While the Tri-State Tough Mudder has not been officially voted upon and named – there were truly a lot of possibilities – I thought I would go with the idea of it being titled The Most Firsts. I always find it interesting that no matter how much you train for something, how much you think you know what the goal is, there are always so many little things that always arise, make you shake your head, and in the end become the driving force that keeps you going and makes you want to come back for more.
I’m sure my fellow educators out there can all relate to some degree. In an earlier post titled Mental "Freakin" Grit Baby
, I posed the question – What mudder are you preparing for? The general idea here was that you don’t have to be gearing up physically and mentally to traverse a series of monkey bars nor do you have to be mentally prepared to throw yourself through some live electrical wires, but in the end we all need to dedicate ourselves to something that helps us push our limits and find out what we are really made of.
Keeping focused on a goal, preparing ourselves to try something new, those are the things that wake us up in the morning and help us push through those parts of our lives which can become a bit monotonous. This is why reflecting on the Tri-State Tough Mudder has been so much fun. Our driving goal, that Mudder we were preparing for, was to complete the Black Jack run – 2 laps on Saturday and 1 lap on Sunday. This was to be our test, or so we imagined, for our ability to actually compete in the World’s Toughest Mudder.
There were also individual goals. For me it was conquering some of my nemesis obstacles. I did not do well on Funky Monkey during our last Mid-Atlantic race and I was disappointed given that I had already completed Funky Monkey on our first ever attempt at a double Saturday Mudder in North Carolina. You would like to see that first of all firsts one more time - I could go for that.
|Walk the Plank - NO FLEPS!|
That video certainly warms the heart. For me there were, and I say were, Berlin Walls as well. I have gotten so tired of needing a push to get over those things and was committed that this was my race to beat them myself.
What I keep reflecting on, and I think the power of reflection could be an entire post in itself, was no matter what we thought our goals were, what we couldn't keep talking about were those little things that we had never done or witnessed before - those “Firsts” as I've labeled it - that pushed us around the course. Things that were not part of our overall mission but nonetheless became more of the focus and kept a smile on our face with each turn. It was these “Firsts” that kept us laughing when our bodies wanted to stop, and actually helped refocus on all those little things we would have walked right by. For me, this had a really incredible effect. I began looking for these little things everywhere and in the end, before I knew it, 30+ miles and three laps and 3 laps were complete.
Here are a few of those "Firsts" for you to enjoy – I'm sure my Mudda Brudda has plenty more to add.
- First Black Jack run (2 Laps on Saturday and 1 Lap on Sunday)
- First Triple Funky Monkey (followed by the First Quadruple Funky Monkey for the heck of it)
- First Island Hopping experience
- First Walk The Plank with an actual plank
- First Greased Lightning mud hill slide (not to future mudders – slide on your feet – this is not Greased Lightning. This is bruise your as* lightning)
- First large hay bale in the middle of Electroshock (thanks TMHQ – that was fun)
- First time enjoying Electoshock after the race (we will make it a point to do this in the future – hee- larious)
|Finished Electric Eel - Lap 2|
- First time of yelling “You Are Freakin’ Awesome” at random times throughout the course. (That is what happens when I get no music on the course. I begin to imagine my life as Start Line Sean.)
- First time of seeing the true effects of Kryptonite on Superman – poor fat Superman – poor, poor fat Superman.
- First time of seeing Mudders make an obstacle where there was none. (For all future Mudders – there are volunteers at each obstacle. Just because people are picking up a random pile of tires does not mean you have to help move them.)
- First time of being criticized for not participating in made up Mudder tire obstacle carry.
- First time for Extreme Mudder rules on Everest (please consult TMHQ official rules and policies ;)
- First time thinking wouldn’t it be great if his name was Finish Line Fred?
- First writing of the bib number on your Mudda Brudda’s head (guess they really do need more volunteers)
What does this all amount to – simply having fun. We all set challenges for ourselves. Hopefully we are all working on identifying that Mudder we are planning to train for, and most of all taking the time to enjoy those little things along the way that let us have fun. Without the fun, there is no coming back. When you hurt, when you're tired, when you want to quit, it is finding the ridiculous that can keep you going, make you shake your head, and decide one more time to lace up your sneakers. Laughter is such a cure all. We simply need to take the time to look for it - especially in the most unseemly of places.
So my challenge for everyone in this post is to keep looking for that Tough Mudder that interests you. What is the Tough Mudder that you are preparing for in life...in the classroom? But remember to keep things in perspective. If you aren’t having fun with it, there is nothing that will keep you coming back when you mentally or physically want to quit.
Now let's enjoy the "First" ever Cuatro Funky Monkey!!!