Posted by: deadmousediaries | July 20, 2012

News from the Path Valley Hotel, Episode #17 – Meet the Hotel Bat Man

   Meet the Path Valley Hotel bat man.

(from Episode #12).

On July 14th, my first baby turned 25. And what did his mama give him for his birthday? Pain. Cramps. Incredible thirst. Head-throbbing, back-breaking, gut-busting work and the desire to hurl. I liked it. It reminded me of what I had gone through to get him here 25 years ago. When he came down off the mountain covered in crap and oozing goo he looked just like he did when I delivered him, only taller. And with teeth.

This is my son, the Spartan Race Finisher.  And I am so proud.

What possesses people to do a slow broil in the July heat only to claw their way to the top of the tallest ski drop in PA, not once but twice, while navigating 15 obstacles along the way? I dunno’ (or maybe I do). Here’s what promoters promised on their website:

– Finishers Medal
– T-Shirt
– Free Beer ticket for anyone 21 and over
– Bragging Rights
– Free Mud
– High Pressure Water to the Gut
– Roasted Shoelaces
– Scrapes and Bruises
– Awesome Stories to Tell

All hail to that last one. What would life be without stories?

Every half hour from 9:00 to 4:30, 300 crazies– men, women and a few kids — are released from the holding pen to out-scramble, out-think and out-last the other crazies beside them. During this particular 5.2 mile Spartan sprint (there are others), you do get occasional breaks from the ankle-crunching race up or down a ski slope: time to toss a tractor tire like a Cheerio, carry 40-pound sandbags up the hill, jump through fire or scale an eight-foot wall, for instance. If you fail to negotiate any of the obstacles, the penalty is performing 30 burpees(?);  I can only guess at the spelling but they are some maniacal cross between squat thrusts and killer push-ups; some trainers call them “suicides.”  Whatever. It all sounds like fun to me…

I took time to enjoy my day while my son tested himself to find out what he’s  made of. I figured I had done my part;  I  had given birth to this particular Spartan and I had paid his entrance fee. So what if I spent most of those three hours riding the ski lift to catch a glimpse of him or hanging out to enjoy the scenery alongside the outdoor showers?  (Those of who know me well know my mantra: I may be old but I ain’t dead.) And besides, it seemed like a fair exchange. What had my son been doing for 14 hours while I was in labor 25 years ago? Chillin’ in his private hot tub, that’s what.  I can guarantee you he hadn’t been in any rush to get down the valley on that day.

You can Google Spartan Race and get a better look at these events without being surrounded by a thousand muddy, sweaty bodies but you would be missing out. It’s another joy of motherhood to see your kid test his mettle and come back knowing he’s not lacking. That’s when you realize your son can be your gentle bat man and still be one tough mudder.

Copyright 2012. Mitchell Kyd. All rights reserved.



  1. Funny you should mention your mantra………….just yesterday I said I may be older and married…………but I’m not dead!

  2. I remember this Spartan when he was born, or shortly thereafter.
    Ya done good, Mama.

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