Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Tough Mudder?

Me and a group of friends, some new and some old, are training for an obstacle race you may have heard of called "Tough Mudder". First of all, "Mudder" does not mean "mom". It refers to mud. A whole lot of mud. In our faces, filling our shoes, under our nails.

The site says, "Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie." And it most definitely will. I am beyond excited! Seriously, I think wedding, being in a musical, and baby were ahead of this. Well, I could probably come up with other things, but obviously I'll be as happy, and as dirty, as a pig in slop!

At this point I don't have any major fear or worry about the event. I really do not want a blistering day. Actually, cool would be ideal. (Though not cold. Then it will be too hard to use our hands. I have quite the specific request for God and Mother Nature, don't I?) I have had heat exhaustion and would like to elude reliving that experience. After running a 12K on a warm day I threw up. Quite unpleasant. Mudder day there will be heights but I can't imagine it comparing to bungee jumping (I really hope I don't let out a scream like that again). There are some things I anticipate will be uncomfortable. Like an ice bath. I have swam in a glacier water at the top of Mt Begbie. I felt like there was ice pushed up my girly bits. And it took its time melting!

I know there might be something I won't be able to do. But the other day I had a moment where I had the premonition that I will get scared. There is a possibility I may have to be coerced to continue. I could need a little push. This realization came when snowshoeing with a friend with my 15 month old on my back. We had to cross a little snow covered bridge. Problem was the snow was in a mound. Not nice and flat. And I didn't want to do it for a moment. My legs froze. I felt silly. But, I did it anyway. And I'll Mudder anyway... Right?!

I used to be scared of everything. When I was young I couldn't look anyone in the eye. Panic attacks. Immobile by trepidation. Butterflies from my stomach right up to my brain overcoming my thoughts and pounding in my ears and taking up all my ability to comprehend anything and sucking up all my oxygen... Whew! I didn't get my drivers license until I was 27 years old. My legs were in so much pain after the exam because they were so tense.

When I got leukemia in 2004 I decided to change my life. Actually, I started to work on things right before diagnoses for some reason. I tried skiing and was so terrified I literally passed out on the hill. Very embarrassing. I got my driver's license and started to try new things.

The biggest step I made was to tell myself "fear" or "I can't" would not be a valid excuse anymore. If I had the time and cared about it, I would do it. My capacity grew by facing my fears and changing "I can't do it" to "How can I do it?" This was a breakthrough in my faith, friendships, time management, and volunteer life. My poor husband had to deal with my stress as I learned how to overcome some of my mountains (Try-Zilla! Roarrr!). Good thing I started the steps before meeting him in 2005. He tends to push me and have little sympathy for my excuses. Come to think of it, I had absolutely no intention to bungee or to swim in glacier water. But he did it and then persuaded me. Oh, don't get me wrong. He is loving and supporting. He just can't see why something easy for him is hard for another. Just what my small personality needed. I wouldn't have volunteered the extent I have without him. Silly me wouldn't have even bought my first car without his push. But I can't rely on his lack of empathy to keep getting me past hurdles. One reason this is an all girls venture. Us girls are going to support each other. Only man involved will be Jesus, who I am sure will be hearing a lot of words from me that day!

As I have grown those scary or difficult things have gotten easier. If you told me ten years ago what I'd do I wouldn't believe you. But living as an emotional human being, sometimes I take steps back. Like being in a crowd and not talking to anyone. Or spending hours preparing for something simple. Or the big list of things I should be doing but still don't (that storage room isn't going to organize itself). I just have to remember to say, "I CAN!" Tough Mudder will be a good refresher.

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