Bruised and bloody… but I FINISHED

I accomplished a goal today.

I finished the Tough Mudder and I came home with mere bruises, cuts and scrapes.  No broken bones or more serious injuries. Don’t get me wrong… my arms and legs look like hamburger and I’m hobbling. But I didn’t sprain or break anything.  That’s an accomplishment.

The Tough Mudder was no joke. And I’m glad it wasn’t. I was so disappointed with the Diva Dash, I did not want to go through anything like it. But the Tough Mudder wasn’t anything like the Diva Dash. It was very serious.

We had to recite the Mudder oath at the start line. It was all about how the event is not a race– it’s a challenge. It’s about teamwork and camaraderie. And it’s very true.

I’m not going to list off all of the obstacles I went through. You can read the obstacles here. But I will say that I would not have made it through many of the obstacles without the help of others, especially anything that required scaling walls.

We had to scale walls about 4 different times on the course. Andy was there to help give me a boost, but others helped, as well. Once I was at the top of the wall, I was able to swing my body over and lower myself down. And, I swear, the walls kelp getting taller each time we encountered them. I think that last one was 15 feet.

There was a half pipe that we had to run up and pull ourselves to the top. I tried this one twice before the guys at the top managed to grab my hands and help me pull myself up. There were so many mud ponds, slogs and other muddy obstacles, I lost count. We slid down mud hills into water (sometimes icy cold water!) and crawled on our bellies under barbed wire over mud and gravel (ouch! my legs and arms are so cut and bruised!)

But there are 2 obstacles I did that scared the crap out of me and I’m so proud of myself for accomplishing them. The first happened early on — “Walk the Plank.” We scaled a tall wall – about 15 feet – and at the top we had to jump – about 15 feet – into a pool of water.

I stood briefly at the top going “Oh my God, oh my God” because I am very afraid of heights. One of the volunteers said, “Ma’am you have to jump, now!” So I did. I held my breath and jumped. It was scary. but I did it!

The second one I’m proud of myself for not just attempting, but also succeeding was called “Twinkle Toes.” It was 50 feet of balance beam over water, which was about 10-12 feet below. I remember telling Andy that I didn’t want to do it, but I stood in line and waited my turn, just like everyone else. When it was my turn, I just held my arms out and walked. The board (which was only about 2 inches wide) was warped and it swayed when other people on other boards fell off, but I managed to keep my balance and make it all the way across. I wanted to cry at the end, it was that hard for me.

The running part? Piece of cake. There was so much resting at the obstacles that the running was no big deal. However, Andy’s leg was bothering him and then he hurt his knee falling into the water on “Twinkle Toes,” so we walked the rest of the course as fast as possible.

I attempted every obstacle. I failed to accomplish just a few: I fell into the water while going across the water while balancing on a cable and holding onto a rope. I fell off the hay bales on the jumping hay bales. And I fell off the monkey bars into the water. Everything else I succeeded, including “Electro-Shock Therapy.” I didn’t even get shocked.

This was definitely a challenge. It wasn’t intense like a Crossfit workout, and at no point  did I feel like I couldn’t go on or that I needed to shore up my energy to make it through. But it was very long, and I was ready for it to be done about halfway through. I knew I had more in me, and I was determined to finish, so I kept going. It really was all about mental grit and determination.

I’m really glad I did this event. It was NO JOKE. And I was happy to earn my orange headband. I came home with lots of gear for me and the kids.

And I’m happy to be able to say: I AM A TOUGH MUDDER.

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Hi! I'm Cindy Brummer. By day, I'm a web & wordpress designer/developer/content strategist. And for fun, I'm a cook, Crossfitter, novice Olympic weightlifter, and mom to two cuties. Find me on Google+.