Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yorkshire Tough Mudder 2013

 Yorkshire Tough Mudder 2013

The wall we climbed to GET to the start!
My game face

My "OMG, what am I doing?!" face
Clean and smiling :-) I kept smiling, but definitely did not stay clean long
    The Yorkshire Tough Mudder was a blast! I won’t do a blow by blow of each obstacle, since you can easily Google images and descriptions for each one, but I will say that, despite the difficulty of some of them, the hardest part was the mental aspects of talking myself into continuing on when I was cold, wet, exhausted, and spent.
Ice being added to the water for Arctic Enema,
the second obstacle of the morning

My "OMG that was cold!" face

  I know it sounds crazy to voluntarily put yourself though something like this, but it is one of the many ways to test your metal in a non-threatening, and fun atmosphere! Knowing you can quit at any time and be picked up and driven to the finish (minus the t-shirt and head band,) give you a safety net that can be good and bad. Good because if you truly can’t go on, you have an exit, but bad because you have any easy way to quit.

    Even though I was a lone runner, I had plenty of help when I needed it and everyone was wonderful. That being said, I don’t know that I will do it again alone. Listening to the banter of the teams made me feel a bit lonely at times, wishing I had a team of my own, but it is tough to get involved when you register from half a world away! I was invited to join a couple of teams, but they had very different start times. So nice of them to invite me though :-)
Another lone runner that I teamed up with for the "Buddy Carry"
Yes, I carried this guy piggy-back for a good 25 yards!

  As for doing a Tough Mudder with RA, I won’t lie to you, it was not easy. Cold makes my joints ache and I spent a lot of time in icy water. Plus, I was covered in bruises by then end. Bruised elbows from pulling myself along on them through pipes, bruised knees and thighs from climbing over walls, and other assorted bruises that I can’t even guess the origin. I don’t know how it could all have been worth it, but it absolutely was. I supposed proving to myself that RA does not stop me from joining in on the fun stuff is the big draw. I like scaring myself with new challenges and some of the obstacles were definitely scary!  I have not jumped off a high dive in years and I have certainly never pulled myself along a horizontal fence with just inches between it and muddy water!  I only really failed at one obstacle, the monkey bars. I was just too cold, numb, and tired to grip the bars and hold myself up, so I fell off the second rung and swam across. Hey, at least I tried! I also only made it to about the second block on the one where there are floating squares, strung across water on a rope. It did not occur to me to climb back up and try again, probably because I was so shocked when I went straight in the water and never touched the bottom, with a huge rush of mud up my sinuses.

  How this company makes being totally miserable so much fun is beyond me, but they have definitely found a gold mine! While I’m at it, I should point out that my husband, who is specializes in logistics in the Air Force, said it was incredibly well organized and operated, and he is a tough guy to impress!

Getting zapped

Finished at last!

"You are the first woman across the finish line"


Karen said...

Thank you for the inspiration! I was so surprised when I Googled "tough mudder" and "ra" and found your post! I was diagnosed with ra in 2012, had a miserable year, got things under control, and now I'm looking to challenge myself! From running to indoor rock climbing to ziplining, I want to prove that ra won't hold me back! Thanks for your inspiration... Training starts tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so inspirational! Whilst this blog is from last year, being 21 and diagnosed with RA only around a year ago I keep looking for blogs on subjects such as marathons and especially this tough mudder! Seems like this tough mudder is becoming a huge craze with multiple of my friends applying. Whilst they ask me and I would love to, I get nervous and scared and back out because I always seem to put my RA first. Im very mobile and sporty, however I always worry this may challenge my RA too much. Seeing how well you did as a single runner I feel with my friends supporting me this could be something I could aim towards completing in the near future! :D Thank you so much!!!!