Tough Mudder Part Three: What Did I Just Do?!

So we left off with the "Electric Eel."

Having known beforehand that there were more than one obstacles that involved electrical wires (yes, yes, we did pay to do this), meant it wasn't tough for us to guess what might be coming.

We were low crawling (again!) through mud and water and electric. wires.

Who thinks this is safe?

Thankfully, none of us feel much except the team member who has metal staples in her body (no "shock" there.....<----see what I did there?) so I chalk it up to an obstacle that simply added psychological stress to us more than anything.

You know what else will do that? When they close an obstacle because they are looking for a body.  Which is what we were told at one of the other water obstacles. And it wasn't a joke, there were paramedics and guys in scuba gear heading into the water. Thank goodness I believe it must've been a misunderstanding because I've looked through the news and haven't seen anything, and I'm sure that would become a story. But I say all that to say - that will add to the fear you might already have felt starting this race.

Also adding to the psychology of it all were the Tough Mudder signage taunting you every so often. Signs like "if you are tired now, you are in trouble" or something like that. In fact, I can't remember exactly what it said because I was already tired by that point. Here's another example:

http://teamrickshawfrs.blogspot.com/2012/02/mid-atlantic-tm-2011-englishtown-nj.html
They ended up having to close other obstacles with water later because a giant thunderstorm rolled in (as if the course wasn't difficult enough). And apparently electricuting us is only ok if the Tough Mudder people do it, but it becomes "unsafe" if by natural causes. People actually started protesting to the race staff -"but we signed a death waiver!" These are the types of people who do this race.....

But there were plenty of other things to keep us busy even without those obstacles. And everything kept getting bigger. First it was a couple hay bales we had to climb over. Then it was THIS:


Then we have to scale one set of what we thought were 12 foot walls, only to find another set in an hour or so that were even higher.


And then, the highest of all:

Walk the Plank

 It may not look so scary from that angle, but this is what it looked like from the top:
and this is what it felt like from the top:

I was trying to find a stat on the height of this thing but all the tough mudder site said was "15+ feet."

15+.

15 plus 10 more feet? 15 plus death?

All I know is it was high. So high some people were having second thoughts. And the weird thing is, I'm afraid of heights but for whatever reason, I didn't hesitate to head up to the plank. I did make the lifeguard promise me she wouldn't let anyone land on top of me once I jumped, however. But as soon as I felt sure there wasn't any poor soul in the water directly below where I stood, I stepped off.

And immediately realized what a long pause it was.

Just, there. In air. Falling. ...still...falling......

"What did I just do?"

That's the thought I distinctly remember having. Right before I finally let out a strangled scream halfway down.

Which, in retrospect, that's the thought we all should've had right after agreeing to do this race in the first place, had we any sense. But, eh. You live and learn. Or...hope you live, anyway....

But back to the jump. I finally hit the water - and I was fine! And no one landed on me! And I swam safely to the edge and felt exhilerated.

We went through some more obstacles and came upon one that ended up being my one of my favorites. For the most part. Until it went on forever and got old (which most of the obstacles did. I'm still crawling?? I'm still jumping over ditches? I'm still falling off that dang plank?....)

But let me try to explain this one. I think they called it the mud mile and it was a series of giant mounds of mud, with more mud in between (you see a trend here, yes?) but unlike the ditch jumping obstacle, you couldn't leap from mound to mound, you had to run straight up them then slide down the other side into mud:

And you typically couldn't even run up them because they got so slippery, so you basically were at the mercy of strangers to pull you up enough to hurl yourself down the other side. (But relying on strangers was really one of the best parts about this race. Everyone helps each other. I absolutely planted both hands on both butt cheeks of a perfect stranger on this obstacle and hoisted them up one of those mounds. Cuz that's what "Mudders" do, by golly.)

I usually went in feet first if possible like so:



But my teammate started cresting the tops like a seal and sliding down face first at one point like so:


And some folks ended up like here and here:



I couldn't stop laughing through the whole thing. But we finally get to the obstacle I think I feared the most.

Everest.

(stay tuned, we're almost to the end. It was a really long day.)