Becoming a Tough Mudder

I have described myself as “aggressively average” in many aspects of my life. In a world in which “capable” is acceptable–and impressive at that–there aren’t many times in life to test the extent of your ability. Six of us decided that the Tough Mudder was the perfect way to test our strength, agility, and mental grit.

On July 15th, we shipped out from Boston to Mt. Snow in Vermont with naive anticipation and a pack of fake mustaches. Our nervous excitement and calls of “OORAH” led us up the first black diamond ski slope with good spirits. Signs reminding us “Remember you signed a Death Waiver” seemed to have little effect on us…until we hit the first obstacle. Energy, fun, and happiness ground to a halt when we reached the Arctic Enema. A dumpster of ice-water maintained at 34 degrees awaited us just over a wooden ramp. Little did we know, a little electric surprise was lurking in the icy depths too.

SHOCK! That was the reoccurring theme of the day for us. Whether it was the shock of cold water, physical strain, or the oh-so-memorable 10,000 volts, our strength, endurance, and reserve was challenged. Titles like the Electric Eel, Arctic Enema, Dark Lightning, Mount Everest and Electro-shock Therapy were meant to intimidate, but we conquered them all with poise and composure.

My personal success in this event is of no importance without the recognition of my teammates. Our group of six split into groups of three for the race. Alex, Will and I bounded up and down the slopes of the mountain together. We helped each other scale 20-foot walls. We provided mental and emotional support for each other and that was worth its weight in gold.  Together, we completed a challenge of more than 10 miles, more than 23 obstacles, freezing water, 10,000 volts, and numerous mental tests in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

This experience was memorable in itself for the amount of trust and confidence I had to put into others. I had to trust that my teammates would look out for me and bring me up when I needed a boost. This event has brought me closer to my teammates and I consider Will and Alex to be my brothers now. When looking back on this event, I regret nothing and loved every minute of it. Will I do it again? Oh yes. You can only keep a Tough Mudder away for so long.

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