Not your average mud-run...

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Kids are lucky. For a lot of reasons, really, but one in particular I've been thinking about recently. As kids we constantly face and overcome challenges showing  how cool we are:  getting an A on a tough spelling test. Learning to tie our shoes. Kicking an amazing soccer goal. Remembering to do all our chores. There are literally a never-ending supply of moments where kids get to be rock-your-socks-off awesome. And then we grow up, life becomes a little more of a grind, and those moments of being the best become rare, precious things. Unless we're really, really lucky, no one tells us how badass we are for putting in a 12 hour work day, doing the laundry, the grocery shopping or any of the other mundane necessities that keep our lives running smoothly. It's kind of sad if you think about it! We all still have that awsomeness inside, but as adults we have to look for special opportunites and work so much harder to feel it...to get the kind of validation kids take for granted. That, my friends, is one of my favorite things about Tough Mudder: it takes you right out of the daily grind and lets you be awesome again.

Mud runs are getting to be pretty darn popular these days, so there's a good chance you've already heard about Tough Mudder (I mentioned it briefly last year in a post here) or maybe you've even done it yourself! If so, I raise my orange headband in salute (and would love to hear about your experience!) If not, well then...let me just tell you! First of all, Tough Mudder is not your typical mud-run. Averaging 10-12 miles (13 last year at the Squaw Valley event) and  including 25 or so military-inspired obstacles (including plenty of...you guessed it...mud) for most of us it's not about winning. It's about the comaraderie, overcoming obstacles through teamwork and pushing past your pain (cuts, scrapes, bruises, aching muscles) and your fear (heights? dark, enclosed spaces? hypothermia-inducing, ice-cold water? Yep. I'm pretty much scared of them all...and well, TM has them all) to complete the course. And when you finish, when your determination pays off -no matter how long it takes- you get a chance to relive that magical feeling you got when you were a kid, a chance to say, "Holy crap! I am awesome!"

This past weekend I participated in my second Mudder event, teamed up with some of the same folks from last year as well as a few new faces...


Meet the Muddy Badgers (my neon yellow shorts didn't stay that way for long...)

The first of the NorCal events was held at the Tahoe Northstar resort. Logistically, it was as well-organized as last year, from parking to registration to the water/banana/Sharkies stations along the course. And costumes were even better: lots of tutus, super heroes, guys in underoos (remember those?? I had to crawl through the Boa Constrictor behind one...eek!), gladiators, hula dancers and one very brave girl wearing nothing but strategically placed duct tape and a hard hat. At a mere 11 miles, the course itself was a bit shorter than Squaw Valley but no less of a good time. And with the added benefit that I could actually walk the next day. They changed up some of the obstacles to keep things fresh, adding a second electro-shock obstacle (I got away with only 2 shocks...others were not so lucky) and keeping Walk the Plank (my least fave since it incorporates heights and ice-cold water.)

It took our team over 4 hours to complete the entire race, but there is nothing like that feeling at the end when you are drenched in sweat and mud and they hand you your orange headband and an ice-cold beer that tastes like victory...

Of course if you're me, one ice-cold beer on an empty stomach is enough to cause the kind of buzz that promptly makes you jump on the wrong parking shuttle and take a 20 minute ride to nowhere. But I digress.



Where was I? Oh yes. Added to all the fun, I think you may be interested in knowing that Tough Mudder has donated over 3 million dollars to the very-worthy Wounded Warrior Project over the last 2 years, which means...ladies and gentlemen...I think we have ourselves a winner!

Okay, have I convinced you to sign up yet?? Cause chances are good that big Mudder will be visiting your state this year. If you need a little more persuading, check out the Official NorCal 2011 video here... and see exactly what I'm talking about. Then get yourself registered!

And remember... "If you have to sign a Death Waiver, it's probably worth doing!"



4 comments:

  1. Mini, you have inspired me. In a continuation of my Weight Loss for Warriors challenge I am committing to go to Tough Mudder with you next year. I figure it is a good idea to have the best EMT with me when I fall off of something high! Oh yeah, Gizzi is going with us too so this should be interesting. Congrats on your big finish!

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  2. This looks really fun, and I am not even a runner!
    Plus, it is really pretty in Tahoe!


    =)


    Brooke

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  3. hey there! newest follower to your awesome blog! i have ALWAYS wanted to do the tough mudder run... looks awesome! so happy to have stumbled across your blog and would love if you followed back!
    xox
    ellen
    thishive.blogspot.com

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  4. Congrats girl, that's a super amazing race to get through- two years in a row!!

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