Saturday, May 21, 2016

I DID NOT DIE: A Shocking Ending, Tough Mudder Part 4

The last time I encountered live wires (and it wasn’t willingly) was when I was about nine or ten years old. I had just gotten a pink bicycle, complete with those colorful plastic streamers on the handlebars, and training wheels. I was only allowed to ride up and down the block, so that’s what I did for a few hours a day—up to the candy store where the botánica was, down to the end of the block where the shoe store Momo’s used to be, and then up to the candy store again.
One evening I rode too close to the street lamp up the block (whose bottom panel had been removed) and got shocked by the live wires that had made their way out, waiting for some unsuspecting child to walk or ride by. I heard a popping sound, and at the same time the force of the electricity knocked me over completely. The current coursing through my ankle and lower leg hadn’t hurt much but landing fairly hard on the concrete sidewalk, and becoming entangled with my bike did. In any case, I popped up, got back on the bike and continued my ride down the block, newly electrified.
This was exactly the sensation I had the pleasure of experiencing during Electroshock Therapy, the obstacle that would bring me to the much coveted Tough Mudder headband. Only this time, the shock sent me face-planting right into a pool of mud. For some reason I had thought that emerge from EST relatively clean and mud-free after having-slid into 10,000 gallons of ice-water at the previous obstacle, Arctic Enema (which actually did wonders for my left glute cramp and Rebecca’s calf cramp). Nope. The millisecond my right arm brush against the nearest wire, I went face-down into the muck.

We had been told explicitly not to crawl, but FUCK THAT. I didn’t care how long it would take to get through the three consecutive pools of nastiness, I wasn’t touching that shit again. I ended up getting shocked twice more anyway, each time having the wind knocked out of me—hmm, makes you realize how awesome electricity is and makes you wonder how it has the capacity to blow a 245 pound human being over like a dried-out, dead flower. 

Rebecca and I muddy-hugging

After making it through the last mud-pool I was spent. I had exerted so much energy trying to avoid those wires that it was more difficult than I had expected to hurl myself over the last little bump. But then I did. I FINISHED!...VICTORY.  This thing that I had been so afraid of was done! I gave Rebecca a muddy hug, and then gave Coach T. Mud an even muddier hug complete with a big, muddy grin (I felt like that dirty kid from Peanuts...)

I loved it, not every single minute of it, but it was pretty damn close. Even the really difficult and disappointing parts were enjoyable. Why? Because I knew going in that I would not be able to conquer everything that day, but that I would at least try. I knew that I would have opportunities to have at it again, so I was was comforted knowing that these small failures were only preparation for success in the future. Time to reconfigure, time to analyze where I need to build more strength, flexibility. Time to rid myself of fear and self-doubt.
Gear: Merrell Capra Adapt Tights, Merrell Adaptive
Cinch Tank, Merrell All Out Crush Shoes,
Torrid Bra Tank, VSX Incredible Bra. 

As part of my Merrell ambassadorial duties, I get to do even MORE Tough Mudders!!! Just a few months ago, I would have absolutely balked at the idea of even considering doing these crazy obstacle course events, but now I'm kind of curious to see how much I can improve, and how well my body will respond to more training and preparation. So what's next? I'll let you know soon...
See you at the next Mudder (TBA)


  1. Yep, electroshock therapy sucks. Great job finishing your first Tough Mudder!!

  2. Oh wow, so awesome! You are one TOUGH MUDDER! Also a very muddy tough mudder! :D Seriously cool - you must be so proud!

  3. I'm terrified of doing tough mudder because of the electroshock portion. I guess this is why I signed up for the spartan instead. You did an incredible job.

    1. You'll have your fair share of terror when we do the Spartan Beast in South Carolina. You're my favorite wussbeast because you'll be all "I'm scared, but I'm from New York" (walk around like a tough guy). Lol.

    2. This makes me kind of interested in ToughMudder, but I'd rather get two Spartan trifectas and do other races (like BoneFrog, BattleFrog, Savage Race) before I do a TOUGH MUDDER. Jesus be a bottle of calcium.

    3. C'mon ya'll. Tough Mudder is completely doable. The distance is likely the toughest part and it's FUN. You should come out to Dallas in October!

  4. I soooo want to do one but I am so very scared I will not be able to complete it

    1. It is totally achievable. You have to train and put the hours in developing strength and flexibility but it's worth your time. Anything you do to train transfers over to strength, flexibility and lack of fear in real life. Promise! Got any questions? I'm here to answer them!