Days after a last-minute decision to attempt the Toughest Event on the Planet, I found myself in the car with my brother Brian, his lovely wife Gina (who I called mom all weekend bc she was such a big help) and my girlfriend Holly on our way up to VT for Tough Mudder!! Upon arrival we met up with some more aspiring mudders and had an amazing dinner with lots of water and bananas for dessert! After that it was pretty much time for bed, which was a half sleep bc I was extremely nervous! The next day I woke up excited, nervous and just plain scared! Then after having a few more bananas, more water and getting my gear on I was ready to go!
Once all of Los Neuty Osos were checked in and marked up it was our time to shine!! Given the extreme high temps that weekend (I thought it was cooler in the mountains?), we were extremely lucky to end up with a 9am start time! After some inspirational stories and making our Tough Mudder pledge, we all came out of the gates running. Just before mile 1 we hit our first obstacle, the “arctic enema” which is basically diving into a giant dumpster filled with water and ice! It was fine getting in there but then I had to go under the water and come out of the other side of a beam and was met with more ice… and then I had to pull my ass outta there! Let me tell you it was hard!!! After that it was more running until I was met with one of the more trying obstacles for me “kiss the mud” which is a loooong trench that you have to army crawl over rocks and dirty muddy water all while barbed wire is above your head, this is where I think I received most of my bruises! Over the next few miles there were walls, wood I had to carry and then the first of which I had been dreading… I was going to be electrocuted at the Electric Eel. Honestly I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it actually was, it was just a little zap ha! Now after 5 miles or so we were met by a hill so steep that we had to almost crawl up it!!! I can now say that I have been humbled by hills! Unfortunately now I was dealing with some pain, I was tired and I wanted a banana! My hip that was bothering me before was getting worse and every time I lifted my leg it was yelling at me! At this point I was too far in to stop. Plus I could tell my fellow Osos were all hurting in their own way too.
Walk the plank (12ft drop into the water) was a few obstacles later which was a little scary but fun at the same time! The best part about it was the clean bath provided at the bottom of the drop! I wish that I could say that the “clean” lasted a while but it didn’t. After the plank we came across a set of tree branches across a muddy looking river and I had to get my butt over and under them. I was alongside other people who really could care less if they were getting dirty and I was then splashed across my face with mud (thanks half-naked guy running by me!)! The next few obstacles were fine with the exception of Dark Lightning where I got electrocuted again! Funky Monkey was a favorite in my book! Honestly it’s because I nailed it!!! :) It was a set of monkey bars that followed the pitched path of A-frame trusses that inclined towards the middle and declined towards the opposite platform. I dominated them! Ryan and I were a little worried that I would fall in the water during this one but I didn’t fall in :) One of the coolest parts about having a show-off as a husband is that while most people are falling in the water (that’s the penalty for not making it across), he decided that going across just once was not good enough… Ryan went back and did them again…BACKWARDS! He claims it was for experimental purposes but we all know he was just showboating!
The last couple miles brought more Berlin walls, a run through some fiery terrain, a walk across a wobbly balance beam and then AGAIN crawling on my hands and knees (it was really starting to get OLD), this time through culverts. The final two obstacles are the big crowd pleasers that have hurt many mudders and just plain sucked for me; Everest and Electroshock Therapy. Everest is a 12′ +/- quarter pipe that you have to run up and try to catch your teammates’ hands so they can help pull you over (or if you are awesome you can do it by yourself). The first time I made the atempt I was scared and came so close but I just could not grab their hands. The second time again so close but I ended up sliding down the ramp which left me with a bloody ankle. The third time really was the charm because since on that third attempt I made it! It felt so great to be on top!! Our team really had to work together to make sure that everyone got over and once you are up there you end up staying and helping out other people that are not even on your team (another great thing about being the event is the comraderie it creates between you, your teammates, and other random mudders). Electroshock Therapy SUCKS but at least it’s the last thing before you get your orange headband and your beer! You have to do it!! So we decided as a team to run through it together hoping that the people in front of us would take most of the pain (I stood behind Ryan like a good wife haha). I got shocked a few times but the one on my shoulder was so painful that I could not put down my shoulders for a few minutes because my body was in such a state of shock!!
But as soon as I was done with that I received my WELL EARNED headband and beer!!
As most of you who know me know, I let Ryan do all the crazy things and I am his number one cheerleader! But this event was special! I felt like this was something that I had to do and am truly glad I did! I am happy I was able to do it with a great group of friends and now I am apart of an elite group called Tough Mudders! It may be a while (if ever) before I do another one but I absolutely have zero regrets!