So, how many of you have heard of this event called the Tough Mudder? It is way more of an event more than it is a race as the mindset is to leave no one behind. The course I did at NorthStar at Lake Tahoe was 11 miles long and riddled with brutal obstacles. What? An 11 mile obstacle course, built on a mountain, with a star above 4000ft above sea level? Yeah, that was it. This is just the generic promo, and I must say, it does not do the race justice.
So, on September 22nd, I had an 11:20AM start time in an event I have never participated in. Smurf dropped me off, and after a gondola ride up the mountain to the registration area, my anxiety was starting to build. Personally, I hate running unless I am playing in a game, and the idea of an 11 mile run up and down a mountain was beginning to wear on me. What I thought was supposed to be my first Mudder with a team of 4 people, turned out to be my solo run with a team made of every person on the mountain. The teamwork and motivation I saw on that mountain was amazing, and something everyone needs to experience. Everyone was there to help everyone excel and achieve. It was an event to not only push yourself beyond what you thought you could do, but to take or extend a hand of help whenever it was called for. Whether it was being pushed to continue up the 5 mile climb to the summit or helping someone through an obstacle, the concept of team was never lost. It was inspiring.
I finished my first Tough Mudder, and hit every obstacle put in front of me. My 11+ mile event took me about 4 hrs to finish. The amazing thing is that I spent 30-45 minutes just helping other people kick ass too. In hindsight, that was as big a part of everything as getting to the finish. I am not saying I did better or worse than anyone, as there were all types at the Mudder. There were team of Crossfit athletes, company sponsored teams, teams that looked more hung over and several people I was blown away to meet. A guy who helped me out on a section where you had to carry someone for 100 yards or so, then switch (I was solo, so I needed a partner), well, it turned out he was on his SECOND TIME THROUGH THE COURSE THAT DAY! He was qualifying for the “Toughest Mudder” which is SICK! This dude was awesome. A sick athlete.
The guy who blew me away, well, let me bring this up before I talk about him. The Tough Mudder donates a big chunk of their proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project. This is a great charity which helps the men and women who have not only laid their lives on the line but left a part of themselves on the battlefield. These are the people who are in harms way to maintain our way of life. They deserve HUGE props whenever you see them. Now, back to the guy who blew me away. There was a guy who I saw but did not meet. He ran the Mudder on 2 prosthetic legs, and using a cane. This guy had to be in his 60’s and he was out there kicking ass and taking names. He was an inspiration, he was a bad ass and my hat is off to him.
So, September 23rd, 11:20AM I am back at NorthStar in the start position with my Sunday Mudder Team. I ran the Mudder again 24 hrs after the start of my 1st Mudder with Nick and Kevin. Also, our new Sunday partner was Smurf running the course with us while taking pics and keeping us supplied with shock blocks and gues. There is a ton to say about Sunday, and I will do that in a later post, but I’ll start with this now. Running the Mudder with friends was even more epic than running it with the rest of the Mudders out there. This time it was a group of us looking out for everyone and each other. It was amazing, inspiring, and a lot of fun. When Kevin, Nick and I made it over the 2nd to last obstacle on the first try, helped a bunch of people to get over that obstacle, and then ran through the last obstacle together…What a feeling. What a sense of accomplishment, and camaraderie. It was awesome, and you could see it on everyones face. Everyone who finished should be proud, as this was one hell of an achievement.
Yeah, I may be bragging a bit when I say I did 2 Tough Mudders in 2 days, but it is true and nobody can take this away from me. I am proud to have done this, I am proud to have raised money for such a good cause, and I am proud of everyone who kicked ass at this event.
I recommend you all try this. And if you are around the Bay Area, we are already putting a team together for the July 13 & 14th 2013 Mudders in Lake Tahoe! Team FitFight! Oh Yeah!