Did you ever Mudder? I did my first Tough Mudder just a couple of months ago.
Yes that’s me. With my sad moose hat on, stuck on top of a wall. I was suddenly terrified some Pennsylvania hunter would be out, ready to shoot me down out of my “stuck on a wall” misery.
To be honest, I was never really into the Mudder. I didn’t get the concept. To be running through water getting shocked with electric currents wasn’t tough to me, it was kind of, you know, stupid.
I ran through water and got shocked – “Electroshock Therapy” was the last obstacle I did. It hurt like hell. Yet I was smiling and laughing as I came across the finish line.
How did my attitude change?
Let me start at the beginning.
My friend talked me into the Mudder. I hesitated through his first couple requests to join his Tough Mudder “Old as Dirt” team. Somehow he hit my competitive bone when he asked me if I could do a pull up, to which I snorted, “Yeah” not really sure if I could do a pull up at all, but I would be able to now.
I was running a marathon 2 weeks before I would Mudder. I figured if I could marathon, I could Mudder. Running wise, this is true. Obstacle wise – I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS IN FOR.
I knew I was going to have to climb over walls. I knew I was going to get muddy. I knew I was going to run 10 miles. I had heard about being submerged in ice, and thought “well, that sounds unpleasant.” But the Mudder is so much more.
Here is why the Mudder is a great experience
There were 7 members on my team. We ran as fast as our slowest person. We helped cheer each other on through the individual obstacles, like the “Arctic Enema” (where I was submerged in ice, and it was WAY PAST unpleasant – my brain FROZE). And we pulled each other through, as a team, the group obstacles.
So many of the obstacles we had to do as a group. So many of the obstacles I felt I was defeated before I even tried. I looked at the obstacle and realized I would need A LOT of help to get through it. But, I later realized, every one on my team needed help too. Our youngest, strongest guy always went first – he asked for help from strangers. And then he and the strangers would help our next person until our team was helping our own, and then the next stranger coming up.
In short – WE HAD TO LET GO OF OUR EGO AND RELY ON EACH OTHER – EVEN IF THE OTHER WAS A STRANGER
And I hate to have to do that. Yet, I was forced to. And it was great. There is no way you can get up “Everest 2.0” or “The Pyramid Scheme” without help. Without someone else.
For me, I am a runner. I compete on my own. In a Mudder, I am a team member. And we work together.
So that by the time I reached this obstacle, I was jumping on an overhead count of 3, off a plank, grabbing a bar, reaching for a bell, without hesitation.
Of course this isn’t me – I had a sad muddy moose hat on at this point of the day. But I still jumped!
I didn’t get the bell. This year.
Have you ever Mudder’d? Let me know!