A few months back Anthony sent out an email to some family members about doing a Tough Mudder. A few siblings were somewhat on board, but then as the months went by, things came up and eventually it was just Anthony and I signed up. Typically I wouldn’t worry about who and how many of us were doing a race of any sort, however, for this particular type of race or better yet, challenge, it’s ideal to have a team. Why you ask? Because who else is suppose to help get my big ass over a ten to fifteen foot wall? That was one of my biggest concerns. But then more concerns came my way. Like, how am I going to complete these obstacles? Will I even be able to run five miles in conjunction with thirteen muddy, wet and extremely challenging obstacles? Am I mentally and emotionally strong enough to brave the wet and cold conditions? What if I physically can’t do something? I felt as if I was setting myself up to fail. A few days before the event all of these concerns and questions came flooding my mind with anxieties and uncertainties. I was scared and it’s safe to say, I was freaking out. However, what happened that day, was truly the polar opposite of what I expected my first Tough Mudder to be.
Even as panic mode was setting in, deep down I knew I was doing what I could to prepare – so perhaps I had a chance. Over a month prior to the challenge, we joined Title Boxing to kick our asses and to up our cardio game. Along with boxing, I did my regular yoga practice, some running here and there and taught boot camp classes at Yoga Six, which is essentially just as good as taking the damn class. The count down set in and before I knew it, we were driving up to Plymouth, Wisconsin to meet up with hundreds of other crazy assholes to get our dirty on. And let me tell you, dirty is an understatement. The very first obstacle you literally get on your belly and army crawl your way thru cold, muddy water all while trying not to get clipped by the barb wire that encases the obstacle. Right then and there you are cold, freezing and dirty. You get out and more than likely think to yourself, “what the fuck did I just do? I paid to do this?”. Fast forward and you come face to face with a wall…perhaps fifteen feet high. Now, this part I was sort of prepared for as I invested some time in watching tutorials on how to actually climb over a giant wall. Queue, here’s where my team would come in handy. However, we were a two man team and had to fend for ourselves. Or did we? I heard a rumor about how everyone helps each other along the way and I am here to confirm, this is no rumor at all, it is indeed a fact. Some dude was chilling at the top of the wall and was ready and willing to help get me over. We had no clue who he was, but with the combination of Anthony pushing my butt up, my heel kick I learned from a YouTube video and the stranger on the wall….I got over. As the challenge went on we got dirtier, at times colder and every quarter mile or so we were faced with more physical challenges. It was when we encountered the obstacle, Everest 2.0, I was officially about to truly test my mental and physical strength. All those feelings and fears of, could I do this? How hurt am I going to get?, came flooding back. The line to get over the wall was about fifteen rows of people deep and it was getting colder and wetter as the minutes went by. As each competitor got up to the wall, I watched as some made it over with the help of others and how some tried three sometimes even ten times to get over. I was nervous, but I was going to give it a shot. And I did. I dug deep, put my fears aside and I got up and over. And not only did I get over, I got over on my first try. Granted five others helped me, I did it, when I definitely thought I wouldn’t be able to. Afterwards, Anthony and I stayed behind and helped pull others over and pay our dues. It the least we could do for getting the help we had. But that’s what’s so incredible about Tough Mudder, the camaraderie. Literally no none is left behind. Rewind to the way beginning of the challenge, before it even begins. As a group, we were gathered and prepped for the day. The MC hyped us up, music was played, we held a moment of silence for our military men and women as well as officers and first responders. Right from the get go, we were encouraged to help those behind us or struggling – it’s simply the way of Tough Mudder competitions.
When we finally reached the end after a little over three hours, we were faced with a decision. Either climb a mini fortress and jump into a giant air mattress or run through the final obstacle, Electric Shock Therapy. Ummmm, yeah. You read that right. It’s no joke. I know because Anthony persuaded me to finish strong and get our electrocution on. Needless to say, we both got shocked and we fell to our knees instantly. I was stunned, literally and figuratively. Next time, because there will be a next time, I’ll opt for the air mattress. Here’s the thing. I didn’t think I could do it, any of it. I didn’t totally believe in myself at the beginning. But as the challenge went on, I fell more and more in love with what we were doing. We were cold, dirty as hell and soaking wet – I was 100% outside of my comfort zone. I proved to myself and even Anthony too, that I’m stronger than I think I am. I learned that self doubt is for the birds. I saw strangers helping strangers, all for the fun of it, and in a world where a lot of shitty things happen, it’s a beautiful thing to witness. Plus, as husband and wife, it was a pretty awesome thing to do as our own team together. He inspired me and encouraged me, when I really needed it most. The lesson here, whether you do a Tough Mudder, a 5K, cooking class, try something this fall outside of your comfort zone. Test your limits. Get out there and live life. This was one of my favorite things I have ever done in my life and I cannot wait to get my Tough Mudder on again very soon! And if you’re looking for a dirty challenge, filled with good vibes and hard as hell obstacles…you know what to sign up for, TSPeeps. It was a dirty freaking blast!
Behold, Everest 2.0
And my nemesis….The Blockness Monster. I hated this SOB.
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