It's been awhile since I've taken the time to sit down and write a post. I've had quite a bit happen this summer for me, so I wanted to keep you up to date on where I've been/what I've been doing. This more of a personal post compared to my regular photography posts. It might get a little lengthy, so I'll be posting some images throughout.
Tough Mudder New England:
So I'll admit, most of my time has been taken up by training for my first-ever Tough Mudder. Now, any friends or people I may have known prior to this year, typically laughed when I told them what I was up to. And for good reason- sports, gyms, hell any sort of physical activity, were usually things I steered clear of. I was always pretty slender, but hadn't been able to run a mile in over three years. Ten pushups were my very max and I quit as soon as things started to hurt in the slightest. Hearing I was attempting to train for a 10-12 mile, mud-filled obstacle course seemed pretty unreal to most. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
-"Sorry I never responded back with training tips, I totally thought you were joking about signing up for Tough Mudder."
-"So wait.. you're actually doing that thing?"
And a favorite conversation of mine:
Friend: "Let's head out in 15 minutes."
Myself: "Can't, I still need to work out today."
I then immediately received a call that started off with: "I know you're training and all for Tough Mudder, but I still had to laugh."
Yeah, you get the idea.
Well, for the past few months, I've been training almost non-stop for something I knew would be one of the hardest things I've ever done. I threw everything into preparing for this event. Along with exercise, I was able to completely cut out fast food as well as most soda/fruit juices. My skin became clearer and my hair seemed shinier. I found myself standing taller and smiling wider. Not only was it a physical transformation, but a mental one. So this past weekend, I did my first Tough Mudder.
A few friends and I traveled up to Mount Snow to compete. Here you'll see us all nervous, unaware of what the next 10+ miles would hold and just how muddy we would get.
I'll have to say, climbing up the steep slopes I enjoy skiing down during the winter was pretty interesting. We did slide down a few hills, but not necessarily in the way we were expecting. We threw ourselves headfirst into all the obstacles, whether it be jumping into a dumpster teeming with ice or scaling walls twice the size of us. Everyone was willing to help one another, whether it be a pat on the back when a hill never seemed to end, or a voice amidst the madness telling you not to let go just yet. "One more rung! one more step!" they cried out. I suprisingly found myself smiling after each obstacle.
Despite how terrible some of the miles seemed, there were plenty of moments that reminded you how everyone else was going through the same grueling experience. I saw young, old, ripped, and not-so-in-shape people throughout and couldn't help but make a mental note at some of the things they had to say just so I could share them:
-"Why are we running?"
-"Dad just passed us on the hill, we better catch up."
-"Where are the gummy bears? You promised they had some!"
-"This is the last hill, right?"
-At the 3 mile mark: "Come on, we're halfway done!"
-"I didn't really want to get this muddy."
Needless to say, we got pretty covered in mud. But this went more than just skin-deep; while throwing ourselves over the physical barriers, everyone conquered various mental obstacles. When the going got tough, there was always a hand there to pull you up. Especially when you ran full-force and jumped just a little short of a ledge, or couldn't seem to make any of your muscles move when they were submerged in a vat of ice. Teammate, earlier finisher, or just another Mudder running alongside who saw you struggling, no one was in it just for themselves.
It was a life-changing experience and already has me signing up for a later one this year along with making the New England Tough Mudder a tradition I hope to keep for quite some time. If someone was to tell me a year ago I'd have my own orange headband, I'd think they were crazy. Now, I can't wait to start earning more.
P.S. If you're looking for an excellent motivator to get your butt in shape, sign up for one of these. I was able to eliminate any excuse of skipping exercise by reminding myself about the madness I willingly brought on.
Until next time!