I can barely move today. Everything hurts. Getting out of bed was a trial. However, this morning I came up with an awesome story idea. Granted, entirely unrelated to Tough Mudder.
Anyway, here are some of the before pictures. When you get there, it’s a really strange feeling. It’s such a festive deal they have going, and I got to see the guy who does the TM announcement on the site’s intro video. I have a bit of a man crush on him, so it was awesome giving him a high five. Even though I had issues getting over the first wall to get to the staging area. And taking a knee for about ten minutes was making me uncomfortable. All bad omens. Anyway, here are some of the pictures from before we started.
It’s amazing at this point how invincible you feel. It feels like you ate your Wheaties.
Silly face time! The last time I’d smile in a long time. That’s a bit of a lie. We reached a point on the course where all I could do was laugh. What we were doing was so stupid I couldn’t find it in me not to laugh in slight hysterics.
You see that thing attached to my stomach? The sign with 56303? That lasted a whole three obstacles. We went through one where you crawl on your stomach under barbed wire (we did it while it was raining, which rocked), and the top two pins came out. We had something where we vaulted over probably seven foot tall boards, which it survived. But then we crawled again through electrified wires and another pin came off. So I just ripped the sign off and moved on. Which is a little sad because that’s what they use for identifying your pictures. I had a really cool one taken during the mud mile, but it will not be attributed to anything more than an anonymous man.
Because after this, I’ve made strides to become the most interesting man in the world. Ladies, if you want the most interesting man in the world, he’s the one in the middle. Come and get him.
So I have a demo tomorrow, but maybe I’ll do it anyway. “What’s that you’re wearing?” “It’s the reason why I’m moving so gingerly and why I’m so awesome. It’s the sign that I exhausted myself and ripped my body to shreds. It’s the sign….” “That’s great and all, but how do we use this dishwasher?”
The wall behind him is what you have to get over just to reach the starting line. Wasn’t pretty. The man standing there is the announcer. He tells us we’re doing something amazing, something epic, something stupid, but it’s going to show us what we’re made of and it’s so much more than so many people out there. There’s a sign at a point that states, “Don’t be ashamed if you don’t finish Tough Mudder. Feel ashamed if you signed up for a three mile race.” It was just after their three mile course, which they offer, finished. We laughed at that point because we still could.
This is the mud crawl. This is where I lost half my card. AS you can see there, someone just had theirs ripped off. It was our first obstacle and it was sort of amazing. The rain was coming down at a good pace. I remember telling someone about this before we did it. They responded, “It can’t have barbed wire. That’s ridiculous.” It has barbed wire. It was ridiculous. This entire thing is ridiculous.
And if you thought barbed wire was ridiculous, this is electrified while you crawl through water. I was zapped three or four times. Took one in the butt. It was weird. Getting electrocuted is just this really intense, short jolt to a specific spot. I guess Gina got nailed with something a little more intense than I did and one teammate said she thought her husband had smacked her in the butt. If you get zapped in the head, which none of us did, apparently it does a sort of “reboot.” You black out for a moment and when you come to, it’s a bit of a “Where am I?”
Before my calves cramped up at mile three, we did a pretty good job keeping up with the heroes of Valhalla. These two guys had a group of six or so and they wore armor and had a standard (banner) with Ragnarok on it, along with runes. They were awesome.
Also saw one team with “OOYL” on their shirt with a picture of Yoda. “Only once you live.” It was pretty awesome seeing the different outfits and themes. There were a few Chivers with KCCO on their breasts, wearing very small sports bras. It really was a good day.
The hay bails were likely my favorite. You felt awesome doing it and it was probably the easiest thing I had done at the entire thing. My roommate made it look cool. The guy in the photo is just flipping over it on his back, which is what Joel (blond guy) did. It looks like parquer.
This was around four miles, or just short. Both my calves had seized up at this point. We had done the big hill where you climb up a steep, muddy angle, and slide down another. The rain was coming down hard, and I think for a while it was hale. It was incredible. That’s also where an attractive Chiver stated, “That ripped my @$$ up so bad I won’t be able to use it for a while.” Chad and I couldn’t stop laughing (guy with the goggles in the above pictures).
Likely had the most issues with this, though the water felt nice. The tunnels are slick and smooth and you have to climb uphill when you get to the other side. I couldn’t find any sort of grip and the guy behind me just kept saying, “Arm over arm!” And I’m like, dude, this isn’t working. Well not well, it did get me up eventually.
This was just after jumping over logs lit on fire and into a pool. But that pool felt nice. This one did not. It is called the Arctic Enema and it’s around 34 degrees. Think on that. When we were talking earlier the comment was, “That’ll make your balls shrink and your sphincter clench.” I can’t remember if it did. I do remember it caused my calf to cramp. I remember that on one half of the bin there was no ice, and on the other side it was a wall of ice. I remember getting out of it and we just took off. It was a good thing the sun was up. While we ran someone said, “Well the turtle went back in its shell.” It was cold.
I’m afraid of heights. I couldn’t do the Berlin wall because it was 12′ high and I wouldn’t be able to make it over. Ella, the neon dressed girl in our group, overcame those fears in a far braver manner than I could.
Anyway, it was scary getting up to it, though I didn’t realize how dumb it was until I reached the top. You have three or four 2×4 beams nailed in for you to walk up. They’re slick with mud and when you get to the top it is hard to find what you’re supposed to hold onto. I just didn’t look down and the stupidity didn’t matter. When you get to the top it’s different, though. The water is the only reason I could manage this.
You jump 15′ down to the water. I tumbled. There was no grace. I wasn’t thinking. I just had to go. I got mud water up my nose and in that area between the nose and mouth. Felt weird. And then you just swim to safety. I didn’t touch the bottom. Not sure how deep it is. But wow did I take off.
You can find more pictures at their website. It really was an amazing thing, even if by the end I was in pain. So much pain. The electric shock at the very end I took two nice jolts at the same time and decided this isn’t happening. There are hay bails, but really short, and there was no way I was jumping them, so I went off to the side.
That’s what we looked like at the end. It felt amazing and yet horrible. At either rate, we were victorious. We had conquered this. A sign we passed said, “Shouldn’t you be cutting your lawn?” Heck no. I completed a great adventure. I survived doing something that should have been far beyond my capabilities. We did take six hours, which is double the average, which was my fault. But hey, we finished.
For more pictures: https://www.facebook.com/toughmudder
Fantasy Writer and Cartographer
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