Imagine losing your home, your only means of transportation, and your line of income in an instant. Sickening right? That’s what happened to us last week. If you follow us on Instagram you already know that Jolene (our van) got smacked in the head really hard last week, by no fault of our own. Here’s what happened.
Adam and I pulled up to our hotel Wednesday night, got settled, and met up with the videographer for the week for a drink. We were in Scottsdale, AZ for the next few days to work with Merrell and then run a Tough Mudder on Saturday with a few people from Merrell HQ, some hot shot editors in the outdoor and fitness industries, and Noah Galloway (you’ve probably seen him on Dancing With The Stars).
All day Thursday we filmed in the desert mountains in Scottsdale and met up with everyone for dinner later in the evening. The next morning was chill, just how we like it, before meeting up with everyone for lunch and a hike in the Superstition Mountains. That night we filmed a little more and called it a day after beer and pizza.
Saturday morning Adam, Dan (the man, the cameraman), and I took Jolene over to the resort for breakfast with everyone before the Tough Mudder on Saturday morning. We valeted her, per usual, and even reminded the valet guys that she won’t fit into the garage and we’re paying them to valet her because she’s too tall.
Breakfast was delicious, even though I ate too much. The best part was the Watch Hawk. Pigeons are a nuisance, stealing unattended food at the outdoor restaurant, so the resort hired a hawk trainer to walk around, scaring all the pigeons away from everyone. Just one look from the hawk and those pigeons were gone!
Everyone started heading out the big glass sliding doors to their respective cars they’d be taking to the Tough Mudder and I went to the valet booth. Right away I knew something was up when I started getting weird looks from the guys working there, the same ones that were always polite and courteous. Finally one of the guys stepped forward and asked if I was the owner of the big van. He had a clipboard in his hand as he asked me to walk with him and told me there had been an incident.
An incident is an understatement as I walked around the corner to see a massive concave on the front panel of the roof of Jolene. Every emotion was going through myself at this point as I motioned for Adam to come over to see the damage. We talked with Kelly (Director, Global Brand Marketing) and we all decided it’d be best to deal with this later in the afternoon after the Tough Mudder. No one with authority from the valet company was around, so just sitting and waiting would do us no good.
As we pulled up to the Tough Mudder Adam and I were still fuming about what had happened, but those thoughts and emotions slowly started to dissipate for the time being. We got our bib numbers, 21+ wristband, and free beer wrist band and started getting ready to run our first Tough Mudder.
Running a Tough Mudder’s no joke. It takes a lot to get through 10-12 miles and 24 obstacles, but working as a team makes it a little more bearable. We had a blast running our first Tough Mudder with 8 other teammates and to be honest, I think I thought about the whole incident maybe two or three times while I was on the course.
Once I was jolted back to reality thanks to Electroshock Therapy, we set a plan in motion. It was decided that Adam and I would be staying in Scottsdale indefinitely, until we figured out whether Jolene was fixable or if we’d have to total our girl and rush to find a Jolene 2.0 to keep us going throughout the year.
Our plan was to head to the Grand Canyon on Sunday, instead we ran the Tough Mudder Half with Alex, Lauren, and Rachel (from Merrell HQ). Adam and I were still sore from the Tough Mudder we had just run the day before, but sulking in a hotel room would do us no good. Instead we had a blast running 5 miles and doing a slew of obstacles on the course. And the free Shocktop at the end may have also helped a little too.
Later that night we met up with John, Lauren, and Rachel one last time for beer and pizza. We all relived the day and what had happened with Jolene the day before. Everyone was curious as to what our next move was and it sucked to tell them that we filed the claim with our insurance company and now all we could do is wait for answers. The worst, we didn’t know the outcome, but we did know that there’s no turning back, no going home, and we were going to get back on the road. Some way, some how, we had to get back on the road.