Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Tough Mudder

Last weekend I competed in the Tough Mudder in Las Vegas. I'll admit it, I was a little bit nervous. I had signed up for the event about 8 months earlier and then kind of just put it at the back of my mind. I'd been pretty good about working out, but I definitely could have done better. About a week before the race I watched one of the promo videos for the event and that's when I started to get nervous. The obstacles looked insane and I began to wonder if I was even going to survive. I was mostly afraid of getting shocked (yes, one of the obstacles has LIVE WIRES!) and having to climb over walls and crawl under barbed wire.

Anyway, the day of the race came and I was actually feeling very calm and feeling really good about the event. In fact, I was excited to get out on the course and see if I was strong enough to complete it. The course was over 11 miles long, with a lot of climbing up mountains (which I wasn't expecting) and I lot of crawling through tunnels (which totally terrified me) and lots and lots and lots of MUD!

One of the first obstacles was ARCTIC ENEMA. Rather than me explain it to you, here is a video about it. All I have to say is that when I first jumped into the ice water I was fine, but then when I had to put my head under the water and come out on the other side, into even more ice, I thought my life was over. I struggled to make it to the other side and barely had enough strength to push myself out. I was FROZEN and it took quite awhile, even running in 85 degree weather, to not feel chilled.

This race also taught me that the older I get I seem to be getting more and more claustrophobic. We had to crawl through a tunnel, under barbed wire, and then through black tubes. I totally freaked out and had to stop ever few feet, take a deep breath and then keep crawling through. I seriously thought it was going to get trapped inside forever and no one would be able to pull me out. Mentally, that was the hardest part for me.

One of the final obstacles of the event was Mt. Everest. This is a 15 foot inclined wall that you have to run up and hope that someone at the top can grab your hands and pull you over. We reached the wall after we'd been out on the course for more than 3 hours. Needless to say, I was EXHAUSTED. But I really wanted to get over this wall. I watched people do it and I thought there was NO WAY I'd make it. But, again, I really wanted to do it. So I told myself to run as fast as I could and trust the people at the top to grab my hands and help me over. It took me THREE tries, but I made it. It was so frustrating to miss the first two, I was so close, but on that last try, two guys that I didn't even know grabbed my hands and pulled me over. It was AWESOME!!! Here is a video of Mt Everest:

I think my favorite thing about Tough Mudder was the team work. Just like those two guys that pulled me over Mt Everest, I had random strangers helping me out at different obstacles and I did my best to help others out as well. I loved watching everyone working together to make it through the course. Crossing the finish line felt great! I was so proud of myself for at least attempting every obstacle on the course. There were a couple (the monkey bars and the swinging rings) that I didn't make it all the way over, but at least I tried. The rest of the obstacles I completed! I enjoyed the running and I loved getting wet and muddy. It was a beautiful day and I'm so glad I was able to do it.

If you want to push yourself, do a Tough Mudder. You'll love it and you'll be amazed at how strong you really are!!! I'm still a bit sore, and I'm covered in scrapes and bruises, but I'm proud to say that I'm a TOUGH MUDDER!

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