In the past few years, obstacle racing has experienced a rate of growth that may be unprecedented in the history of participatory sports, and registration for this event was so popular that a second day of racing was created to meet the demand.
Their website states that:
“Mud Hero is the ultimate place to scale new summits. Conquer your fear of muck, madness and mayhem and embrace your love of friends, fitness and fun. Crush your inner wimp as you crank your adrenaline to push yourself and your fellow Heroes to the finish (without spilling over laughing).”
I, of course, was somewhat of a sceptic. The first ever mud run… at a ski hill… it’s going to be a clusterf@#$. Parking. Too many “keeners” jacked up on too much Redbull. Absolute chaos with all the different starting "waves”. Backlogs at the obstacles along the way. It’s going to be a nightmare. BOY WAS I WRONG!
EVERYTHING that I've heard following the event has been overwhelmingly positive. I am thoroughly impressed, and tip my hat to the event organizers at Crazy Canuck Events.
As I listened to the recaps of last Saturday, I began to think of all the subtle life lessons that could be taken from this muddy, gritty experience:
Sometimes life gets a little messy. That's okay. Make the most of it. Don’t let a little muck get ya down. Pulling through the other side of a mess it what growth and learning are all about.
It’s not always the obstacles that are hard – sometimes it’s the journey in between. I’m sure climbing over those walls was a son-of-a-gun, and sliding down the fireman’s pole was nerve-wracking for some... but I bet none of them compared to running up and down a ski hill.
The obstacles in our way may not be as tough as we envisioned… or how we view them from a distance. We create visions of daunting obstacles and devastating obstructions along our journey and when we finally get there... they're actually not that bad. Stay positive.
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat”. We often look at a situation and see two solutions: follow the masses and plow through it or avoid it all together. Far too often we can tackle these situations with a little creativity (or craziness) - we can go over, go under, stray a little from the pack and create our own style or “hells yeah”, take the bull by the horns and plow on through – we don’t have to get stuck in the black-and-white. Sometimes we can conquer a fear or prove that we’re a little stronger or better prepared than we thought by overcoming that barrier…
… or sometimes going around is the wise decision. Now, as much as I’m saying “buckle down and overcome”, there are times when the wise, excuse-free choice may simply be to circumvent an obstacle. This might change our course a bit and may make our journey a bit longer, but the important thing is that we end up back on track headed forward in our journey. Be honest with yourself when answering the question, “why can’t I do this?”
Don’t be afraid to reach out for a helping hand – you might be surprised. You’ll be shocked at the camaraderie that some of those seemingly super-serious, GoPro-sporting, Camelbak-toting, Vibrams-wearing super-studs (and I use that term in a gender-neutral manner) display. Don't be afraid to ask for help (and don’t be afraid to be that person who glances over their shoulder to see if you can pull someone over when you reach the top). Karma’s a son-of-a-gun!
Sometimes all the mud won’t come clean and you’re left with a little reminder. Despite how much you scrub or what chemicals you use, that nice white t-shirt is always gonna be a little off-white and the eyelets of your sneakers will always have a bit of mud caked in them as a permanent reminder of your journey. It’s okay to wear those badges with pride – you were brave enough to step up to the start-line and to get a little dirty.
The correlation between our efforts and the results attained is a valuable one. The preparation that we put into something is pretty much guaranteed to be reflected in the outcome that we achieve.
It’s not always about speed (and those of you who know me, can attest to how tough that is for me to write). The fastest competitors completed this event in a little over 33 minutes. The slowest.... well .... who cares? Not only were they brave enough to start, they were strong enough to finish – and who am I to talk, I didn’t even put my sneakers on!