Seattle. Traffic. Is. The. Worst. One hour, I repeat, one hour, to make it down 3 blocks in the city last Friday afternoon. What. The. Hell. It was a rough day and we were ready for this much needed weekend away from the city. However, with traffic like this- it wasn’t looking like that was going to happen anytime soon. C and I were heading down to Portland, Oregon for a weekend getaway. Our friend, Dave, was coming up from San Diego with a few of his buddies and we were all going to run the tough mudder. On a good day they say Portland is only 2.5 hours from Seattle, on this day however, the commute took us nearly six hours! We were self diagnosed with restless leg syndrome after this drive. It was horrible .
Our spirits picked up when we made it to Portland and picked up Dave and Daniel from the airport. The laughs immediately began to flow and I remembered why it’s so important to have good good friends. Linking up with our fifth friend, David, we all crashed in the hotel room after a few more hours of laughs and chat. Even though I had just met two of the guys for the first time, I had already started to feel like I had known them for a lifetime. I absolutely love relationships like that. The best kind.
The morning of our tough mudder we woke up and were absolutely ready to kill it. I was excited as ever. One of my most favorite things in the world is proving people wrong and doing things that people say you cannot do. Oh how I absolute LOVE that challenge 🙂 When it came to the tough mudder- this was definitely one of those things where people, my own parents included, ha, were like “Brit….. you reallly think you can do that?!” SAY WHAT?! Of course I can. Sure, a ten mile run intermingled with an obstacle course on steroids might scare some people, but I was definitely going to do it especially since people told me I couldn’t.
We went to the venue and decided that C and I would start a round before the boys because we would more than likely go a lot slower than them. We went through the sign ins, sang the National Anthem (which i adored, please always do this T.M) and then waited for the countdown. My heart began to race a little bit and as we got the go ahead to start the run, my legs took off without any control. We had to run a good mile before we got to the first obstacle. The first one, Mud Mile, was just a basically, jump into this huge, slippery, disgusting mud bath and hurl your body over lumps of grass that are almost 2xs your size. NO BIG DEAL, DUH. -__- As soon as I slid in and took mud to the face, I couldn’t help but just laugh at how ridiculously awesome this was!
Some other obstacles we had to endure were; trench warefare– crawling through some mud, casual. Glory Blades– let me just cut myself up as I throw my body over some sharp, plastic, barriers. Hold Your Wood– teamwork is a must. Lugging around some large logs that may or may not weigh more than you is perfect for mile 5.5! King of the Mountain– Just gonna walk my tired booty through a bunch of hay. No worries, as soon as you think you’re at the top you’ll step into a hole and fall to the bottom. Love those hay scratches! Walk the Plank– FUN! Jumping off a giant platform into muddy water; wee! Everest– Some more hurling my body at objects that it should not be thrown at. I’m just gonna casually run full speed at this giant ramp and try to run my way to the top! Berlin Wall- Sorry Dave, we are just going to climb up onto your shoulders, taking off your head in the meantime, so that we can get stuck on top of a 10 foot wall and then hold our breath while we jump down. Hope I don’t break an ankle! Arctic Enema – you know those videos on facebook of people dumping ice on their heads? well, this was way worse. Try jumping into a pool of ice and having to swim across. I think my entire body froze off; even the 90 degree heat couldn’t unthaw me after that one. And of course, don’t forget the two mile straight vertical hill you were asked to run! Yippie- because I didn’t like running enough, let’s add some hills to the fun 🙂 ha. it all sounds miserable and I promise in some cases it was, but, it was also the most fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Around mile 9, I actually thought about crying and stopping and giving up. My legs were cramped, the mud was caked onto my body and made for an uncomfortable time and my body was growing weak and tired. I was hungry and thirsty and a little on edge. I knew however, that at this point there was no use in giving up. I was only one mile away from the finish line and besides, there was no place to go and give up. I was stuck in the middle of the hot Oregon sun with nothing around me but hay fields, hills and mud. Great.
We kept chugging along for what seemed to be an eternity. I kept thinking we were almost to the end but then the path would take us around the corner and there would be another hill we had to run up. Seriously. Who knew Oregon had so many damn hills. I was over it. Done. I kept thinking about my students and how I always told them to be fierce. I needed to be fierce on my own in this moment. To just deal with the pain and finish the TM. We finally had reached the point where the end was in sight. All that stood between us were three obstacles and a little running. The first was Lumberjack; essentially hurling your dead weight body over logs that were taller than you, fun.. The next was Leap of Faith. I literally do not think it would have been humanly possible for me to lift anything at this point, let alone my own body weight. I just jumped right into the water on this one, wasn’t even near the fence. But, this meant there was only one thing left; electorshock therapy. There’s nothing like running ten miles, going through hell then deciding at the end to waltz your way through one last challenge that oh, by the way, shocks the daylights out of you if you hit the wires that dangle EVERYWHERE. I thought I was golden to slip my petite frame through without touching but I couldn’t have been any more wrong. After maybe five steps into the pit, one zapped my shoulder that made my entire body spring back and hit the mud. Woof. Shaking it off, I did my best to literally barrel through the rest of the way, staying as low as possible and just gritting my teeth when another one would zap me.
I finally made it through the Electoshock Therapy and all that was left was a little jog to the finish line. When we got there, I don’t think anyone would have been able to wipe the smile from my face. I turned and hugged C, so stinking happy that I had done it. I DID IT. And the feeling afterward was amazing. My body suddenly seemed to forget what I had just put it through and was just focused on how amazing it felt in the moment. We met up with the three other guys and congratulated each other, hugged and had ourselves a little mud fight. I was so happy and excited. Definitely a weekend for the books and one that is worth re-living as many times as possible. I’m already looking forward to my next Tough Mudder!
“And though she be but little, she is fierce!” -xo