For those who don’t know (I didn’t until last Wednesday), Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.
I went to my first one yesterday as a spectator-my husband, (who had 72 hours notice of his involvement…he replaced a team member that had to drop out) his co-worker and friend, and her client were the hardcore participants and they were spectacular! They made it through with minor scrapes and bruises…I was waiting for them at the finish line and saw people limp across, hop across, and be carried across…all 3 did it under their own power, and that is an absolutely HUGE accomplishment!
This event is no joke–we’re talking about battling your way through 12 miles worth of mud, fire, ice water, and 10,000 volts of electricity! The obstacles have names like “Artic Enema,” “Boa Constrictor,” “Ball Shrinker,” and “Everest.” How’s that for warm and fuzzy?
Before each wave of participants are released to begin their course, they recite the Tough Mudder pledge:
- I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.
- I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.
- I do not whine, kids whine.
- I help my fellow Mudders complete the course.
- I overcome all fears.
That pledge gets everyone in the right mind set to begin that grueling course. As I waited for my team at the finish line, I got to see and feel all this beautiful, unbridled joy and kinship from all the Mudders that participated. Knowing that you tested yourself…you placed yourself so far outside your comfort zone that you need a telescope to see it, you endured, you fought, you faced your fears (like entering a pitch black tube on all fours and crawling through muddy water…oh, and you don’t know how far it is to the end because there’s a light blocking blanket covering the other end of the tube) you wanted to give up, you didn’t, you fought some more…then the finish line came into view and you knew that you won! The light in their eyes, when they saw that line at last-that really was something to see.
Fantastic. Amazing. Inspiring.
And there’s free beer at the end…now that’s a party!
I’m doing it next year!