June 22nd, 2013 was a life changing date for me.
I woke up that morning, headed to Whistler, to battle through mud, barbed wire, electrocution, cold dirty water, uphill distances of what seemed like forever, and then some more mud with 4 of my best friends.
This was Arctic Enema. Can you tell I was having a good time already!?
If you don’t know, Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile (18-20 k) military obstacle style course, designed to not only screw with your head- push you mentally, physically and emotionally- and really test your limits and fears.
That day we woke up to a brisk morning, not too warm, but not cold. Oh yea, and a lot of butterflies. Like a lot. I had my ‘death waiver’ in hand, and set off with a vengeance- we could do this. But, I never really knew how much fun it would be, or how much my body really could take!
Fueled on Cliff bars (which they generously supplied) and sheer dumb luck, my team and I (Appropriately named “Mudsharks”) (Yea I know, next year I’ll think of something better, don’t even start) battled through it all.
You think there will be a lot of running involved- not so much. Get your jog on to keep you warm, but don’t tire yourself out. There will be a LOT of waiting around for obstacles, but its so worth it. 19 out of 20 I was able to finish (Even the dreaded Electric Eel, failing miserable at Funky Monkey, and being tossed over a few Berlin Walls), the one I couldn’t even look at in the end was Everest.. Sadly, they saved the best for almost last, and my legs just weren’t going to let me do it. But I’m coming back next year for you Everest. Tough Mudder 2014- I WILL CONCUR YOU! Even being EXTREMELY claustrophobic, I was able to hold enough mental grit to push through Boa Constrictor and Trench Warfare!
Actually, it was Walk the Plank that scared me most. I never would have realized how afraid of heights I was until this obstacle! I think it had a lot to do with jumping 15+ feet into muddymuddyMUDDY water.. And having no idea how deep it really was.. Yea. I just about turned back. Literally, turned around, and the girl behind me said “Are you okay?” and I had to jump holding my boyfriends hand!!
BUT, it made for a good bunch of photos!
That last one though haaahahaha. Come on, bust a gut here because seriously, I was so absolutely terrified, and this just shows my deeeeep regret. Plus, I sort of yanked my boyfriend in with me.. I kind of just more dropped off than jumped.
I honestly walked the plank *no cannon balls here!*
Running through that finish line was the most amazing, heart wrenching experience I have yet felt.
By the end of the course, my team and I had split up, and it was just down to myself and my awesome man. Jogging around the corner, we saw it;
The big blow up ‘FINISH’ line balloon marking THE END. YOU DID IT. YOU TOTALLY FREAKING DID IT!
We held hands while running through the last obstacle, Electroshock Therapy, and crossed the line new people.
We were now Tough Mudders. A hybrid breed of badass meets comrade.
We love these orange headbands. We earned them. We rock them. And we rocked them all damnnnn day and night. Actually, we wore our shirts like 3 days following that as well I’m pretty sure.
One thing I cannot stress enough, is how amazing it is out there with thousands of people you don’t even know- and the help you get. Strangers lending a helping hand, its like this mutual trust you have all because of an oath you pledge at the beginning of the course. Its a real tie. I thank everyone who saved my ass, and pushed me over things. I will never forget this awesome girl who was too afraid to go through Electric Eel alone, so we decided to slide through together. It just makes you feel GOOD to know you helped someone get through their fear.
My most memorable moment would have to be the mud fight mid obstacle that took flight during Mud Mile. Oh my god. I was picking mud out of my hair for hours after! A shower was all that was on my mind after 4 hours of pure sludge, and that shower took about half an hour to get myself relatively clean. And then a lot of it a realized was bruises *hahaha*. It didn’t hurt having booked a hotel with a hot tub, pool, eucalyptus steam room and bar alllll to ourselves practically.
All in all, I am so incredibly ecstatic that we did this. I 110% will be doing this again in the next few years to come (Everest, watch your back) and cannot wait to get dirty.
CAN I GET A HOORAH!?