When I signed up for the Tough Mudder a good six months before race day, I had every good intention of being well prepared through copious amounts of exercise and weight loss. Then life got in the way. I sold a house. I moved. I started a new sales position which required 4-5 days of travel per week working 10-12 hours per day and a day every weekend just to plan my itinerary. My resolution to get fit went right out the window.
Come race day and I had a rude awakening. Am I really going to do this? Not only did I sign up, I joined a team and I wasn’t going to let them down. I’m not going to let myself down. Through sheer will and determination, I am going to do this.
Looking around at the other Tough Mudder’s it was obvious to me that I was the odd man out. I didn’t look the part by any stretch. I’m the old, overweight bald guy amongst a group of young whipper snappers who can run circles around me. But I’m here. And I have something to prove to myself. Let’s do this!
Not more than 2 miles into the 11 mile trek, I realize I may be in over my head. I signed up for this? And paid money, too? At that very moment, I decided I was going to complete the entire course no matter what. If I end up crawling across the finish line the next day, I am going to finish. The whole thing.
As I found my rhythm and starting completing many of the obstacles, I started noticing something. Many people who appeared much younger, thinner and certainly in better shape than myself were falling off the trail. Sadly, only an average of 78% of participants finish the Tough Mudder. This is mind over matter. I’m not giving up.
So here I am, in all my glory, giving it all I’ve got in the 2013 Tough Mudder on October 19th, 2013 at Peacemaker National Training Center in Gerrardstown, WV. I completed the entire event and crossed the finish line some 4 hours and 15 minutes after starting.
Disclaimer: I strongly advise against anyone participating in an extreme event like this without proper preparation. I had a team looking out for me, and it was still very dangerous. A fellow Tough Mudder died on the very same course I completed back during the Spring event. Please be responsible and know your limitations.