Getting ready for my next muddy adventure. This time, my son is going with me. I am stoked to see him go on his own personal quest to see what it is like to face a challenge with such a diverse group of people.
The most important parts of this trip will be sharing some history and challenges with my main guy. He has been there with me for so many of my “firsts” and I can’t wait to experience Philadelphia with him.
Tough Mudder is in some ways the bane of my existence. I don’t actually have that much fun out there, and I really have no business trying to do this. Oh, well. I am going to do this because I can. I can persevere. Honestly I am just thankful for the lack of elevation in PA.
So, 2015 is the Year of Adventure for me. I have learned some lessons, better underwear choices for playing in the mud comes to mind, and I have made some new friends. I have left the job of my dreams, and I am still okay.
Tough Mudder is not a race. It is a chance to be part of a group working together. I am not afraid of it this time. I am actually a little at peace with my phobias and fears. I am taking my camera and watching my boy have the adventure of his life. It is not always about me. It is okay for me to give up a little comfort for my son to have a life changing experience.
My son will get to meet Captain America, and he will meet The Blogger. There are several other superheroes who will be there with our group. I am excited to see where Ty finds his place among these men. I am counting on them to show him how to give back. I am counting on them to keep me from giving up.
I just finished reading The Blogger’s account of the end of Tough Mudder. Those of you who know anything at all about it, know that it always ends with a trip up Everest and a dash through electricity.
I knew all along that Everest is not something I feel like I need to do. It just seems rather careless with a marginal knee. So, I never intended to do it. I did not expect to do what I did though.
I went and sat off to the side alone. I was not watching my teammates crushing this obstacle. I missed Amazing Daniel giving back to his team, one person at a time. You see, Daniel was paralyzed in a work accident. He still came and crushed every single obstacle Tough Mudder had to throw at him. Then, at the end, after he traversed a human ladder to the top of Everest, he stayed at the top and caught the hands of every member of our team to help them to the summit. I missed it.
I forgot about my team. I was frustrated, sore, tired, hungry, and irritable. More than anything, I was ashamed that I had stopped training for TM. I knew that I had brought all that pain and misery on myself. I hated feeling so weak and dependent on that course. I felt like the anchor that threatened to drag down the ship. I felt like I did not belong. I felt like they would have been better off without me.
Letting myself entertain those thoughts was a dangerous game to play. It sucked all my motivation out the door. It is unfortunate that I threw those dice three months before TM. I gave in to negativity. I stopped believing that I was worth fighting for. I unlearned all the lessons I thought I had learned. It is a slippery slope. Negativity only breeds more negativity. I knew that. I did it anyway.
Now, let’s keep in mind my team is awesome. They had supported me the entire time. No one made me feel this way. I did. I let the noise inside my head crowd out reality. The worst part about this whole journey to a healthier lifestyle is the way I talk to myself. I constantly undermine my successes and sabotage all that is good. I do that. No one does it to me. So, I am responsible for changing it.
Yes, TM was awesome.
Yes, TM was HARD.
Yes, I walked across the finish line- and celebrated with my team.
Yes, I hated a lot of it.
Yes, my life changed.
Yes, I made some new life long friends.
Yes, I changed my mind about some people.
I am planning to do two more Tough Mudders this year. Dallas and then I will rejoin the SDLHC in Philly. I have a lot of things that I want to do over.
No crying about climbing over walls.
No going off and ignoring my friends, just so I can entertain my own negativity.
I will more prepared physically for the challenge.
I won’t let my head do all the thinking.
I will buy a waterproof camera and take a ton of pictures.
I will share this experience with my son (In Philly)
I will not shut out my best friend this time.
I will remember that being quiet and ignoring the group, hurts people’s feelings.
I will not lose my bib.
I will figure out how to avoid blisters.
I will get different underwear.
I will laugh more.
I will wear a damn TIARA. You know why? Because I am a damn Princess.
So, yeah. My biggest regret is that I missed Everest. It was a selfish move. I will not be making that mistake again.
