I am one Tough Mudder

“If you want to change you have to be willing to be uncomfortable”

If someone were to ask me to define myself I would most certainly call myself a cyclist, I would ride all day if I could. By no means would I ever call myself a runner. Runners love running. Even if a runner moans and groans about the process of going to run, they get out there and love the actual running. I moan and I groan getting ready to go and the whole while I am doing it. This is in stark contrast to the clarity and freedom I feel in my mind while I am riding (even in the toughest of conditions). I had always thought about doing a Tough Mudder but once I fell in love with cycling that thought pretty much faded away. Besides… the thought of adding military style obstacles throughout a 10-12 mile run made the idea that much less appealing as well.

The opportunity, however, resurfaced when my brother convinced me to do one with him as his Christmas present and I was sure that I would be a “one and done” type of mudder. I wanted to have the experience with my brother because, despite our individual athletic endeavors/accomplishments, we had never done any sort of event together. Despite my hesitation about getting electrocuted, being covered in mud, jumping into ice war, and getting tear gassed I was very excited to finally be able to cross Tough Mudder off my to-do list. 10422302_10204914583558894_4666883680843050455_n The day arrived and it seemed like every single thing that could go wrong was going wrong. We were late leaving our hotel, got caught in a horrendous traffic jam, and everyone was on edge. We finally made it to the event location in Doswell, VA and my anxiety was through the roof. I was worried that I hadn’t trained enough, that I would let my brother down, that I would get injured, and about a whole host of other nonsensical things. The atmosphere, however, was electric. There were teams of people everywhere seemingly working to psych themselves up for their impending mission. It seemed like everyone was also trying to act really confident and “better” than the next person walking by. It actually became kind of humorous which helped to lessen the anxiety I was feeling. 10629800_845132567278_4432652533047138123_n We quickly located the rest of my brother’s friends whom were a part of the ‘For Great Justice’ team, put all our final preparations in place, and got all the registration stuff completed. We had missed our original start time so we started with the 9:15am wave. My parents, my kids, my pregnant sister-in-law, and the significant others of the other team members all registered as spectators and were able to follow along on some of the course to watch us complete the obstacles. 11249634_10205885245304831_8379264542788722271_n  11403019_845132357698_927840402909850716_n

The experience in itself was a truly amazing one that emphasized teamwork rather than individual strength. And this wasn’t just teamwork amongst your own team members but across every team line there was. Everyone taking part in the event wanted to help you and see you succeed, whether it was during the log carry or getting over a wall or swinging on a rope, or whatever really. There were no teams on the course, only friends. Friends you never knew you had but friends nonetheless. It is a truly humbling feeling to know that you can ask any one of those hundreds of people for help and they wouldn’t hesitate to give it. I am not sure that I have ever been part of such a thing. The running sucked but that didn’t even seem to matter because once we did the first obstacle, I knew I would do another Tough Mudder and that I would be perfectly fine getting through this one.

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I don’t feel the need to describe every obstacle that we faced because they were all hard whether physically or psychologically. There were some that I wished I would’ve done better that still haunt me when I think about them and others that I aced. I am very proud of the fact that I attempted every single obstacle placed in front of me even the tear gas, ice water bath, and electrocution. I can honestly say that I loved every last one of them too which probably makes me sound a tad bit crazy. Truth is, we all have a little crazy in us, I like to think of my crazy as the good kind though.

11055259_845136374648_4586430890167951174_n1795580_845136399598_943679435708043217_n11148695_10100147522286504_6346751082734873530_n 10425378_845133091228_5198042192723268177_n11227924_845137282828_5575490972007540846_n10400014_845136080238_5419661832285759053_n11402308_10102423518092115_6910338353735209532_o 10317676_10102423519125045_1893768200681872601_o    10258523_10102423518346605_5526591433170440343_o11141722_10102423518596105_5169267765426475860_o

It was amazing to have my kids and my parents there to witness us go through the grueling course. I feel like my kids look at me differently now, with a stronger sense of pride at who their mother is. They have heard me talk about races and bike rides but they never actually witnessed me do one. And, of all the things that I have completed, this was definitely the one that probably looked the toughest. It was pretty amazing to get to hug them as I crossed the finish line and be able to see the pride in their faces. It was also fun having to sit in the car with them while they went on and on about wanting to do one themselves and how they made me promise to do one with them when they turn 16. And, promise I did. I will be way older but I will gladly do it with them and we will love every minute of it.


I also feel as if my brother and I became closer in what we dubbed as the #SiblingToughMudder. Something indescribable happened as we suffered through the heat and struggled, pushed through, and overcame all the obstacles placed before us. It is not something that I can even find the words to describe but I know it is there and so does he. We finished something amazing together and no one can take that experience away from us.

22813_845134159088_7310626159312185026_n  11430095_845135815768_8390351094462006586_n10306488_10100147521932214_1746628636284687393_n 11430108_10205886916386607_1657985124624413186_n11427205_10205887293876044_2279050131382637052_n So… while I would still define myself first and foremost as a cyclist, I think I can safely add Tough Mudder to that definition as well. Besides, I am already the proud owner of a ticket for the Central Florida Tough Mudder on November 7, 2015. I’m gonna be a Legionnaire after all!! I truly am a masochist and a glutton for punishment. 11141163_10205887375918095_2171056622339766266_n 11415330_10205886750302455_5759940302544225200_n 994112_10205924985938322_3255529296967127442_n

12 thoughts on “I am one Tough Mudder

  1. Rebeca,

    Congratulations! You are amazing…let’s be serious, this is a tough event! What’s next? Cyclocross? It is crazy how pushing ourselves physically can be so freeing.

    I am a cyclist though I am researching how to add running back into my repertoire. I have plantar fasciitis which makes impact to the feet excruciating. After about two miles, I am hobbling, crippled for a few weeks. I want to get back to triathlons – I competed in my 20s and loved it. My wife is a tri/du competitor. In April, we did a duathlon relay and took 2nd place!

    Cycling keeps me better than just alive. My mind and heart are absolutely restored and reset during a 30+ mile sprint. Climbing is my favorite – to feel my heart rate increase as I rise with the road is medicine for the soul. More than five years in the saddle and I am fast approaching 50,000 pedaled miles (by the end of the year).

    Keep pedaling and keep mudding!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who knows what’s next!! Lol!! The sky’s the limit after all!! Not very familiar with cyclocross but sounds like I should look into it. 🙂 I honestly would love to do an ironman but I’ve got to getter better at distance running and get over my fear of drowning so I can make it that distance. Congrats to you and your wife, that’s amazing that you got 2nd place!! Have you tried inserts to help while you run? Luckily, I’ve never had to deal with that issue. I’ve heard it’s suuuuper painful.
      Cycling is definitely (and will always be) my first love. It is completely freeing to my mind, body, and soul. It’s truly amazing how something so exhausting can be so freeing. I need to calculate all my miles so I can see how close I am to you 😉 Keep riding and keep challenging yourself!! We’ll keep comparing notes!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done! I gave up running LONG ago, and even when I did it, it wasn’t that much fun! 3 or 4 years ago, my youngest (13 at the time) and I did a Zombie run. A 5K mud run with zombies chasing you trying to rip off flag football flags. It was a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

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