Several months ago Lance called to ask if I'd like to meet him in Las Vegas and join his family's "Tough Mudder" team. After finding out what that was I immediately took a pass, but still wanted to hang out in Vegas with him for the weekend. But people make all kinds of bad decisions when they're in Sin City, and next thing you know I was doing the Tough Mudder after all. Dressed as Britney Spears, no less.
Yep, a whole team of us called "The Dirty Brits," with custom t-shirts and costumes modeled after the naughty school girl outfit she wore in her first video, "(Hit me)...Baby, one more time." I joined in with Lance, his brother Ron, and his friends Jenny and Lotte after 2 other people dropped out and there were extra tickets. We literally ran out the night before the event to the outlets to buy me some trail running shoes and shorts.
So what is a Tough Mudder? Well: Tough Mudder is a team-oriented 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit. Tough Mudder puts camaraderie over finisher rankings and is not a timed race but a team challenge that allows participants to experience exhilarating, yet safe, world-class obstacles they won't find anywhere else.
Safe? Some of the obstacles are called: Ring of Fire, Arctic Enema, Ladder to Hell, Everest and Electroshock Therapy. So let's be clear, I had no intention of doing a single obstacle. I just figured I'd run along with the team instead of hanging out by myself for 4 hours in the desert as a spectator.
But once you're in, you're in.
Because: A Tough Mudder event is a one-of-a-kind experience, and crossing the finish line represents a true accomplishment. On the course, you’ll leave your comfort zone behind as you conquer challenges unlike any other you’ve faced. But while the events are built to be very challenging, it’s important to remember that Tough Mudder is not a race. It’s an untimed event, and there are no penalties for skipping obstacles, so you can always customize the experience to make sure it’s the right challenge for you.
Each of us skipped a random obstacle here or there that we weren't comfortable with (I don't mind getting dirty or looking like a fool - obviously - but I'm not breaking another ankle. Ever.), and there were some that were failed miserably despite valiant efforts, but we all completed the entire course and crossed that finish line together. And you know what? WE ROCKED! It was a sick amount of fun and such an unexpectedly exhilarating experience. We left there feeling completely on top of the world. Maybe I'm not the most athletic person in the world, but I am One. Tough. Mudder.
Plus, you get a headband and a free beer. Sweet!
A few days later we got a link to the professional pics from the event. Such cute ones of our team from the Warrior Carry! See, doesn't it look fun!?!