One of the last events I did to celebrate my 30th birthday was the Rugged Maniac 5K.
That’s 3.1 miles sprinkled with over 22 obstacles such as wading through mud filled shipping containers, crawling through mud pits with barbed wire, and climbing rickety walls made of some stuff your retired drill sergeant uncle found in a hardware store.
I won’t lie. I didn’t train at all and I was scared. It had nothing to do with the distance. I can run a 5K easily. I’ve even completed 7 half-marathons (21K). But this right here? This was a whole different animal. The idea of using my nonexistent upper body strength to hoist my fluffy, 5’2″ self over 5ft walls was daunting. Factor in my slight uncomfort with heights and what I’m about to say next will be no surprise. Your girl was shook! Just hours before the race began, I thought about punking out. I swiftly talked myself out of doing an event that I had previously been looking forward to for months. And then Mr. Glitter sent me an encouraging text which pretty much meant I had to follow through with it. Don’t you hate when that happens? 🙂
I invited my brother and his family of 4 to do the race with me, but wasn’t sure if they were still doing it. When they pulled up behind my car in the parking lot donning matching shirts I knew they were serious. Nobody thought to give me a shirt, though? One of the volunteers on the course cheered us on by saying, “Let’s go red team… and the woman with them in blue.” Womp. Womp.
The obstacles were pretty much a surprise to me, which kept me on my toes. I knew I was in for fun times when I saw that this was the entrance into the starting corral.
Up I went over the wall and tried not to look too scared for 15 minutes while I waited for my heat to be called on the course. A quick countdown later and we were off.
My goal was simple: Have fun, try something new, and finish the course. I didn’t care how long it took me. I didn’t care how goofy I looked.
I tried all but 1.5 of the obstacles. After climbing and being pushed over one really high wall, I had no desire to do the second one right after it (hence the .5). Instead, I opted for a head start on the water stop. Smart move because it turns out I was dehydrated. The final obstacle was running up a curved wall where other participants helped you over the edge.
I was all set to go until I saw a lady in front of me wipe out and hurt her knee. My knees had already taken a beating from crawling through 2 tunnels and mud pits with sharp rocks. Nope! I climbed the steps and watched as the rest of the nuts in my family attempted. I have never been so happy to speed down a huge water slide and land in a mud pit in my life.
I was sweaty, muddy and bruised, but I finished. It was a dirty 30, indeed!