As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been training for a mud run.  This weekend that day finally came, and my teammate and I geared up and prepared ourselves to face a pretty big unknown.  Where we ready? Had we trained enough?  Had we trained for the right things?  What on earth had we signed up for?

As I tied my shoes and watched the crowd gather at the starting line I began to lose my grip on the childlike “fun in the mud” motto I had developed during training, and reality threatened my confidence.  I am not a child.  I’m almost 30.  I’ve been overweight my entire life and have battled Fibromyalgia for the last five years.  What was I thinking?  Too proud to back out, I took a deep breath and tried to not look like  I wanted to vomit.

The horn sounded, and we dashed up the first hill only to wait in line for the crawl to the first obstacle, The Mud Pit.  I trudged in about two steps before the mud sucked me in like something out of a cartoon.  My shoe was gone.  My only recourse was to dig it out, remove the other one, and clamor through the pit barefoot.  I did, and rather ungracefully I might add.  Then I pulled myself from the muck as the image of the mammoth at the La Brea Tar Pits came to mind.  I laughed, fell back in the pit, laughed again, scraped my way to relatively dry ground, and put my shoes back on.  We were going to do this thing if it killed us, and I was not so convinced it wouldn’t.

For 3 miles we slipped, climbed, sprinted, and limped our way through mud, water, foam, and rocks.  We cheered each other on and offered encouragement when it looked like one of us might give up and go home early.  We laughed, we danced, and we put on the most convincing smiles we could for each other, but when we saw the 2 miles checkpoint we knew we had it in the bag.  Then we came to it, the obstacle that had been on my mind since we registered for the run.

The Death Drop.  A 40 ft inflatable slide.  I don’t handle heights well.  I handle falling from those heights even less well.  The panic hit me about half way up the ladder.  My knees buckled.  I shook all over.  I froze for a second, my teammate cheering my on from the top.  The world silenced as I slowly edged my way to the top.  I didn’t want to look over the side, but I did, after which I promptly told the attendant that he could call the helicopter any time, because there was no way I was going over the side.  Well, there was no helicopter, and there wasn’t going to be any helicopter.  My only option was to let go and plummet to the bottom.

I am happy to report that I survived the fall.  I have pictures and clean pants to prove it!  We finished the race, and I have seldom felt such a sense of accomplishment and power within myself.  It’s been a long time since I’ve trusted myself to find my own strength and help a teammate find hers.  It’s been a long time since I was able to feel like there’s a lot of life left in me.

To me it’s not a coincidence that this run took place on Litha, a day of power and fruition.  All our hard work and preparation, the seeds we have sown for months, was worth it.  People thought we were crazy, and maybe we are for rolling around in three miles of mud, but not for thinking we could do it in the first place.

Go now, do something crazy!