Category: Charity


This was so AWESOME!  I can’t wait to do it again. Seriously.

I have to admit I experienced a certain amount of trepidation regarding what I’d gotten myself into, but when my sister showed up as a surprise, everything changed.  If she believed in me enough to come to Austin, I knew I could do it. This might seem silly. So many people have been supportive of me from the outset.  This was different in some undefinable way.Mudder Boots

A lot of other things were going through my brain as we got underway.  Running by myself, it was obvious I was going to need help to get over a lot of the obstacles. (Like the 15 foot high walls with little tiny ledges at chest height.) I was concerned I was going to wear down because of the heat, concerned it was too cold since it was in the low 40s when I started, concerned I’d be laughed off the course for wearing long pants, tights, and two shirts.  I think I was the only one in long pants, but it was wise on my part.  It protected me from the “Arctic Enema” which is a long dumpster filled with ice water; you have to swim under a barrier to get to the other side. My clothes kept me warm and also cooled me off as we were running. They also protected me from the “Electric Eel” and “Electric Shock Therapy”. The first one requires you to low crawl through the mud under live electric wires, and the second is a run through a mud pit with live electric wires dangling over you. I only got zapped when I slipped and had my neck exposed as I got up to finish.

Those are the three obstacles they brag about being so tough, and they were conquered by long pants and long sleeves. So here’s a question:  are we here to get gouged, shocked, scraped and bruised as part of the fun, or are we here to take on the challenge and defeat it?

Other than the difficulty about the walls, (three different wall obstacles each a little different requiring a new approach to getting over) I think the hardest part was the running. It was all gravel and potholes and up and down and at some points it was so steep there was no running, only climbing.  Some of you might have enjoyed the trail running, but I was busy focusing on keeping my feet underneath the rest of me.  While we were running (I found a group to run with, and which was a big confidence booster.  A big thanks to K. Franklin Johnson and pals.) I saw two gazelle shoot right across the path on the way downhill.  I was a little surprised figuring the noise of the whole event would have scared all the wildlife into the next county.  There were also a lot of skeletons along the trail, some fresher than others.  It didn’t seem anything remained… uh…  unpicked… for very long.

I mean it when I say I had so much fun, it’s incredible. I would do this again in a heartbeat. I might not wear combat boots next time, and I think I’d have to shave my head to keep my hair out of my eyes.  I’d definitely train differently, but given half a chance, I’d be all over it.  Maybe if I start training now…

The truth though, I felt like I’d been hit by a car when I got up on Sunday.  I didn’t feel much better Monday on the way to work. It’s definitely going to take some time for all my bruises to heal, but even with all that, it was totally, totally worth every minute.  I may have felt odd being alone out there and being the only person in long pants, but at least I wasn’t with the group of guys wearing Nothing But Thongs  (or better, Nothing Butt Thongs), or the group of guys in Speedos, Chippendale bow-ties and shirt cuffs.  I also met a very large man, who was walking the course, and I have to say I am very proud he would take this challenge and work to complete it. (I saw him just before the second to last obstacle, and he had that look that said, “I can do this.” It was amazing.)

I feel like a little kid on a ferris wheel: all I can think is “GO AROUND AGAIN!”

Maybe next year…

PS: This is my last Mudder post (until next time) feel free to share with whoever might be entertained.

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I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Over the weekend, I received over $600 in donations for the Tough Mudder’s Fight Against Blindness. I want to share the names of my new friends, who have so generously given.

As time is winding down more and more people are coming forward to support my cause, and I want to thank you all, right now, before I go and bonk my head and forget my own name. As kick off gets closer I am getting increasingly stoked to go play in the mud.  Of course, more and more people are encouraging me to get psychiatric help… but I think it’s too late to sign up for that.

To my friends who have been so generous to me:

  • Rebecca Vanslyke
  • Dusan Lazarov
  • Deirdre Whann
  • Lara Gund
  • Christine McManus
  • Jeremiah Shaw
  • Scott LeBlanc (and the Scabannah band!)
  • Jonathan Roberge

THANK YOU!!!

(PS: I know this is short, but it’s definitely sweet for me to say thank you again to everyone supporting me, praying for me, and laughing yourselves silly with me.  It’s almost time to get on the plane.)

Road Trip Tough Mudder Austin, TX  Last Gasp

I’ve met a lot of new people in the past couple of months. (If chatting you up on Facebook is meeting, otherwise it’s the same old crew and no one new.)  It’s also been a long time since I’ve posted about Tough Mudder in Austin.

There really hasn’t been anything to talk about.  Working out is grueling when you have to do it  yourself and you miss dinner, and you have to do 16 loads of laundry that consist of five items. (Dear god, how do socks get that smelly so quickly)

The whole fundraising thing continues to elude me.  I’ve created a site, and I’ve let people know about it.  I’m not one of those people who chase you down and insist you buy my girl scout cookies. I don’t think girl scouts belong in cookies. I think they belong in a white wine sauce over saffron rice.  That’s just me though.  I’m not chasing anyone down to contribute to my charity, either. Here’s a link to my initial blog post.  Do what you want to do.

It’s exactly 2 weeks until the big day.  I believe I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.  This is all about mental tenacity, and I have tenacity in spades.  What I do not have is a buddy to run around in the mud with me.  I have unsuccessfully attempted to lure, shame and bribe some people to join me, none of them are having it.  Most have suggested that I a) up my meds; b) reacquaint myself with a psychiatrist. Whatever. I’ll be the one having fun in the sun.  I even have a personal Facebook photographer. (Oh, you guys have no idea…)

I am having serious fashion stress over this, I must admit.  You see pictures on the Tough Mudder website, of buff young things in stretch pants and tank tops…and that is soooo….not me.  I want to be practical about this, I want to do this..right. I’m thinking boots and utes, and a short sleeve over long sleeve shirt. A bandana to keep the hair in such a state I will not have to shave my head later, and a couple of things stuffed in cargo pockets (that’s why they’re called cargo pockets by the way) for just in case. Goggles for jumping into the water, and a rag for wiping the crap off my face.

The more I think about this, the more amped I get. It can’t get here too soon. And I can’t wait to tell you all about it.