Over the weekend I did my very first mud race. I and one of my best friends did a tough mudder half down in the town of Smithville, TX (the suffix “-ville” should give some indication of the amount of civilian life that exists in such an area). If anyone is wanting to do a tough mudder, do it. You won’t regret it. It’s a little intimidating, but during the race I realized that the mental factor is one of the biggest obstacles you’ll face. That being said, I have never seen so much cooperation from so many strangers in one place. Same team or different team, everyone was there not only to challenge themselves, but to support and encourage others along the way. It wasn’t a race to see who was the fastest. It was a challenge to conquer, a time to push each other not only over the physical hurdles, but the mental ones too.
There were a total of 14 obstacles along the 5-mile course. Some were easy, some not so easy. Sandra and I replayed all the obstacles on the drive back to Dallas, and while we were talking about the ones we liked and the ones that challenged us the most, I realized my favorite was the Hero Carry. Each of us had to carry the other on their backs for about 30 yards. I won’t lie, I was a little nervous when it was my teammate’s turn to carry me. I’m a few inches taller than she is and have a solid 20-25 pounds on her. So she shut me up when she successfully gave me a 30-yard piggy back ride. It was the simplest obstacle, requiring no walls or pits or tunnels or ropes. All you had was each other. All there was to do was to carry one another, despite having already sloshed through a few mud pits and obstacles.
It was no ordinary 5 miles. Sticking the landing off the Flying squirrel (a short zip-line rope) and running through the finish with one of my best friends was pretty much the cherry on top of finishing the semester so successfully. Another great thing about getting through this run was that, after having issues with one of my calf muscles on-and-off for the last two months, I didn’t have any problems with this run. Maybe it was just a good day, or maybe it was a mix of the softer trail terrain and adrenaline, but I was pretty excited. After a couple of days of rest and bath-bomb relaxation, I’ll definitely be looking to see when the next possible full tough mudder will be in my area.