It took a little over 2 hours and 45 minutes, more than 8 miles, over 1500 dumbbell curls, and 1,000 pushups to crown the first annual winner of the Battles of the Sexes (BOTS) on Saturday. When the dust finally settled, the women stood alone on top, proudly waving their flag.
The days leading up to the event
The tension at the gym was so thick you could slice it with a knife. The intensity was palpable. The battle lines were clearly drawn as there was an abundance of snarls, glares, and under-the-breath mumbles between the men and women. As the week progressed, the workouts became more intense. Both teams continued to up the ante until their last chance workouts.
Phase I – The long run
The event: Both teams started at Ageless and ran to Benld city park via the bike trail. The men had to carry a 45lb plate as a team, and the women had to carry a 25lb plate as a team. The teams could not start phase 2 until the last member of the team arrived at the park.
25 men and 15 women toed the starting line at 10 am. As the gun went off, both teams took off for the long run to Benld city park. At times, it looked like the Boston Marathon: the veteran runners elegantly striding through the streets of Gillespie as if it were a casual jog through the park. And then at other times, it looked like the running of the bulls at Pamplona, Spain: the stomps, snarls, and heavy breaths of the lumbering lifters who avoided cardio training at all costs. At one point in time, I honestly had to wipe my eyes because as I looked down Macoupin street, I thought an actual bull, albeit slightly sedated, did join the race. As my finger touched the speed dial for animal control, I realized it was just Tommy. Within minutes of starting the race, his calves apparently locked up causing him to waddle his way to Benld.
Side note: There was actually a split moment when the men were legitimately concerned for Tommy’s health. As the entire men’s team waited in Benld, Tommy was nowhere to be seen. In fact, no one had seen him for at least a mile. As I rode my bike to find him on the bike trail, I was almost certain he would be lying in the grass incapacitated. He wasn’t. He was just pacing himself.
Led by Dustin Fletcher and Jimmy Wilson, the men arrived first at Benld. The women arrived just a few minutes behind the men.
Phase 2 – Trivia
The event: 150 plastic balls were placed into an inflatable pool. Each team had to answer 10 Ageless trivia questions. Once they found the ball that had the correct answer on it, they had to drag a weighted sled 25 yards and present the answer to Zak. If they were correct, they moved to the next question. If they were incorrect, they had to try it again.
With a slight lead, the men rolled through the trivia questions. It was like the scene out of the movie Old School when Will Ferrell blacked out and successfully debated heavy favorite James Carville. The men, who were huge underdogs during the intellectual phases, may actually be idiot savants when it comes to the history of Ageless (This is indeed true as it will be confirmed during phase 5 when everything goes to hell).
The women however did cut into the lead slightly, and finished just a few seconds behind the men.
Phase 3 – The egg race
The event: The teams formed lines with 4 members in each line. At one end there was a bucket of water, plastic eggs, and plastic spoons. Each team had to transfer a water-filled plastic egg using only 1 hand and a spoon from one end of the line to the other without dropping it. Once at the opposite end, the 4th member in each line would crack the plastic egg into a 1 gallon milk jug. Once the team filled up the milk jug, they could move onto phase 4.
So many teachers would be so disappointed in their former students if they watched the 3rd phase of the BOTS. Cheating was almost as prevalent as steroids in the MLB.
The men used their 10 extra guys to their advantage as they filled the milk jug 4 minutes ahead of the women.
Phase 4 – Skills
The event: After making their way back to the gym via the bike trail (while still carrying the 45lb and 25lb plate), the game of bags was set up in the gym. The goal was to score 30 points. Each team member would have to perform 30 dumbbell bicep curls, 30 band curls, hold a dumbbell for 30 seconds, perform 30 pushups, and hold a pushup for 30 seconds before they could throw a bag at the box.
The men had a huge advantage going into this phase. The large majority of the male team arrived 10-15 minutes before the women. Rested and hydrated they looked like they had this phase easily won before it even started.
And then bags started flying, and it was evident from the very beginning that the men were only good at this game if an ice cold beer was in the non-throwing hand.
The women stormed back to score 30 points first. With a 2 minute lead going into the final phase, it finally looked like the tide had turned.
Phase 5 – Problem Solving
The event: In the final phase, the teams ran out to Little Dog soccer fields. At the top of the hill, 100 playing cards were taped to a cork board in a particular order. Each team sent 4 members to the top of the hill to memorize as many as cards as possible. At the bottom of the hill, the team had to replicate the exact order of the playing cards. The team that made the match first completed the phase and had to carry their team flag back to the gym.
Apparently the men are not history buffs, as not one of them took the advice of Abraham Lincoln: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
As soon as the phase started, the men’s base camp transformed into a circus. We were just missing the elephants, tigers, and jugglers. If you would have witnessed what I witnessed, you would never vote for another male President of the U.S. again. I honestly believe their strategy was not to have a strategy. It was complete chaos.
It was the most one-sided beating I’ve ever witnessed. The women had matched all 100 cards, and the men still had not matched 2 rows of 6 cards. And even more embarrassing, the men actually took a picture of the cards a with a cellphone, and still couldn’t match it.
You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. The best analogy I can come up with is if we took team of 25 people that spoke 25 different languages, and had them perform a task that relied solely on communication. That team would have still beaten the guys.
As the last woman faded into the distance, the men, almost in tears, gave up. It was obvious the women really were the stronger sex.
On a serious note, we would like to thank everyone who participated, as well as everyone who cheered on the teams. Everyone who completed the event should be extremely proud.
We had a great time, and can’t wait to have another one in September. Even though there was a lot of sweat, there was just as much laughter. And that’s what it is all about: one big dysfunctional family.