No Hungy: Band of Mudders
One week later, I’m still finding mud in places.
When Ryan Thomason asked me back in July if I was interested in doing a 12-mile obstacle course involving barbed wire, electrocution, scaling tall walls, and covered in mud the whole time, my first answer was “no”. No, that’s not right…it was “no fucking way”. I started my journey to No Hungy just a few months prior to his request, so I felt in no way prepared for something that intense. He then tried convincing me by saying that we have a few months to train and that we would participate as media. Still, my answer was no.
Then I really thought about it. Here was Ryan, who was nearly deaf and with very limited sight, willing to put his body on the line despite his degenerative disease. My only excuse was the gut in front of me (and a hate of being zapped). My excuses were bullshit. I was in it for the long haul.
Fuck Couch-to-5K…I was doing Couch-to-Mudder.
Well, that’s not entirely true. My main exercise focus was on the running part of the event, a plan that I would later learn would kick my ass come Mudder time. Every other day, I would work through the Couch-to-5K schedule, watching as I went from 2 minute wheezing to 20 minute breezing in just 2 months time. Granted, all of my running was done on a treadmill graciously provided by my day job’s fitness center, I still felt stronger than I’ve ever felt.
Unfortunately, I forgot to work harder on upper-body strength.
Before too long it was October 14, the moment of truth. Armed with a stomach full of banana nut muffins (and butterflies) my wife and I debarked on the early morning drive to the course.
I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for the pushing encouragement throughout the course of Ryan and Xopher, I might not have made it though the entire course with my wits intact. When I thought I didn’t have the strength, they helped me up that wall (both physically and mentally), pushing my body to its limits. While I did ultimately have to skip a small percentage of the obstacles, only once did I feel that it wasn’t after trying my all to complete it (stil, no regrets on skipping Electric Eel altogether).
Ryan, Xopher, and I may have grown up in completely different parts of the country, we all ultimately found ourselves in Utah. WatchPlayRead might have combined our lives, but Tough Mudder truly brought us together.
Will I do it again next year? Well…