Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tough Mudder

Congrats to the SeaCity CrossFit Tough Mudder team! We went out and conquered the course. It was a blast. There were great people, great team spirit, lots of camaraderie, and everywhere people pushing through and enduring mutual hardship. It was well organized, well thought out, there were creative obstacles, it was all around a tremendous and successful event. THOUSANDS of people converged on Paige, TX. Every 20 minutes a wave of 300 would hear the national anthem, followed by a cannon blast, and hurl themselves into the course, dressed in every imaginable wacky costume.

Our start time was 10:20am. Team SeaCity lined up next to the Sicfit team out of Austin. They were definitely a fit group of beastly CrossFit athletes. It was a pleasure to share the course with other CrossFitters, and I'm happy to say we finished at pretty much exactly the same time as they did.

It was an awesome ten mile course with obstacles spread pretty much all over it. The middle section, maybe about 4 miles or so, the obstacles were spread out much further so there was a lot more running. There were a couple of freezing cold lakes to swim through, and of course, mudpits, a creek bed, logs and branches etc...

I have to say that none of the obstacles presented a truly daunting challenge in and of themselves, it was just the overall length of the course, and the accumulation of fatigue that made it tough. Just about everybody on course was experiencing some kind of leg cramps during the last few miles. It might be interesting to have a slightly shorter race with a greater density of obstacles, some of which are significantly more difficult. Just a thought.

On more of a philosophical note, I got to thinking about what in the world makes 4000 + people gather in a field in late January, and put themselves through this kind of thing. Where does this impulse come from? In one respect the Tough Mudder embodies a superb spirit of camaraderie. It is not about individual performance, or every man for himself. Numerous times I reached out and hauled other people over walls or helped push them over slippery mud slopes, and numerous times others did the same for me. I think events like this help fill a basic human need that doesn't really get fulfilled on a day to day basis. We live in a world of competition, get ahead, screw the other guy, somewhat self-centric orientation. An event like this turns that model upside down, and suddenly we are all in it together, and you're reaching a hand out to the muddy guy or gal next to you, without regard to what team they're on. There's a tremendous amount of symbolism here. Everyone is covered in mud and struggling. There are obstacles that we must get over. Going around is not an option. Sounds a lot like life itself, no? So I think the pull for people to participate in these things comes from a deep spiritual level. I find it to be a very satisfying event, and I highly recommend it to anyone!

1 comment:

  1. The photos they posted on the site looked awesome. Teamwork and pushing yourself to go beyond what you think you can do is such an incredible experience. Fits really well with the Wounded Warrior Project too.

    Congrats Mudders!