- Important: All passwords were reset on 06/15/11. Old passwords will no longer work. Click here to retrieve your password.
- Subscribe to Our Free Dewsletter
We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
I have always thought Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs was missing something. Last weekend I figured it out. Just because we’ve found shelter, safety and food, and are on our way to the “self actualization” emotions at the top of the pyramid, we’re still attached in some primal way to the basic survival instincts. Our hardwired primal urges linger inside, albeit as mutations that just seem weird to outsiders. Take football, or anything else involving spectators emotionally involved as sport participants clash. Whether your think the sport is played with a round or elongated ball, there are millions and millions of humans across the globe who follow and flock to the games (electronically or in person). Why do fans dress in their team’s uniforms, haul outdoor cookery, fill ice chests and drive team-painted mobile homes each weekend to college parking lots to watch their favorite gladiators in the fall? Is there somewhere in our brains the need to connect with the fight for survival even if it isn’t necessary?
There are some interesting events popping up, such as Tough Mudder labeled “The Premier Obstacle Course in the World.” Way beyond Iron Man, these events combine physical challenges and comraderie:
To get through mud, fire, ice-water, and 10,000 volts of electricity you’ll need teammates to pick you up when your spirits dip.
I’ve just been introduced to the latest version of surrogate combat – the Dirty Girl events – except there’s no combat, and no winner. The 5K grassy course is set up on acres owned by a shooting range (yeah, there were Hunger Games comments). Most of the women trot around in tutus while confronting 11 obstacles such as water pools, an inflatable mountain, wall climb and things to crawl under. I participated in the San Antonio event last weekend with “The Valhallas,” a group of women with grown children (I’m 3rd from left). Why did we (over 7,000 women) do this Saturday?
I spoke to many of the participants before, during and after the “race” at the food court, shopping tent and at the after party tailgates (really). For those who had a sincere connection with breast cancer, their reasons sounded just like the reasons given at other charitable runs I’ve attended in the past. Many brought families, and there were lots of boyfriends with cameras and fathers with children in strollers watching along the course. To most, though, their reasons echoed the desire for a girls-day-out with challenges and funny photos.
I told a few of my friends who are presently in military service about the event, and they justifiably questioned my sanity or laughed at me. These friends are women who have succeeded in the Army and Air Force, gone through real boot camp, and are dealing with injuries incurred during service to their country. My answers to them were so lame, and so all through the event I kept trying to figure out why everybody else was there. The only answer that makes any sense is that deep down in our brains is a need to PROVE we can survive, and do so as a tribe, especially when not threatened with the alternative.
There are 69 Dirty Girl US events listed on the website this coming year. Here’s an estimate of the revenue collected at the San Antonio event last weekend: 7,000 participants (according to an email to registrants) x $75/participant = $525,000 + concessions + merch (logo’d apparel like “French terry lounge pants for $40), totes, headware, drinkware, and lip balm). Projecting forward for the rest of the year: $525,000 x 69 = $36,225,000.
To its credit, the Dirty Girl events contribute to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The website states that their charitable goal is $1.5 million this year, which, if my calculations are correct, would be about 4% of their 2012 revenue:
In 2012, it is the goal of Dirty Girl to provide the National Breast Cancer Foundation with over $250,000 in monetary and in-kind support. In 2013, our goal is to deliver over $1,500,000 in support to NBCF. In addition, Dirty Girl will continue providing cancer survivors free registration at each event.
For the record, The National Breast Cancer Foundation is highly rated by the Charity Navigator. (67, which compares favorably to the Red Cross’s 59)
Looks like there are promising business and charitable opportunities for organizations benefiting from humans who need these Weekend Warrior buddy challenges. So I was thinking… What if we just send everybody who wanted to wage war to one big Tough Mudder/Dirty Girl event, maybe add in Rollerball intrigue or Dick Cheney, and save all the military spending and civilian deaths? Did somebody say TV rights?
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
As a boy I read the Weekly Reader, Outdoor Life, Superman comic books, and the Hardy Boys Adventures. Books were not overly abundant and I read whatever I could. Back then the only library in the world was my elementary school’s one-room collection of books organized by the Dewey Decimal System. Remember it? The 200s covered Religion, the 600s Technology, and the 800s covered Literature. We had to memorize all ten classes, and walk on command to a given class where it sat on the shelves. Today we click a mouse and voila! We are transported to anything we want t Read on →
(This piece is a timely expansion on entry # 3 in this Press the Battle series: " Calling Out the Republicans: Obama Hasn't So We Must..") Summary: It is clear the Republicans, with their obstructionism, have deliberately hurt the nation. That betrayal explains why the American political system is now more dysfunctional than in generations, maybe ever. The American people are quite dissatisfied with the performance of their government, but they need help understanding where the problem lies. I ask President Obama: Why are you not using this last opportunity to tell the voters what's gone wrong, so they can use Read on →
Summary: President Obama should have made it a top priority to help the American people see what the Republican Party has become. That would lead the people to take away that Party's power. Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems ill-equipped by temperament and character to fight that battle. With your help, I can deliver a message that can focus our national conversation on the destructive force that has taken over the Republican Party. *** If Barack Obama had become president at a time of normal politics, with a normal opposition party, there's no telling how much he could have accomplished. On many issues, President Read on →
Six years ago, President Obama was all for bringing our troops home from far-off wars. Much of that has happened. Now new threats to world peace are prompting some war hawks to push for "sending in the troops," no matter where the trouble is brewing. Good thing our military is controlled by a civilian Secretary of Defense. The military men will always advise on sending in the troops. They are trained to recommend no other way. We hope that the President fully understands that many people in the United States, if not the majority, do not want to see more of our Read on →