The day when I put on comfortable yet unflattering Lycra. The morning I don’t stand in front of the mirror with make-up. Instead, I’ll be waking up and challenging myself to one of the most difficult obstacle courses that I’ve ever completed.
This is our fourth year at the Rugged Maniac and the last one that my husband and I will be doing it in our 40s. It strikes me that to some, this is just a ‘mud run,’ a silly challenge on a beautiful, sunny Saturday. But it’s so much more than that to me.
It’s a chance to say, I’m not afraid. I can do this.
No one expects me to be able to do this. I’m not one of those petite, skinny women who are naturally fit (and I probably never will be). But every year for the last four years, my husband and I have challenged ourselves to complete this course.
We’ve waded through mud that came up over our knees (not quite knowing if our shoes were going to come back up!). We’ve crawled through thick mud in a small, dark tunnel. We’ve climbed over wooden walls and up onto shipping containers far higher than anything we were comfortable doing. We’ve jumped into pools of ice cold, muddy water and even went under, leapt over smoldering logs! Are we crazy? Maybe a little.
I am often asked, why? Why would you subject yourself to that kind of ‘torture’?
We do it because we want to challenge our fears. Because we believe in ourselves. Because we believe that this experience is going to make us stronger.
And it does.
There’s an amazing thrill and sense of accomplishment after spending an hour and a half on the course, with thousands of other people, all helping and encouraging each other to keep going—even when we really, really just want to stop because we’re tired and it hurts.
It’s hard. But that free beer you get when you cross the finish line has never tasted so good!
This is the first year that all our friends who have previously done the course with us have dropped out. They said it was just too hard—too painful. And that’s okay, because we are determined to tackle another course, add another notch to our belts.
We’re ready for the challenge. Ready for the hurt, ready for the sometimes-disappointment and the achy muscles after. People say we’re crazy. And maybe we are, a little. But it’s a challenge. And what’s life without challenges?
What’s your challenge?