Well, I did it. I conquered Tough Mudder. I endured 19 grueling kilometers and 20 challenging obstacles. An experience of a lifetime. Something that fills me with great pride, both for myself and each amazing fellow team member. We all pushed through in our intense training and at the exhausting event.
I did it. I didn't over stress. I didn't make myself sick. The girl who, as a teen, went to the hospital with severe vomiting when the Ambassador Program finally ended and my stage debut was done. The girl who puked all over a street in Tijuana with a stress headache when I co-led a group of teens on a missions trip. The girl who ended up leaving her first day at a hard working job 10 minutes before end of shift with an intense migraine that again required hospital. The girl who only did first year, with a dropped course due to headaches, when attempting to venture out for post secondary education. The girl who didn't get her driver's license until 27 years old and ached for days from the tension. The girl who only started getting healthy in her late twenties. I did it.
I did it. Without hesitating, I submerged my whole body in freezing cold water. It takes your breath away. And even though it really took away the breath of some other team members as well, to the point of wanting to quit, we all did it.
I did it. I walked through mud, mud, and more mud. I felt like a jubilant kid! It brought back memories of taking the garden hose to the dirt and making an enormous (well, enormous to a child!) mud pit. When we get a yard I will have to designate a spot for future mud pit use. My daughter will love getting in there. Hopefully. She seemed disgusted with her first experience at the beach. She didn't want her bare feet in the wet sand. I remember as a child I liked to be clean but I didn't mind getting real dirty if I could wash up after. Mom would strip us down and spray us with the hose.
I did it. I crawled through trenches even though I was scared my hernia would pop out. I knew it would. Thankfully when it did there was no water to be submerged in and I was only blocking one person. I rolled over on to my back to relax and push it back in. Two weeks earlier I'd had an ultrasound and no tearing was visible. The hernia had only popped out twice in the last few months so I was hopeful that my condition wouldn't worsen. But it became a problem only just over half way through the course. I ran, jumped from 15 feet into water, climbed, carried a log, did monkey bars, went through another tunnel, and scaled walls after my hernia was irritated. I am grateful for my team who helped me. When the Boa Constrictor tunnel was angled and slippery I could not use my core to crawl out. One team member pushed my feet while another pulled my arms to get me up. I am also grateful for helpful strangers. They pulled me up when I could not get myself onto the top of the quarter pipe. I couldn't have done it without the helping hands. I couldn't have continued in my fear after getting the pain in my abdomen in the snowy trench without the push and encouragement from my team.
I did it. I jumped 15 feet into cold water (when I was already shivering and my hands beyond cold). When I was a child I attempted the high diving board. Unsuccessfully. I landed flat on my front. I knocked the wind out of myself and could not breath. That is a terrifying feeling when trying to swim to the side of a deep pool. So for my Mudder plunge I aimed to hit straight as an arrow. I succeeded. But it sent me much deeper than I intended. And I was so spent. By the time I popped up I was gasping so much that the guard asked if I needed a life jacket thrown to me to help me swim in. I made it to the edge and all was good. Other than missing a piece of my costume.
I did it. I made it almost halfway across the wet, inclined monkey bars. Which is farther than I thought I could, even without the abdominal pain, and resulted in blue streaks in my ice cold hands. I ran through electricity with only a feeling that I was going to bite my tongue. I managed to keep trudging through the kilometers when my knee reached its limit and I had to favor my left leg.
Next year I will train with longer runs. I will try pulling myself up more in my preparation-- maybe after a long workout when I am already exhausted. Next year I may dress warmer. Next year I hope to participate with my husband. I know he could do, and enjoy, each obstacle. I know he doesn't fear closed spaces, water, heights, or electricity. He would make a great team member.
They all made great team members. With their laughter and perseverance and encouragement.
We did it.