Thursday, May 9, 2013

The making of a Crazy Mudder Mucker

It all started back in January 2012.  I was seeing all these advertisements for some crazy events called Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder and such.  I looked into them and thought to myself, "I could do that".  Although I clearly knew that I couldn't in the shape I was in at the time.  So I used this as my excuse and incentive to prove something to myself, that at the age of 44 I could do it.  I saw it as a challenge, so I registered for the Warrior Dash to be held the weekend of June 3 & 4, 2012, and I had a long way to go.  In the beginning of March, I started to run.  I mapped out a 1-1/2 mile course at a local park and I couldn't make it 1/2 mile without stopping.  My goal was to work my way up to 2 laps which would equal a 5k.  I worked and worked until I got up to that point right before the weekend of the Warrior Dash.

When I registered for the Warrior Dash, I asked everyone I knew if they wanted to go do it with me.  The response was not only a resounding "NO" but more like "HELL NO!!".  They all thought I was crazy.  But I was determined to do this, with or without someone next to me.  So, on June 3rd, 2012 I ventured to Logan, Ohio by myself with my car packed for camping the night before the race.  I knew I would meet people that were going to the race wherever I ended up.  I found a quiet little campground and sure enough, there were several other campers there, from all over the state, that had just completed the race.  We sat around the campfire that night and I said "we need a way that we can coordinate with each other and go to more events like this, like a Facebook group".  What should we call it?  Out of the dark from around the fire, someone said "Crazy Mudder Muckers", and so it was born.

I started the race on the morning of June 4 and by the time I got to the first obstacles, I started to realize it wasn't as competitive as I thought it would be.  In fact, several of the obstacles required help although I would come to realize in the future just how 'easy' the Warrior Dash is compared to most Obstacle Course Races.  Obviously I survived and the pride and sense of accomplishment was great, I was hooked like crack-whore looking for the next fix.  I saw something called the Mud Ninja and signed up for that to be my second event.  BOY!!! was that insane!  I continued my training, and thanks to the Warrior Dash, had way too much confidence going into this one.  The Mud Ninja kicked my ass, literally!  Towards the end I slipped in the mud and broke my tailbone, but I survived and finished.  At this point, I switched from crack-whore to dedicated and motivated to making myself an all-around physically better person.  I took a few weeks off but eventually completed 8 events in 2012 and plan to complete 20~25 in 2013.  When I got home on the night of June 4, 2012, I sat down and created a Facebook group called Crazy Mudder Muckers and added about 10 people to the group including the friends I had just made at the Warrior Dash.  Coming up on our 1 year anniversary we have more than 220 members and continue to grow.

What I have learned and continue to experience at all of these events is a common, 'un-written' theme about humanity.  To bring out the best in all of us and to truly see humanity at it's finest, we must take ourselves to the most primal of places that we can, within reason.  By intentionally placing ourselves in 'survival' mode, then and only then can the true humanity in all of us come through.  To know what I'm talking about, you must experience one of these events on your own but I will try to explain it.  When you crawl out of the mud or come up a 1/2 mile, 45 degree hill through the woods on your own and suddenly are faced with a 10 foot smooth wall covered in slimy mud and no way climb it but you MUST go over it, you MUST look to your left and to your right because at that moment, no matter how big and bad you are, everyone around you just became your best friend and teammate and you inherently feel compelled to return the favor.  Through these crazy events I have been introduced to and welcomed into so many groups that become your family.  Groups like the Cornfed Spartans, Team Kendall and Team Ninja to name a few and all of these groups have a common theme.  Nobody will be left alone on a course and everyone will cross the finish line.

This is why I created Crazy Mudder Muckers, to give people a family to turn to for the support, help and camaraderie they need and want, and to bring people together so that nobody has to go to one of these events alone.