Our 24 Hour [Questival] Adventure!

Over the past weekend Matthew and I participated in the adventure of a lifetime without leaving the city limits.  IT was Questival! Us and three of my co workers participated in a 24 hour scavenger hunt/competition with 522 other teams. We didn't know much of what we were getting ourselves into, but I agreed to it six weeks ago and Matthew didn't have a choice :) All we had to go off of until 24 hours prior to the beginning of said adventure, was reviews from other people who participated in other cities in the US. Some of them made this sound super scary, but mostly (to me) it sounded EXCITING! We didn't give a lot of thought to it or talk much about it after we registered, until about a week before it was happening. We literally went into this thing blind. Luckily for us one of my amazing co workers had taken the day off and was able to do a little prep work. After we got the list of (261) challenges I was scrambling in my head to figure out the logistics of all of this. I knew there was no way to prepare with only a few hours to do so, so I told myself to "settle down, it will be fun!" and, oddly enough, my anxiety stayed at a very low and very manageable level. Anyways, we were able to do a tiny bit of prep work which benefited us more than we would know.

We loaded up my car with five people, camping gear, food, clothes, sleeping bags, fishing poles, and other random items we thought we would need. After getting checked in and out to our campsite it was time to let the fun times begin. We used the headlights of the car to set up our tents, and at the same time realized we were one set of tent poles short. That meant Matthew and I were sleeping in the car! We started a fire without paper and lighter fluid. We roasted hot dogs. We met our camping neighbors. We told stories. We completed challenges. We drank a case of PBR and one bottle of champagne. We game planned for morning and the rest of our Questival time. We laughed and we got to know each other in a way I didn't see coming! The next morning we were completing challenges by 7:00 am. No coffee. No shower. No running water to wash our face. Barely a change a clothes. We broke down what we had set up of camp and loaded it all back into the car to continue on our adventure. We hiked to the top of a famous "mount" in Austin. We visited the peacocks at a well known park. We sang car karaoke. Eventually we got ourselves some breakfast (and coffee!), completed more challenges (like hug a stranger for 15 seconds, who knew 15 seconds could feel like a lifetime!), told more stories, shared more laughs, and made more plans. By mid afternoon we had cruised over 100 miles around our beautiful city acting silly, scoring points, and stepping outside of our normal social circles. When we realized how well we were doing we started to get pretty competitive. We were submitting challenges for points right up to the cut off at 7:00pm. Our goal was to break the top 100, and at one point we were #77!!!!!

This past weekend was way more than just an adventure with friends. This weekend was a challenge for me personally in so many different ways. For most it was probably a step (if that) outside of their comfort zone. For me it was one huge, giant, leap. I was tested way more than I could've predicted, and I think I came out stronger than I went in. Not only was I with co workers outside of our normal work environment, we were in a setting that allowed to be us with no strings attached. I learned more than I probably wanted to but all of it strengthened our relationships. I had to self regulate my emotions when something triggering to me was brought up. Instead of getting emotional or reacting I was able to keep it all in. I had to be confident to say when I had enough. I had to trust that everything that was said and done would be kept between our group (except the fun stuff, of course!). I didn't self disclose. I didn't cry. I handled backseat drivers with class. I saw new places and things in Austin. I let my team record me and capture pictures when I looked less than attractive, because that's what being a team player means. I shared ideas, I did things I maybe wasn't super excited about. I survived Questival! WE survived Questival!!

Our weekend didn't end at 7:00 pm with Questival. We had plans to attend a beer tasting the following day with some of Matthew's co-workers and we refused to skip it as we had been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks. We didn't realize how tired we truly were until we had to get up for work Monday morning!

Things I learned over the weekend:
  • I have become more of an introvert than I thought.
  • I don't know how I used to handle the social life that I had a couple of years ago.
  • Keeping anxiety and reactive emotions in for sooooo many hours is draining.
  • Sleep is my best friend, without it I am quite cranky.
  • Matthew truly is my better half. I would not have had such a fun weekend without him there as my safety net. In fact I'm not sure I would've survived the entire 24 hours if he wasn't on our team.
  • I do not know how to talk to strangers any more, which is why I struggle with friendships.
  • I didn't know just how much joy was missing in my life lately.
  • I can be strong. I can jump outside of my comfort zone, but there will be a price to pay in the end; that is okay!
  • I wish there were two Questivals a year!

Every bit of the weekend of February 17-19, 2017 will go down in history as one of the best weekends of my life. Even the fact that we completely forgot we needed someone to watch our dog! :)

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