A few weeks ago I took on the Mudderella course at Whistler with a group of 7 other girlfriends. It was equal parts awesome, overwhelming, inspiring, painful & fun.
This was my first obstacle course and when I committed to participating way back in May I was sure that I would have time to train and be fit and ready on race day. What I didn’t realize was that I had 3 work projects due right around the same time and I would literally have NO time to train or be ready.
And that’s not how I would recommend taking this on.
A few observations/comments/thoughts:
- I was no where near muddy enough at the finish line. When the event name has mud in it you come in with certain expectations…I wanted to be muddy. What i was instead was wet and cold up to my waist and dry from my waist up. A very odd combination.
- If you are going to do one of these races do it with a group of awesome people (like I did), a group that has your back always and will never let you quit.
- Training is probably a good idea. Especially if you are doing a run at a ski hill like I did. That hill damn near killed me.
- What hill you ask? Well just the one that we had to climb on like a 90 degree incline for 3kms straight up. This one:
and trust me when I say this picture does not adequately show the stupidity of said hill.
I wanted to give up on that hill. It seemed to be neverending. I kept thinking “I don’t need to do this. I can just stop and sit down and give up.”
But my girlfriends were having none of it. A group of them literally pushed and pulled me to the top. They pushed me forward “one flag at a time” and without them I never would have made it there.
Never would have found myself standing at the top of that mountain – 3600 feet up – looking down at where I had come from and marvelling at what my body had just accomplished.
That was such an amazing moment for me. Not just because I had made it but because I had seen and felt the power of friendship to such a huge degree it was physically staggering. Women are truly incredible beings.
The entire day was full of accomplishments and laughter and support:
The obstacles along the course were fun for the most part but a little repetitive. I felt like we went through 4-5 of the same one – big piles of mud separated by freezing cold waist deep pool of water – that were just called different names.
I was proud of our group for taking on each obstacle and completing them. We scaled 10ft high walls, crawled on our knees under cargo nets and wire and climbed up ropes.
Just before the finish line I had to face the obstacle I was dreading most – the one where I had to jump off a 10ft high platform onto an inflatable mat. I have a pretty severe fear of heights and this was the one obstacle I wasn’t sure I could actually do.
When we go there It seemed a hell of a lot higher than when I had watched others do it earlier in the day. We mounted the platform as a group and I watched a few of my friends make the jump. I knew the longer I stayed up there the more likely I was to NOT to do it.
And so I made my way to the edge – shaking like a leaf – looked down at the landing spot and leaped. I landed right on my backside (somewhat gracefully I hope), rolled off the mat and looked up at the platform again.
It still looked high but not quite as intimidating as it had before. The rest of my group jumped and with that we ran as a group to the finish line. Where we crossed the line together, collected our finisher t-shirts and headbands and went off in search of beer and food. Not necessarily in that order.
Just over 4 hours it took us to complete that course. Most of us were exhausted and sore but we were all feeling pretty damned good about ourselves too.
Would I do it all over again? Maybe not this one again. I don’t think I need to tackle that hill twice in a lifetime. But I’d love to do a different one, maybe one on a flat surface next time.
Oh…and I’d definitely make sure I did some training next time.