This is me. I am not starting over. I am continuing this quest. I may make mistakes, and I may have some regrets. That does not diminish what this experience was for me. Remember- in my new tribe, we have a saying:
Okay, so we have started the course. (Don’t Worry, I cannot remember the whole course step by step. I wish I could- but, it is too much.) You know about how my team encouraged me and lifted me over a wall. You know that they figured out how to get me out of my fears, and to just man up and do it.
So, now the first real obstacle. Arctic Enema. Oddly, I was not that scared of this one. I mistakenly thinking that it would just be vaguely uncomfortable. Then, we arrived to the obstacle. Once again, I have no real idea of how tall the platform was. There was a ladder. A tall platform. Very tall. I am imagining that we were like 200 feet off the ground. (Of course I know that is not true but, it may as well of been.)
I walk around a little, find Angela, and up we start to climb. I am holding my breath, and hyperventilating all at the same time. Trying hard not to freak out and freeze. Somewhere near the top, I look through the slats I am climbing. I am too high. I freeze for a second. Then, there is this guy who is climbing up beside me. I suppose he looked over and realized that I was freaking out.
He said “Don’t think about it. Think of anything else. Do you like food? Think of your favorite food. I bet you like Mexican.” Wait. What??? Why would you automatically assume the fat girl likes Mexican food? I was vaguely annoyed. So, I climbed up a little faster until I got to the top, and I had to let go and stand up. I froze again. The very nice volunteer came over and said “you have to come up.” I was scared, so I stalled. Introduced myself to him. His name was Mike.
So, once on the top all you have to do it sit down- and then slide down a slide (covered with a fence- I do not know the purpose of the fence) and land in mid chest height ice water. There was a guy unloading ice from a truck to pour into the tank. I remember pointing and yelling at him to wait right there and not add to my misery. As if it would have made a difference. Angela is next to me. I am nervous.
Then, we slide down and I am surrounded by ice. All I know is that I have to stand up. I can’t get my feet on the bottom. I hit my head on the fence. I have a vague sense that I am going to drown and die. Somehow I emerge from the icy depths. And, my mind and body stop functioning. I have no idea how I got over the wall (someone probably boosted me- I seriously have no idea.) I do remember the end, I could not figure out how to get out. I think someone helped me up, and I awkwardly rolled out. Then, I walked away. I was sputtering and crying, all I wanted to do is walk away. I was horrified at how difficult this was. My body was numb. I was in serious pain. I was convinced everyone who goes to this thing is insane.
Why? What on earth does this prove? Then, I started walking. I was very much not concerned with the group. I was in my head trying to sort out what my motivation was. Why was I here? Did I belong here? What on earth was I thinking?
I think the very next obstacle was pit fall. (I could be wrong. Whatever, it is my story.) Pitfall was okay. Go under a log into a pit of muddy water. Walk to the end, climb out. Well, it was simple. Yep, fell like 4 times. The bottom was uneven, and there were a ton of holes. I ate a lot of mud. Then, I got to end, and lo and behold there was an outstretched hand waiting to haul my ass out of the pit. I had done it. I could do this. My friends were there for me. They did not judge me and make me feel stupid, fat, and weak. They just assisted me. I am so grateful for that. Traversing the muddy, slippery banks of these obstacles was not particularly easy… but, it was kinda fun.
This whole adventure was not easy…
Next… Another damn wall. What are these Mudder fools trying to prove? Why on earth is this considered a good idea?
I am planning to skip this obstacle. I don’t want to go up on another wall. I walk around the obstacle and stand there to watch…. Until I decide to try.
Once again, there are many false starts. Kris (or maybe Dan, I am not sure)- leans down and says “this is nothing, just step up” I finally step into the hands, grab Kurt or David’s hand, and reach up for the wall. When I get up there and look out into the sea of muddy faces I am overcome with shock and awe. I screamed at the top of my lungs, “Holy Fucking SHIT!!!” And, then I am helped over the top of the wall to the tires on the other side. It was scary climbing down. Once again, my team was waiting with open arms. Once again, I am shaking and trembling with fear and exhilaration.
Now, you would think that I had this wall thing down… Nope. Not even close. The taller one is coming up….. I really want to give up now…