It is now only 2 weeks before Tough Mudder, and as I reflect on the journey of the last 6 months, I feel very, very proud. While it hasn't at all been what I thought or hoped it would be from a physical point of view (in my original plan, I was supposed to be a jock with a six-pack by now!) - it has been an experience of tremendous learning, patience, and an extreme test of fortitude beyond what I could have imagined. And I like the woman I've become in the process.
For me, taking something like this on was more than a little daunting, as I've been a more-or-less sedentary workaholic for most of my adult life. I needed some kind of Big-Hairy-Audacious-Goal-style inspiration to get myself to do what it takes to become an athlete again; I knew I needed to make it about a message that was bigger than me; and I had to "burn the boats" behind me. I can hardly believe I've come this far!
The injuries started back in February, and still persist. At 41, my body isn't what it used to be, and the same "bounce back" rules just don't apply. Between an incredible amount of hip pain, back pain, knee pain, and more time & $$ invested into managing all of that than I dare even calculate - this has been the single biggest thing I've stayed committed to for this long in my adult life. Staying in the game mentally and not giving up has probably been the hardest part of it all. But as the final countdown continues, what I know for sure is that I have done everything I possibly can to prepare for June 22nd, and I have peace in my heart about that.
Regardless of what happens from this point on, I am a different person than I was when I embarked on this outrageous challenge.
I am probably stronger and fitter now than I have been in a decade. I actually have core muscles and can hold a plank! I do pushups and can actually do burpees (although I hate them)! While I still cannot run due to the bursitis in my hip, my swimming feels really strong , and more than anything - I'm proud of the effort I'm putting in to take care of myself (which has typically been the first thing to get abandoned in times of work stress / chronic overload, etc.). I have learned to make choices and juggle priorities, and I have learned that it's OK to break down sometimes and ask for help. It has literally taken a "village" to get me to this point. I will take all of your encouragement and prayers with me to get through the toughest moments and to keep going until I cross that finish line. Thank you all for your enthusiastic support - it has meant the world to me.
I know that I am a woman of great courage, faith, and persistence - and while this will be an incredible test of my underdog spirit and ability to endure pain, Tough Mudder isn't the end of the journey. It is really only the beginning.