Yesterday I posted reasons 1-4 of why I love mud races. Here conclusion to the list. Enjoy!
5. It’s Mine
A million years ago, in the midst of wedding planning I bought a play station 2 (it had just come out and was the hottest thing on the tech market). My fiancee’ flipped asking me how I could be so selfish to purchase the video game system when we were budgeting for a wedding. Anticipating her furor, I replied, “every month I’m broke because every dollar I make not spent on paying bills is spent on flowers that will die, a cake that you will try to smash in my face and to pay to feed people who I don’t know, and I’m okay with that. This month, I’ll be just as broke at month’s end, but at least I’ll get to play Madden.”
These days time is my most precious commodity. While I love my daughter, my work and mentoring, they leave me with little time for myself. Though I’m okay with that 99% of the time, I especially look forward to opportunities to do something just for me.
6. What Wheelhouse?
There was a time when I never did anything I could not envision myself doing. What I have since learned is that life and the experiences therein is so vast and ever-changing that my thinking was limiting me. Does that mean I have done some things that I didn’t like, yep. Tons. But I’ve also taken some chances, and had some great experiences that have taught me more about myself that I could have ever imagined.
7. High Stakes Problem Solving
The Tough Mudder is the perfect marriage of form and function. There will be times when choosing the right strategy for an obstacle is key, and there will be other times where the only answer is trudging through the mud and hoping that you don’t lose your shoe. The beauty of the race is about figuring which to employ when and pushing through even if you choose wrong.
8. Bragging Rights
Let’s call a spade a spade, (wo)men like to accomplish things, often just to say they did. The same is true here. The tough mudder is 1 part mud and 3 parts ego. The same thing that had me and two of my Tough Mudder teammates in a midnight foot-race in the street as college sophomores, will fuel us on the course Saturday.
9. Because I Can
Currently I suffer from arthritis. Knee pain I felt at 25 when I over-exerted my surgically reconstructed knee, I now feel when I get up in the morning. Who knows what options modern medicine will provide me moving forward. I can tell you that I’m not worried about it, and I’m not going to sit idly by waiting to find out. The best thing I can do is lose weight to take excess poundage off my knees, and safely enjoy the time I am given. Sure it’s kinda sad that I can no longer “get low” on a dance floor, but at 36, I have no business down there anyway.
Most mud runs will tell you that the obstacles are military style, or that they were developed by some crack, ex-military operative. They do that so ordinary people like me can feel like they’re getting a taste of some of the kick-ass stuff that comprises military training. The truth is, we’re not. We’re doing it for fun, and we get to go home to our couches and families at the end of the day. But it really is inspiring to see so many veterans out on these courses (many wearing prosthetics) leading the way. To date, the Tough Mudder has raised over 3.5 million dollars for the wounded warrior project and does a lot to honor those who volunteer to protect us all. The money I contribute and raise for this worthy effort is not my only reason for participating in the Tough Mudder, but it is the one I’m proudest of.
In each of my prior races I got wicked cramps in my legs. By race’s end, the combination of cramped legs and swollen knees left me in a bad way.
This time around I’m trying hard to avoid the little demons. To that end, this time the following is a short list of preventative measures I’ve undertaken to run
pain free with limited pain.
- Hydration – For the last few months I’ve had the goal of drinking more water. The equation I learned that should determine our water intake is weight in pounds, divided in half. The number represented is the number of ounces you should drink (e.g. a 200 pound person should drink 100 ounces, a 300 pound person should drink 150 ounces).
- Potassium – For the last few weeks I’ve been eating a banana a day in an effort to get my potassium up. Low potassium levels and cramps go hand in hand.
- Antioxidants – Since May I’ve upped my intake of raspberries, blueberries, green tea and chia seeds – all excellent sources of antioxidants. While studies vary, antioxidants are often linked with combating swollen joints (It’s worth a shot).
- Flexibility– By the time of the race I will have been taking yoga classes for 3 weeks. I don’t expect to be gumby after only 5 classes, but my hope is that I will be a little more limber during the tough day’s work and less beat-down during the recovery.