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Four Lessons from My Tough Mudder Experience

A little over a year ago I completed my first and only Tough Mudder event. On May 2, 2015, I joined 14 other members of the Dirty Dozen team led by Paul Wilson, TM vet and Pastor. Paul's and my friend, Doug Miller, chided me to join the team and to get dirty. 

I like a challenge, and I had never attempted one of the muddy obstacle events like Tough Mudder or Spartan Race or Battlefrog. So, I signed up and began to train with the Plano contingent. You can watch videos of the events (ours was a 10.2-mile-18-military-style-obstacles course), so I won't bore you with my wordy descriptions. I want to tell you four lessons I learned from the event that stick with me a year later. (They also continue to apply to every obstacle-filled effort I seek to do.)

1. Teamwork is the only way to accomplish anything outside your own capabilities. I can run and cycle a long way for my age, but I am a weakling in my upper body. Without the help of multiple team members I would have stood helplessly below several obstacles.  When I came to the others outside my capacity I just dropped in the muddy water.

2. Humility comes from reaching your limits. Most of us want to be humble but we don't want to go through the things that make us humble. I have never met anyone who was naturally humble. It's a characteristic chiseled into us by experience and God's Spirit. Until you attempt something you cannot do you will never know how far you can go.  

3. Accountability gets you where you want to go. The Plano contingent began training twice a week in January for the May event. Knowing someone was waiting for me to complete the TM training regimen that day got me dressed and on my way to join them. I don't have a team now, and I train at my leisure. That's not good. 

4. Pain is bearable when it is a byproduct of reaching your goal. The last obstacle is a shocking 10,000-volts surging through wires as you run, crawl, or dive through a mud pit. You are tired, wet, and you are caked in mud, but you lock arms, duck your head and run anyway. The electricity straightens you up  when it hits you, but when you stumble out the other side, it's all okay. 

I most likely-99% sure-I won't do another one of these mud-obstacle events, but I will continue to apply what I learned through that event all the time.

Find a team of friends for whatever your challenge may be and enjoy the adventure!