Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Tough Mudder Experience

I'm not a people person.  I don't like crowds.  I don't like cold weather, and I don't particularly like being outside unless it is radiantly sunshiney out.  I'm not a real big talker, so in social situations I often let Wallace take the lead (which, let's face it, could be disastrous.  But at least he talks.)  This are just a few of the reasons that yesterday was completely out of my element... but it was totally up his alley.  And let's face it, sometimes as a couple you've got to take one for the team.

Wallace and a group of guys have been training for a year for Tough Mudder.  As I've mentioned before, I'm not really physical... ok, I'm not physical at all.  At times, this whole training thing has flat gotten on my nerves.  I got so tired of hearing how many miles it was from place to place here in Breathitt County, and how quick he could run it in, and did I think he should run this today or another day (as if I cared...) If you've read this blog at all, you also know that Wallace and I have had some difficult times in the past few months.  Sometimes, I think all of the running was actually running from me.  I never really felt involved in any of it, probably because I put up a big wall and didn't pretend to care... and also because there was just a lot of other stuff going on.  Stuff that I'm thinking we've waded through... but that's a whole other story.

Anyway, back to Tough Mudder.  Over twelve miles, 21 obstacles, in the mud and cold and ice and even some electric shocking.  (I didn't say he was smart).  Also, a large crowd of boisterous, loud, physically active people.  Now do you see why I was so out of my comfort zone? Wallace had to sign a death waiver... I had to sign a spectator waiver... and we were paying to do this?  Let me point out.  I.  DID.  NOT.  GRIPE.  Oh, I might have said that I didn't know if I REALLY wanted to go, but when push came to shove, I was up at 530 Saturday morning.  (Yet another take one for the team moment.  Pat yourself on the back, Lauren). 

Our guys finished strong.  They NEVER stopped running.  There were six of us ladies that followed them around, obstacle to obstacle.  We didn't get to see all of them, so there was a period of about two hours between obstacle 2 and obstacle 11 (the next one we were allowed to watch).  As we walked up and down hills to get to that obstacle, we saw medics with a guy on a backboard and one guy with a head wound and various others being carted off the course, which does not sit well with a nurse who is already worried about her guy's safety.  Needless to say, the longer we sat there waiting, the more worried I got.  And it was cold.  And we had to stand.  And it might have rained just a little.  And it was cold...

But when we saw those yellow shirts coming up the hill, well, I can't describe how I felt.  And then... Wallace looked for me.  Now that might not seem like such a big deal. After all, we've been married for 13 years.  And dating for a few before that... but it was the first time in a long time that it's happened.  And when you've been to the brink of I don't know where this is going and we are dangling on falling off, well, that one look meant the world. And it continued.  At every obstacle, my eyes found his.  He was tired, and sore... but I knew he could do it.  And I'd like to think that because he knew I knew that, he pushed on just a little more (Hey, I have to get some credit somewhere...)

I am SO proud of him... and all of our guys.  There were obstacles they had to do together, and they did.  They even helped other teams.  At the end, there were some who weren't as fast on their team, but they stood and waited and crossed the finish line together.  A year of hard work culminated in camaraderie... and a few lessons on the importance of friendship.  Of helping others.  Of encouragement and pulling each other up out of the mud.

Kind of like relationships...

So while I may not be a tough mudder, and have no desire to do so (hats off to all of the ladies who have that desire....) I'm married to one.  And that's just as good.  =)

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