When was the last time you did something for the first time?
I heard this question asked before my husband and brother in law started the full Tough Mudder course on Saturday. I thought to myself, “well I guess it will be tomorrow for me.” I was running the Tough Mudder half the next day, for the first time.
But seriously, when was the last time you did something for the first time? I have found myself searching for the comfortable option more and more. Let’s be real, being uncomfortable isn’t always fun. In July, my husband and I went to a paddle board class, and I remember being so nervous that I might fail, or look dumb, or get embarrassed in front of strangers that I almost didn’t want to go. At the end of the class, I was in love with paddle boarding! It challenged me, but it was such a new experience that really makes you connect mind and body.
A few months back, before I started this journey to be the best me, I never could imagine signing up for a paddle boarding class or Tough Mudder. Fast forward, and I was feeling confident with my weight loss, muscle gain, and confidence gain that I decided to sign up for the Tough Mudder half. I thought that the worst that would happen would be I hated it, I was horrible at it, and I would never do it again. So why not?
As the big day was getting closer and closer I had this pit in my stomach. For those of you that don’t know me….I worry…a lot. I was laying awake in bed panicking about the obstacles and the mud. I was worried that I hadn’t lost enough weight or gained enough strength. That confidence that was bursting at the seams when I signed up for Tough Mudder was suddenly gone. I was looking up the obstacles and creating reasons (ahem…excuses) in my head as to why I wouldn’t be able to complete them. I was simply self sabotaging.
So, I was standing on the side watching my husband and brother-in-law get ready to start the full Tough Mudder on Saturday. I was panicking that I signed up for this, and it was show time tomorrow! Then I heard that question, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” That is when I realized, I just gotta get out there and do it! I signed up, I paid the entry fee, I trained, I have an outfit picked out, and I was in Sheboygan, WI…I just gotta give it a shot.
As I was watching the boys complete their Tough Mudder, I was creating strategies in my head on how my 5’2” frame will attack some of these obstacles. Something crazy even happened…I was getting excited! Don’t get me wrong, I was still as nervous as a mouse trapped inside a house, but I was slowly getting excited.
I of course didn’t sleep very well that night, and I was terrified when I woke up the next morning. My dad, who is so supportive and amazing, drove up to see us run the Tough Mudder half on Sunday. We were all sitting at breakfast, and I kept telling myself that I can do it. I knew I could, but it was SO out of my comfort zone. I can’t say I have ever had the feeling to go play in the mud.
It was 9am and finally time to get started. We listened to the beginning inspiration and the music was blasting. It was time to go! Once we completed the first mud obstacle, Mud Mile 2.0, I was loving it! The first time getting into that mud was definitely a weird feeling, but then it was fine. I can honestly say that I shocked the heck out of myself. I was keeping up and able to do the obstacles without feeling like a total dud.
Most people told me just trying was good enough, and I could always skip an obstacle. But for me, Tough Mudder became more than that. I wanted, more than anything, to prove to MYSELF that I can do it, that I gained strength, that all my hard work is making me better, that I am stronger than I think. I was completing obstacles with a smile on my face, when I made it up Everest 2.0 (ON THE FIRST TRY!!!!) I was literally jumped and celebrating on top. It was a feeling I honestly I can’t even put into words, it was just amazing.
I did face my fears on Shawshanked. I had to army crawl through a mud pit, then pull myself up a tunnel, and then let myself fall backwards into a pool of muddy water. I let that obstacle, and my fears, get to me. Luckily, I had my husband in the water supporting me, my brother-in-law in the tunnel behind me counting me down, and a man I have never met before letting me know I would be okay. With some reservation, but wanting to get out of that tunnel, I let myself fall back into the water. The man who was besides me grabbed my arm when I was underwater helping me to the side. In that moment, I really saw how Tough Mudder is about the team, the whole team. You truly need strangers to let you climb on their shoulders, pull you up over a wall, step on their thigh for a boost, and take your hand after you just faced your fear and help you succeed.
I was overcome with so many emotions, and I left feeling on cloud 9. I renewed my faith in myself and realized a side of me I never knew was there. I am honestly so thankful for my Tough Mudder experience. I can’t wait to complete the full next year, I already signed up!
Here’s to being happy and fit…and one Tough Mudder!