That's right! I FINISHED what could be the "toughest event on the planet". Little background on the event that is The Mudder: it is an 11-12 mile obstical course designed by Marines to test every part of your physical fitness. It is not a race, it is not timed. It is a challenge. The challenge is to get through in one piece. Several of my fellow Mudders "died" on the course. I thought of dying on the course myself, it was HARD HARD HARD. OMG SO HARD!
So we drove down to the middle of freakin' nowhere to do this course. I did it with a team from my gym. I told them beforehand that I was NOT going to be rushed and if they felt the need to, they should go on without me. Yeah, yeah, teamwork and whatnot but part of being a team is knowing when YOU'RE the liability. And, to be frank, I was the liability (to put it in perspective, they finished 2 hours before me).
So, even before you get to the start, you jump a wall. My fat ass needed two of my teamates to push me over. Great start eh? Then, after the start, more walls, 8 feet high. After the walls you plunge yourself into a pool of icewater. Would seem refreshing in 99 degree heat. Yeah, no. I wasn't ready for the shock I felt of my body completely freezing. I needed some cute marine to pull my ass out of the ice water. I couldn't move. After that, it went alllllll downhill... and we weren't even 2 miles into it yet! Then twinkle toes, go over a small ledge. This was okish, almost everyone fell into the water below. Then up a mud hill, then the first hill of the day. I told my team to leave me. The "team leader" and owner of my gym was pissing me off anyway trying to "urge" me to go faster. I told him to suck an egg and let me be. He meant well, *Seriously, Adam, love ya to death, I just don't do good with urging* Said he felt guilty, I told him not to. I was already set to do this myself. So they went on at mile 3. The next 7 miles of hell was a journey alone. Over hills, across a trench, more hills... and more hills! I developed a system of going up the hills by stopping and resting at each sign. Going over the logs were uneventful and that marked mile 6. I stopped, I rested and prepared for the next 6 miles ahead that I knew were going to be the hardest. Stocked up on some energy sharkies as the rest stop and set my mind to the tasks ahead: more hills!
Then under tunnels, they weren't too bad. Up another hill and at mile 7 I thought I was going to be done. I took a good 15 mins at the next rest stop and really faced my mental grit. Down hill was worse than uphill, believe it or not. I took my time, I did not run this course. I skipped the next obstical: tunnels under hay bales. I'm a bit clostrophobic. Jumped over some hay bales,went through some mud, then across a "tight rope", had to skip the next set of berlin walls, I didn't feel comfortable subjecting people to my weight. Then the 15 foot drop into water and a small swim.
So I started climbing up to the high dive and it happened. The one thing that almost made me "tap out". CHARLIE HORSE! WORST PAIN EVER! Two cute marines (see a trend here?) hauled me up and filled my mouth with salt water as well as stretched my cramp out. I looked up at the dude who told me he was an RN, raised my arms in a cross and said "I'm done, tap me out!" He was like "I don't believe you're done". I was whining. Yeah, I know, kids whine. I was almost in tears. I said "I can't do this". He looked me right in the eyes, pointed to the trail and said "You have 40 mins. Is this your first Tough Mudder? Yes? 40 mins, up that hill or you will regret it the rest of your life. You will be kicking yourself in the ass all the way home. You got this. Do you trust me?" "Hell no I don't trust you". "There's one way down so jump or I will push you."
I backed up, took a running leap and jumped. Screamed all the way down and felt relief in the water. Swam to the edge and slugged up the hill. Skipped the monkey bars and the rings, crawled underneath electrofied wires, up another hill, into a swamp of water, under water tunnels, and up the last hill to the second to last obstical. Couldn't get over everest, which was a half pipe. I tried, I smacked my face right into it. Then slugged through the last of the electric wires. They hurt, I didn't care, finish line in sight. I felt euphoria as I crossed under the finish and was crowned with my own orange headband that signified I am, indeed, one Tough Mudder Smurfer.
And guess what? My team was there waiting for me at the finish. Love my City Fitness Peeps!