
You are right about to scale an inverted wall when you hear that all too familiar chime go off on your phone. Who is nearby? Who could it be!? Kabuto? Drowzee? Omanyte??? The excitement and curiosity it too much to handle. You pull out your phone, look around, and it’s…it’s…it’s…
a stupid Rattata!?????
Major buzz-kill. But wait. There is a gym near by! It is just a few miles ahead, so you say a prayer that your battery will last and you continue up and over the wall and along the course. Through the barbed wire crawls and monkey bars you find it difficult to fully focus on the obstacle race. How could you? This is a day you will remember forever! Today you are ready to go off and fight for Team Valor! You pull out your phone knowing the gym must be near. You look, and there it is. Right in front of you. Right in… the ice bath? Alright then. Time to toughen up and show them who’s boss! Team Mystic is going down! You simultaneously dive into the frigid water and into an epic duel with your six best fighters.
It is not going very well. You start begging for help. As competitors dive into the ice and make their way out and back on the course, you are desperately asking for another trainer’s help. People seem to care more about their course time than the safety of this gym. How can they all be so selfish? Right when it seems like it is all going to be over, that little number two appears under your Zubat’s health. You look around excitedly and see a race volunteer leaning above the ice bath, ready to help bring the red team to victory. Even though you are unable to claim the gym for Team Valor, you had an amazing duel, and made a new friend. Your phone alerts you that it’s battery is about to die, and you momentarily wonder how high your phone bill will be from data overages.
You make your way along cargo nets, through mud pits, and scale up hills. When you reach the highest elevation point you have a moment of awe. Taking in the beauty of all of the land around you. Appreciating all that your eyes can see, and wondering how many Pokemon are out there waiting to be caught?
As you approach the finish line, you see your family and friends wondering why it took you so long to make it back to them. They welcome you with open arms and are ready to offer comforting hugs and words of encouragement. You have a huge smile plastered to your face and can not shake it. Everyone around you is curious about why you are so happy when you failed to win the race.
“Guys, I caught a Charizard.”