Staring down that face of a slick half pipe, a half pipe that I had failed to get to the top of 5 times before, I felt doubt creeping into my mind. Why was I doing this? Why do I have to get up this wall? Hadn’t just showing up today, running through the mud and completing multiple obstacles constitute enough of a win for me? In one moment, with a group of fellow Mudders cheering me on, I gave the wall one last shot. I ran up that wall and with the help of 4 other Mudders at the top of the wall, I got myself up and over felt exhilarated. My first time scaling Everest 2.0 is one of my defining Tough Mudder moments and one of the go to stories I tell people when I’m asked about my experiences on a Tough Mudder course. So with the recent news of Tough Mudder’s financial struggles and the organization’s uncertain future, I can’t help but reflect on the Mudder’s impact on my life.
I’ve talked before about the dark place I was in before I started running and actually taking care of myself. Tough Mudder was the catalyst to making those necessary changes in my daily life. Making the commitment to that first Mudder not only got me hooked on OCR, but I also fell in love with running. Without training for that first Mudder, I wouldn’t have found the reason to treat running as more than an occasional inconvenience to tack on at the end of a workout because of some vague sense of needing “to up my cardio.” I would not have signed up for the Spartan Sprint in Citizens Bank Park, and then run a Spartan Trifecta the next year. I definitely would not have run 3 half marathons and eventually a Full Marathon.
The Tough Mudder will always have a place in my heart. However the situation resolves itself, I will always remember the miles run, the obstacles conquered, the Random Jason’s met along the course, and the bumps/bruises/scars I picked up with each Mudder. Thank you, Tough Mudder. It’s been a hell of a ride.