It’s probably around 1:45 pm. I am sitting in the middle of a giant puddle of mud. The holes are deep, and I have fallen. The mud has almost suctioned off my shoes at least nine times. My teammates haven’t seen me fall yet because they are slightly further ahead. My right calf muscle cramps up and I can’t get it to move. Then my left calf follows suit. I’m now lying on my back treading filthy mud water. For a moment I think “What if this is how I die? “
Of course that is melodramatic, and I begin to mentally convince myself that I can make it to the end of this swamp. I start paddling backwards using only my arms. I just have to make it a few more yards, and then it will be over. Of course not really. There is still another two miles to go, and an electric shock coming up, but I can’t think about that right now. All I can think about is the end of this swamp.
Finally some other runners come up and see me. This one guy is a pro. He knows I’m cramped up. He takes my legs and straightens them out, and the pain is gone. I thank him, stand up, and keep trucking.
This is only one of the moments where I thought I might not make it to the end of the Tough Mudder. The 11 mile obstacle course is truly a beast. It is pretty much the antithesis of my whole whole life which has been largely sedentary. It requires stamina, mental grit, and above all else teamwork.
I’ll be honest when I paid the expensive price tag for the run back in January I wasn’t sure if I was really going to follow through on this. I had started my weight loss journey and was feeling pretty pumped, but part of me said “This thing requires jumping, climbing, and stamina. You won’t make it.”
Then about a week before the race I still wasn’t sure if I was going to follow through. I was scheduled to work that day, and I could have just easily bailed and went to work. But I got the shift covered, and suddenly it was the night before. I didn’t know what would happen that morning, and I had a hard time falling asleep.
I got there somehow. I met with my team, and as we arrived at the starting point I had to tell myself that I was really doing this. The time to back out was officially gone. I have quit too many things in my life. Today I am going to be a finisher.
The event started and what proceed was four and a half hours of jogging, climbing, crawling, swimming, and….well…falling. I’m not gonna sit here and say I did every obstacle perfectly. I would surely have failed to overcome them if not for the help and inspiration from my team; my LEAD family.
I was also driven by the thought that if I finished this event I would prove that God can take any person and make them do anything. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, or how strong and smart you are. If God wants you to accomplish something, he will make it happen.
You may be asking why God would want me to finish this obstacle course? I believe he had me experience this to teach me a lesson.
There was many physically challenging obstacle to overcome, but the number one muscle that I had to stretch was my brain. I had to will myself to take every single step. I was determined to finish this, and I’ve got to say God was pushing me the whole way.
I felt like I ran this obstacle course to prove something to myself. To prove that I have the ability to cast away quitter Kyle. Yesterday I proved to myself that I am not the loser fat kid the children in middle school called me. I won. I beat the obstacles, and I beat myself.
I’m so thankful to all the people who helped me finish yesterday. I’m thankful that God used this experience to teach me a valuable lesson about myself, that I plan to use in all my days coming forward: always push yourself to achieve the most, because everything I do should be for the glory of God.