So, I guess we can officially say we’re no longer couch potatoes.
On April 13, less than a week ago, me and Lesley, along with our good friends Josh and Dorothy Williams, teamed up to tackle the grandaddy of all mud obstacle courses in these parts – the Goodwill Mud Run.
Boasting 35 obstacles along a 3.5 mile trail run, the Mud Run takes its participants through bruising mud crawls, firewall climbs, and a whole host of other sadistic challenges, like running through a stream, swimming/wading through a 50-foot pit of mud up to your neck, and hoisting yourself high into the air on a vertical cargo net in the middle of the woods.
We’d spoken to several people about the run, and generally got the same returns – this is hard.
“I’m glad I did it, but I wont’ be doing it again anytime soon,” was the most common response.
Still, Team Andy-Lesley-Josh-Dorothy, AKA The Breakfast Club (it’s a classic, c’mon!), made the decision to forge ahead and participate in the Goodwill Mud Run this year. For Lesley, it represented a huge change in her life. Just half a year and some 40 pounds ago, she would have given you a dirty look had you suggested she’d be scaling rock climbing walls, swimming in mud as she dodged wooden beams overhead, or swinging on ropes across running water.
And Andy? My idea of physical activity for much of my adult life was only lifting weights in between sets of 12-ounce curls with a beer bottle.
The four of us worked our butts off for weeks to prepare. We generally tried to follow an alternating schedule of running one day, lifting weights on the other at the local YMCA. We did our best to eat healthy (that can be tough – we love food), and always encouraged each other.
At 2:12 p.m., April 13, at the Donaldson Center, the four of us dove head first into a puddle of mud to begin our endeavor.
About an hour later, we came barrelling down the home stretch where we began the race. Having already crawled through a metal pipe full of sand and rocks (ouch), flipped a massive truck tire six times, and done some other bizarre things to complete the obstacles, we finished the run by swimming through a giant mud pit, scaling an 8-foot wall, crawling through a mud bog protected by wooden planks overhead, and finally carrying Lesley and Dorothy across the finish line.
The finished product was a sunburnt, sore, but ultimately satisified group.
And despite the horror stories we had heard, we’ll DEFINITELY be back next year.