During the Superhuman Games this weekend, there were moments when I had some doubts.
Whilst collapsed on the grass, for example, with my eyes screwed tight shut in an effort to stop them exploding out of my skull.
There was a hole in at least one of my lungs. There was a throwing axe buried in my lower back, and a Phillips screwdriver sticking out of each foot. Or so it felt. I can’t remember which event we had just completed. In honesty, it could have been any of them.
I was still breathing, but each breath tasted like licking an old key and sounded like the rusty hinges of an ancient stable door, ominously swinging ajar for a distant herd of crazed horses.
Yes. I had some doubts.
Maybe I should have gone to bed before 03:30. Maybe that bed should have been a bed and not a sofa.
Maybe I should have fuelled my body with water and slow-release carbohydrates. Maybe the fact that rum and a kilogram of meat are infinitely tastier doesn’t also mean they are more effective as sports nutrition.
Maybe we should have bought some water with us. Maybe we should have bought anything that wasn’t golden syrup cake and Xtreme Sour Apple Chewits.
Maybe we should have eaten more bananas. Maybe we should have eaten fewer bananas. Maybe that’s what was forcing its way up my trachea at the moment, and not my heart.
Maybe doing this as my first physical activity in six weeks was an arrogant choice. Maybe doing this with two broken feet was a step too far, literally.
Maybe these bindrunes I have painted on myself don’t actually make me invincible…
All these doubts and more swam in the tiny part of my consciousness that hadn’t fled from the sheer horror. One by one they formed, ranted and dissipated, each leaving behind a single lingering question:
WHY, YOU FOOL?!
Before I could formulate an excuse, a new experience took over: the unmistakable sound of an ice giant bellowing and lurching to his feet. Simon was up.
So too must I rise. We had had our rest.
We hobbled to the next event, where we were hailed by a smiling competitor. He liked our competition attire: shorts and war paint. He (correctly) assumed we are enjoying ourselves:
“Some people take this so seriously. It’s meant to be fun! I myself only trained for three months for this event. How about you?”
Suddenly, there were no more doubts.
The Guildsman does not train for events. He wanders the Earth, being mighty. He performs feats as fleeting extensions of his power. Like flexing.
After all, we learned long ago that if you set your mind to something, you will conquer it.
It’s when you don’t set your mind to it that things get interesting.
Very, very painful.
Thus, the Guild.
My brief review of the Superhuman Games follows this even briefer collection of photos from the day. There are no official photographs of us, probably because we aren’t exactly on brand…
Brief review of the Superhuman Games 2015:
The Superhuman Games were spectacularly well run. The whole operation surged ahead like a well oiled machine, like most the athletes present. It was hugely challenging by its very nature, and exceptionally fun. I will definitely return.
There were four toilets for hundreds of athletes, half of whom were ladies who had to queue for a significant length of time every time they needed to take a leak. That sucked. There was also no water whatsoever, unless we wanted to pay £1 per 500ml bottle or lick the sweat from our fellow athletes. That also sucked.