Tough Mudder!

We are tough mudders!!

Around Christmas time I was in need of some serious exercise motivation. Baby weight plus holiday eating was a bad combination. Ben mentioned “tough mudder” and while I never really thought I’d survive it, I said “Sure, why not”. If this doesn’t motivate me to do something then I don’t know what will. We were pumped about it. I watched YouTube videos, winced at some of the obstacles, and printed out the training suggestions to start right after the new year.

….I think you can probably guess where I’m going next. Not to the basement to train. We ran a few 5K’s, did a few small things on the equipment we have at home, and even did an “obstacle course” style 5K (which ended up being the PreK version of Tough Mudder). The event that was once 12 weeks away was suddenly around the corner. Um. What? No way I can do that. But we signed up, and were going to make the best of it. I preface our TM experience with this story to help you understand that training and preparation were NOT what got me through the 11 mile/21 obstacle course. Not by a long shot. What got me through was my husband, the other mudders I was running with, my fierce stubbornness, and the sheer will to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Next year, the training (I’ve already started) will pay off and I will shave hours off of my 6 hour total from this year.

Other than the intensely sore muscles, the cuts and bruises, the ruined clothes/shoes, and the sunburn, the event itself was one of the most painfully rewarding experiences of my life. Despite the debilitating difficult physical challenges, this was equally a test of mental strength. I am my worst critic. I approached every single obstacle and the voice in my head repeated “There is no way I can do that. Are you kidding me with that? I can’t do THAT. These people are crazy. There is no way”. This voice continued for eleven straight miles. After every obstacle (and Yes, we attempted every.single.obstacle; only failing to complete three), I was in a state of disbelief. I looked behind me to the pool of ice water, or the dark underground tunnel, to the barbed wire, or fire, to the 10-12 foot walls or the cords of electric current I’d crawled through, and my voice always said “I can NOT believe I just did that!”. I shocked myself (ha) through the entire 11 miles. Every marker that showed another mile down was a glance between Ben and I that said “I’m not sure how, but we are doing this!”. There are few better accomplishments I’ve had in this life than the one I felt crossing the finish line with my husband. Limping and bleeding and running on fumes, we did it together. It wasn’t always pretty, but we DID IT!

Despite going into TM intimidated, I have never been a part of something so physical with people who were SO awesome. You cannot do this challenge alone. Even with my partner, we took on every obstacle with the help of another mudder (or several mudders). Every fall in the mud was followed by three hands to help me up, pat me on the back, and encourage me to keep going. I was pushed over walls, pulled over ledges, and cheered on by strangers around me the whole time. I “Hoorah’d” that day more than I ever have in my life, and was filled with such gratitude and appreciation for the communities of mudders that I am now so thankful to be a part of with my husband. This event changed how I think. I have an untapped strength that has been discovered and for that alone I am so thankful that Ben signed us up. Not only did my husband keep me motivated and push me to my potential for 11 miles, I failed to mention he held a GoPro mounted to a piece of PVC pipe the whole time. He got some great footage that he’s ‘doing his thing’ with and will post the footage we have soon. Some more permanent memorabilia is in the works as well. 😉

We will certainly do this again next year, and I want to put together a huge team for it. It’s an experience everyone should have once in their lives…if not once a year. We are Tough Mudders!

Here’s our video! Well, this is the short one. For the longer version, see the link at the end. Enjoy!

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