My Tough Mudder report??? Well… the MOST important thing is… I got my orange Tough Mudder headband at the finish line!! OooRah!!!
It’s taken me more than a week to sit down at my computer and try to describe this amazing event. Call it writer’s block, or some sort of inertia to document the incredible. (…and it only gets more incredible with each passing day!) True that. But there is much to tell, and it’s hard to know where to start.
I’ll start about 10 days before race day. That’s about the time when my blog went “dark”. I was training hard (some would call it over-training) with not much time to sit and write. I was running long distances in my new “zero-drop” shoes (they are all the rage, don’t you know?) when all of a sudden I could not run 3 miles. I blamed it on the heat. It was, after all, 75 degrees here in Seattle in September, and we are just not used to that kind of heat.
Ah yes, well, as Bill Maher would say, “I kid the Seattle weather.” It was not the heat. The next day I could not even run around the block. That’s right… I had gone from running across town on a whim, to barely being able to get around my neighborhood block.
My Achilles tendons were shot.
Between my new ”barefoot running” routine and probably too many box jumps at the gym, I had strained both my Achilles tendons to the point where I was hobbling around my house like a little old lady.
It was then that I hit a point of self-pity. I got home from a failed run and cried. I cried for about 5 or 10 minutes, but then I knew that had to be the end of it. No more feeling sorry for myself. I’ve been down this road before… this feeling of defeat is not new, it is just a hurdle. When I begin to feel that my body is letting me down… the best thing for me to do is get angry, not sad. (and certainly not go to the ”oh poor me” stage… God forbid!) Anger was the next phase of my “grief”. I got angry, and that launched a feeling of stubborn determination. I was not going to quit.
I absolutely believe with all my heart that once an athlete reaches this level of mental determination (which quite often starts with anger, but needs to channeled positively) their body will respond to that. Anger bubbles up and becomes the ”trigger” for momentum and action.
I have blogged about this before, it’s something I want to write a book about someday. I feel so strongly about will power, and what it can do for people. I know that the body will respond to what the mind is saying. I’ve lived through this before with two torn ACL’s, so this feeling is not a new one for me. I had to recognize it, and then deal with it.
Here’s the key: If you tell your body to be strong, your body will respond to that. We all wake up in the morning and set our intention for the day, whether we’re conscious of it or not. We are always setting our intention for small tasks, or for the day, or for the week… or even for how we want to live our lives. Intention is all-encompassing and a very powerful force.
I set my intention to compete, and I did. (I also got a lot of help from a few sports medicine docs who had positive, “we’re-going-to-tackle-this” attitudes… more on that later).
I’m going to leave it here for the day… I’ll continue this story tonight. For now, just know how great it is to have a mind and body that work together.