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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

On the cusp of Tough Mudder


17 days. 17 days before the Tough Mudder. It seems like only last week I started this trek, and while I'm pretty sure I'm not ready, I also know I'm as ready as I'll be anytime soon. It's now or never.

A lot of people rolled their eyes at the thought. Many spoke outright about the failure it would be. I'd like to thank them all for the extra motivation. Isn't it interesting how many people there are who are ever so eager to tell you what you cannot do? You can count them by the 100s.

People who support, who encourage? These people are few and far between, if they exist at all.

Looking back, I see this preparation as a logical extension of the summer let-down that led to the Season of Me, followed by another, and then another. Yes, that's selfish, at least from many perspectives. It's also extended introspection, and frankly, this world could use a lot more of that. That a good friend died as this year started only served to make it all just that much more intense.

The climb out of the physical hole I was in has not been without incident. You don't spend a decade or more on the couch, hop up, start moving without lots of physical challenges, and I'm certainly not done with those challenges. Stress fractures. Tendinitis. Turned ankles.

The running partner who announced last month we weren't ready for Tough Mudder, like I didn't know, like I needed to hear it, like that'd slow us down. You know, there's a reason I prefer to run alone, and it's more than my need for the hour-long moving meditation.

But somehow, here we stand. There are about eight of us who will journey to South Carolina on the 27th for the opportunity to run a half-marathon with a couple dozen monstrous military-built obstacles, some with barbed wire, some with 10,000 volt exposed wires. It's going to be a hoot.

One huge disappointment was my Lily's injury that took her out of the Mudder. It was Walking the Plank, hand-in-hand, cannonball-diving with Lily that was calling to me. 20 feet down into water 20 feet deep. Get out the best way you can. Can you think of a better father-daughter moment? I cannot. Nor do I want to.

Not to worry, she transferred to a June event, and I registered with her. We'll be there with bells on. I didn't think twice about a second Tough Mudder. I still don't. We will do that one together.

And so, the training hasn't killed me, though the event still might, as I told the doctor when he geared up to help me plot a course through the training. I told him then that any discussion of mortality was moot. I still retain that sentiment. His partner got a load of it when she announced that the cure for the tendinitis was six weeks of rest. Like that was going to happen.

The team and I are going to do this, and our world will be a better place for it. We might survive, but that's not really an important option. I'm not sure I'd survive missing it.  

3 comments:

The Crow said...

Here's wishing you a smooth, safe run, with no injuries, lots of heavy breathing (always a good thing) and the opportunity to do even more of these events!

Hope darling Lily recovers completely. You're a good Dad, Jim.

Jim Penny said...

Many thanks for the kind words, Crow. It's been a good ride so far, and I suspect that Saturday evening is going to be extraordinarily special in its delightful weariness. What better evidence can we ask for proof we're alive?

Shannon said...

The ads below the comment section made me chuckle. You can absolutely do it and are a better person than I. BTW, please don't get electrocuted!