Tough love. Tough Luck. Tough sh!t. When situations are a little rough, difficult and quite frankly a pain in the ass; one of the above is normally said. As many of you know I recently completed a 12k Mud Obstacle challenge and not even half way through I burst into tears. I realised at that moment that all the mental challenges I had been dealing with for so long were suddenly now physical. I was up to my neck in crap and didn’t know how to get out.
When I booked to do the challenge I clearly didn’t think it through, like most things in my life. A friend at work was interested and I thought, why the heck not! A bit of mud, a water slide, it looks like fun! It wasn’t until AFTER I had booked and paid did I actually decide to look into it a bit further only to realise it was for fitness fanatics, was 12k in distance and included over 80 obstacles. Opps. But like the person I am, I brushed it off and plodded along pushing it to the back of my mind, it was months away anyway so it didn’t matter.
A few months pass – felt like only days and the countdown begun. I started getting nervous realising the HUGE challenge that was ahead of me! My anxiety got a bit much but after watching a few you tube videos about the event I decided it really couldn’t be that bad and started the whole “if she can do it then so can I”. I mean really, a bit of mud and a few climbing frames, what’s the worst that could happen right? You know where this is going.
I got there on the day and this was it. There was no turning back. I was dressed and ready to go! Hundreds of people were there all pumped up and it wasn’t until I looked about did I realise that most of the people were men, strong men, with big muscles and there was me, the short and chubby and barely getting through the two star jump warm up.
Like life, the first bit was fun, really easy and you could sail through! I had the energy, there was a big crowd but as it got on and we passed the first 2/3k they dispersed and were shooting ahead of me, they were growing up. I began to lag behind and ended up with just me and a few others scattered around. In many situations when there is a lot of you the struggle is almost diluted, you have helping hands, people pushing you, pulling you along and you have assistance from others but when they are all bypassing you, what do you do when you need to climb out of a 5ft mud ditch but there is no rope and none to pull you up? The same ditch that 100 people ago seemed so easy suddenly becomes one of the toughest situations you have to get out of.
I fell, more than I should of, I hurt my ankle, I scraped my arms and legs. I watched my friend fall form a 15ft drop and hurt her leg and there was simply nothing I could do. I saw a woman be carried off in a stretcher and a man shivering with blue lips. I stood at one point and just cried but there was no-where to go but forward. There was no-where out of this obstacle other than straight through it!
What surprised me most was how emotional I got and it wasn’t until I realised it was simply because this 12k of crazy ahead of me was a reflection of my life. It was tough. There were ups and downs (literally) there were times you had to suffer in absolute sh!t, there were obstacles I simply swanned straight past and said “not today satan not today” and didn’t even consider, there were things I attempted knowing I would fail but thought what the heck anyway; there were moments where I was just too tired to even contemplate taking another step but I did. All these things were mirroring my everyday life and it was overwhelming for me.
There were two choices on the day to complete either a 6k race or a 12k. We had paid for 12 but when the road split into two I was so tempted to just take the shortest route and forget what I had paid, it was irrelevant but what would be the point? For me to look back and wonder what would have been on that road? What journey would I have had? Was it possible? So I went with 12, regretted it instantly but did it anyway and despite the struggles and the madness nothing can take away from the sense of pride I had when I run straight through that finish line at the end.
The course allowed spectators but for only certain lengths, due to their own safety they were not allowed on the majority of the course. I saw my lovely other half at the beginning when it was all smiles but the further and further I got the more alone. I finally got to the 7k mark and stood on a ledge where I had to go down a fireman’s pole about 3ft away from the ledge and about 10/15ft down. There were a few spectators around shouting at their loved ones and I just stood there and cried until I heard someone screaming my name. At that point I realised I could do it because even when you can’t see the support in front of your face, it’s there. There are always people willing you to do well, hoping you succeed and wishing you the best.
I may have suffered, hurt myself; bruised 60% of my ass and cried so hard I gave myself a migraine but you know what, that’s life. I came out the other end, I sprinted through the finish line despite running on empty. It was proof to me that no matter how many obstacles we face, choose to ignore, walk away from or face head on, we will all come out the other side, accomplished.
There truly isn’t anything you cannot do. I am a size 12/14 chubby smurf who doesn’t like insects, dirt or exercise. But I completed a 12k obstacle course in Mud. If I can do this, you can do whatever it is that you wish to do. Its cliché to say but there is never a statement said so true.
The only person telling you you can’t? Is you.
Thanks for stopping by x
The Fat Funny One x
P.S Through struggle comes the glory of the butterfly. (I Rise Inspires).