I am so excited to have completed a major goal this weekend. I completed a Tough Mudder! This is a 10-12 mile race with obstacles, many of which include a ton of mud. It was challenging and scary and completely fun. I'm so sore and bruised today, a few days later, but I am so proud that I got out of my comfort zone and really challenged myself. Plus all the training meant that 6 months after the birth of my little - to the day, I can easily say I'm in the best shape I've been in since...high school. I generally do not enjoy activities that I think could cause bodily harm. I will never sky dive, I'm not a huge fan of things like jet skis, riding on the back of motorcycles or Vespas, and I'm completely afraid of heights. I'm also a little claustrophobic. In short, I'm fearless in some aspects of my life (see: moving across country all the time, job risks, etc), but pain is generally not my thing. L thinks a lot of these fears are because I'm a control freak, and I'm sure there is some truth to that.
So a few months ago, my friend "Berg" told me about this race, and as I was still whining about never being able to lose my baby weight, he said I should do this. (Also I saw an episode of the Housewives of OC, in which they did a mudrace, and I figured if they can do it I sure as hell could. Theirs was not this race). I started crossfit, and became a runner. I cut out carbs and started to build muscles. I have dropped a pants size since my pre-baby size.
So the race! I was really really nervous before we started, like maybe I shouldn't do this, despite that I'm already here and have a number and everything nervous. But I had a team, and this is really something that should be done with friends. I was ready to go, and the first obstacle may have been the worst. Called the arctic enema, I thought it would be easy, but jumping into the ice water put me into shock and I needed to be fished out immediately after I got in. The cool thing was that there was no shame, and that a teammate and a stranger helped me get out, when I couldn't breathe. I was terrified I wouldn't be able to do this race, but my team kept me going. From then on, I trusted the people I was with, and started to look forward to each new obstacle. We jumped over mud pits, crawled under barbed wire (these became my favorite ones), scaled 15 foot walls, and swam under barrels in a lake. We climbed up mud hills, and jumped into mud pits. We climbed over hay bails and carried logs. We climbed over taller hay bails, which was the scariest part for me, but I actually did it. We crawled under live electrical cords, and dashed through them at the end. We walked a plank and crossed a monkey bar that angled up and down. We did all of this, including the 11 mile run in a massive thunderstorm (apparently there were tornado warnings, but we never heard that during the race). It was exhilarating and hard, and really really fun. I loved it.
Would I do it again? I think so. I think I need time to recover - I'm stretching at my desk and eating Advil for the muscle pain still today, and my bruises are just turning purple, and my scrapes are a nasty bright red. What this taught me, though, is that I'm fairly certain I can do anything I put the effort into doing. Sometimes the hardest part is the anticipation, and once you get passed that and dive in, the rewards - and battle scars - are totally worth it.