I imagine your initial reaction is “what the hell? Fear of MOUNTAINS?” I’m not all crazy. My fear started when I earned my head band at Tough Mudder. I mean, when you round the corner after the 7th mile after going up and down this mountain about 10 times [read: legs burning] and you see this hill, you grow a fear of mountains.
Despite my fears going into the race like hypothermia, literally breaking a leg and death (yes, death), just signing up for the Tough Mudder changed my perception of challenges and helped me set goals that had always seemed bigger than I could achieve. That’s why I signed up in the first place. When my coworkers suggested we sign up, I just assumed it was something I could never accomplish. 10 miles up a mountain that’s covered in mud and obstacles? No. I have limits when it comes to this exercise business. But something in me kept saying “you HAVE to do this.”
To be clear, these “limits” were a joke up to that point. Before my race, I had never run an officially timed 5k let alone a 10 mile obstacle course. My biggest accomplishment was finishing a BURN class at my local gym without throwing up. I still remember telling my girlfriend I had signed up for a Tough Mudder. Her reaction went something like this: “Nooooooo!” She knows how accident prone I am so this was totally reasonable yet somehow I convinced even her to support my crazy.
And I did it with a lot of help from a lot of people. My wimpy ass was not getting through this without some kicks in the ass from my trainer, my co-workers and my girlfriend. I was bruised, electrocuted and a bit delirious but damnit… I crossed that finish line. It was the biggest thing I’ve ever done. Will I do it again? We’ll see. But it’s not about doing the race again. It’s about that moment when I finished the race. It was proof to me that putting energy towards my dreams and goals instead of my fears was worth it. I could do anything (and I still can, damnit).
My point and motivation to write this post that I probably should have written in May is that this Sunday, I’ll be running my first half marathon. 13.1 miles with nothing to distract me except my wife (who’s a champ to run with me) and the spectators. I can only hope the race supporters will be as hilarious as these marathon sign ideas because I’ll need the laugh. The thing is, I know I can do it. My girlfriend and I have put a lot of energy towards this dream and I can’t wait to accomplish this with her. I’ll check back in Monday and let you know if I fail miserably or what.
“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears.”
– Richard Wilkins