Two years ago, I took on the most epic physical challenge of my adult life - a 12-mile military style obstacle course called "Tough Mudder" in the mountainous terrain of Whistler, BC. What originally possessed me to take on something so seemingly outrageous was to prove to and for the Type 1 diabetes community that it was possible to successfully complete such a daunting challenge with a team of Type 1's, and that as a 41-year-old woman (and corporate workaholic non-athlete!), I could do something like this and live to tell about it. I trained through injury for 7 months and got it done with the help of a group of truly inspiring and extraordinary teammates, and it was one of the most unforgettable and rewarding experiences of my life. But it hurt. Oh, it hurt. And then some.
The Tough Mudder people have raised the stakes this year and changed up the challenges, just to keep things interesting:
So why do it again?
I had already proven I could do it in 2013. I got the orange headband and the bragging rights. My Mom asked me recently why on earth I would sign up for this again, and it caused me to pause and realize that this time around, I'm doing this for me. After a 2014 year of multiple product launches, no vacation time, a nonstop "running with hair on fire" schedule, a flood in my apartment, and my physical wellness pretty much going to crap - a meltdown ensued. I declared in January of 2015 that I was never going to let that happen again. Total burnout was apparently the impetus I needed to reinvent myself, and I already feel unrecognizable to the woman I was just a few months ago.
Signing up for Tough Mudder again has given me an aspirational goal to work toward, and what I know for sure is that I'm the kind of person who needs that. Simply exercising to "be healthy" or to fit into a smaller dress size just doesn't work to get me out of the apartment on those cold & rainy Vancouver mornings, but knowing I'm training for Tough Mudder makes me feel like a total badass. And I dig that. It brings out the best in me - my inner "Rocky Balboa". And as a Tough Mudder "Legionnaire," I bleed orange, after all…
What I learned from Sebastien Sasseville last year in watching him complete his 7500km run across Canada is that greatness lies in the everyday. It means doing the things that nobody sees - the mundane and unglamorous things - that you know will make you better. It means getting on with what's needed and not making excuses. It's about giving your all to something, without knowing if it will work out or not, but knowing that you are fulfilling your potential by daring greatly. And I'm up for that.
Cheers to lifelong learning and doing our best, one day at a time. #TeamDiabadass