(Scroll to the bottom to view the experience in HD!)
Last Sunday was the Merrel Down and Dirty 5K Mud Run in Dallas. I had been training for this for a while – I had never done a 5K before, and especially not an obstacle course – but apparently I did not train for it quite enough. My parents joined me for this event since they are active adults and enjoy doing outdoorsy things. My Mom likes being in nature but hates to get her hair wet, and my Dad never backs down from a challenge. I just wanted to have some fun and to use my GoPro sports camera (a small HD video/digital camera able to mount to your head. It is water proof and mud proof).
The starting line was down near a lake bank so that we actually had to run uphill right at the very start. Not great, but I guess it’s better to start a race running uphill than to end it running uphill. The majority of the race was just running/jogging/power walking through well defined hiking trails while army men encouraged us to “move in a rapid manor.” There were several wooden gates we had to climb up and over of varying heights, tunnels we had to crawl through and a net we had to crawl under. I ended up log rolling under that bad boy and I am not afraid to say it. I got grass down my throat.
Then came the mud pit! The moment I had been waiting for. With no reservations I threw myself into that pit of cool, chocolate-colored mud and took the obstacle by storm. Meanwhile a soldier threw mud clods at my Mom to make her quit her lolly-gagging.
We would get rinsed off, and then we would get muddy again, and then we’d wade through the lake and then get muddy again. It was great fun and I was able to maintain my energy and pace until the third to last obstacle. An obstacle that I have decided to call the Hellish Hill.
The Hellish Hill was a wooden wall tilted back at a steep angle, and covered in a smooth, lubed up tarp with knotted ropes hanging down from the top. Atop each hill were a few soldiers to motivate and aid us. I approached the Hellish Hill with the same confidence I had approached the previous obstacles. I ran up to the hill, grasped the rope in my hands and stepped onto the tarp to begin my climb.
“On your belly. Don’t use your feet or knees. On your belly. Use only your arms.” A soldier instructed.
So I flattened out and hand over hand pulled myself up to about halfway. Then my girlish muscles gave out. I kept my grip on the rope and tried to put my knees under myself to try and use them to push me up to the next knot on the rope, but my knees kept slipping on the wet tarp and would send me belly down again.
“Come on Web Cam, let’s go!” Shouted the soldier looming above me.
Ok, let’s do it. I got this. I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and willed my shoulders to suck it up and lift me to the next knot. But they didn’t. They couldn’t. I was all out of steam, there was nothing left.
“Keep moving! Do not stop! Stopping is for the weak. YOU ARE NOT WEAK!” My soldier yelled down.
“I am not weeeak,” I grunted, and tried to reach another knot. Someone below me grabbed my feet and pushed me up a few inches.
“Keep going! Just pull yourself up! Pull yourself up!”
Just pull yourself up. Oh, is that all I have to do? Someone must have gotten confused and thought we were at basic training.
“I don’t have anything left, man.” I informed the soldier.
He reached down, grabbed my left hand and placed it on the top of the wall. “Now throw your leg over and pull yourself up. Move it, MOVE IT!”
I threw my right leg up to the top of the Hellish Hill and hooked my ankle over the other side. I was, ladies and gentlemen, in a compromised position. One hand on top of the hill, one leg on top of the hill and the other two appendages sliding all over the place trying to get grip on something.
What did I see on the other side when I was finally able to peek over the top? My Mother standing on the other side, pointing and laughing at me.
How in the hell??? I thought as I finally got one half of my body draped over the top of the obstacle. How in the hell did she get over so quickly? She must have taken to the obstacle with all the grace and ease of a prime gazelle, while I bellowed and grunted and had to be hoisted up like that cow they fed to the raptors in Jurassic Park.
“Oh I wish I had a camera to capture the look on your face when you peeked over that thing!” My Mom crowed.
I finally made my way down from the Hellish Hill and it left me completely fatigued. My arms and legs shook as we made the last few yards to the finish line. It was hard work and it wasn’t pretty, but I finished.
My knees a scraped up, my muscles are sore, I have a huge purple bruise on the inside of my right thigh and I think I badly injured my ankle. I had to throw away my undergarments and wash my clothing in the bathtub and then wash my bathtub. But…it was worth it. I would do it again tomorrow.
Now it’s time to focus on writing.
Thanks for reading! =)