I recently signed up for Tough Mudder, an endurance event that happens across the world throughout the year. It’s rigorous and demanding and designed to push people to reach peak form. Yyeeaahh…sooooo, I have never run a marathon or an obstacle course – in my life. I must be crazy, right? I’m pretty sure I am. And I’m pretty sure I’ll end up horizontal in the muck. So why am I doing this?

Maybe I hate myself. Maybe I don’t care what happens to my body. Maybe I have a death wish. In the quest for more rational reasons, I think I’m doing Tough Mudder because I want to challenge myself. I want to train and get in shape. I prolly should’ve started with something simple, like a walk-a-thon. *re-thinking decision* Ppptthhhh! I see little value in a small success compared to the momentus-ness of an EPIC fail! And it will be EPIC! But I’m not entirely convinced it will be a fail. Honestly, if I can drag my carcass across the finish line — even it if it takes me all day —  I will consider that a win. An EPIC win.

And I think my carcass has a good chance given the design of this event. One of the main features of Tough Mudder is that it’s team oriented. Many of the obstacles are designed to be nigh impossible if you tackle them solo. The obstacle course was originally designed for British Special Forces to trigger intuitive fears, such as fire, water, and heights, and require a reliance on teammates to get past these fears.

To get through mud, fire, ice-water, and 10,000 volts of electricity you’ll need teammates to pick you up when your spirits dip. To get over 12 foot walls and through underground mud tunnels, you’ll need teammates to give you a boost and a push. Tough Mudders are team players who make sure no one gets left behind.” — from About Tough Mudder

My friend (and Jax’s friend, too) — I’ll call him The Skald — started a team and I joined in. We have three definite members so far, and are selling our crazy to get a few more. If I’m not mistaken there have been some recruitment efforts to get Jax and TheScott to join, too. *wink wink, nod nod*

The Tough Mudder Pledge

As a Tough Mudder I pledge that…

I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.

I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.

I do not whine – kids whine.

I help my fellow Mudders complete the course.

I overcome all fears.

I also think my motivation is partly rooted in a need for self-initiated change. As you may now, my life has been chock-full-of change the last few years.* And a lot of it has kind of sucked. Well, this is a change that I have chosen. That I can direct. I need that kind of change. Crazy though it may be. But I won’t be crazy alone, and that feels right to me. In addition to hosting the actual competition, Tough Mudder offers training suggestions, some of which I also hope will be a team effort.

The Tough Mudder I’ll be in is May 3rd in central Texas. Come cheer us on if you’re in the area! Have you ever participated in Tough Mudder or something like it? How did it go?

*The suck-y changes in my life have been infertility, divorce, selling my dream house, and an broken heart. Geez, I sound like a friggin’ soap opera.