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Take Time to Play in the Mud

With Your Friends or Even by Yourself

Jennifer Howie, KSL Resorts

A s m a n y o f y o u k n o w , I d e c i d e d t o t o r t u r e m y s e l f a n d r a c e i n a w a r r i o r d a s h w i t h a f e w o f m y f r i e n d s . F o r t h o s e t h a t d o n t k n o w , a w a r r i o r d a s h i s a 3 . 5 m i l e run with 13 obstacles, including mud up to your knees (or for some of us — our waists), fire jumping, and a little crawl under barbed wire, just to name a few. Why would anyone do this? Insanity? Peer pressure? Nope... I signed up to motivate myself to get into better shape.

Some of the obstacles were a piece of cake. Some took more effort. And some others were actually impossible! All of them were smelly (remember, there’s a lot of mud). Just when I thought I was done, I walked to the top of the hill only to see about six more obstacles ahead of me, not to mention the roll- ing hills in between each one. At that point, I had to sit down and get my muddy shoe back on my foot or I wouldn’t be able to finish. (It took at least five minutes, you’d be surprised how hard it is to get about 2 pounds of mud back onto your feet!)

As I got back up and started walking — sometimes you just don’t have it in you to run — I thought what am I flippin’ doing... I may actually die of a heart attack finishing this thing. The shade was gone and the heat set in and almost all of the obstacles left were now visible. Then I saw my friends, way, way ahead of me. They were easy to spot as we were all in pigtails and Super Girl t-shirts, complete with cape. They were perched at the top of one of the hills and started cheering me on. Well some were cheers of encouragement and some were “you better not skip those tire jumps!”

As I sit back and reflect on the fact that I intentionally spent a Saturday playing in the mud, I am reminded of a few things:

  • Surround yourselves with people who show you tough love, BUT will also encourage you and love you. These are the folks that will stick by you the whole way;

  • There are a lot of obstacles in life; try and make them fun, and if you can’t conquer them, go around them until you’re strong enough to try again;

  • There will always be ups and downs... some you’ll be able to run right over and others you have to take slower, but if you try, you will always get over them;

  • As much as you prepare, you may still miss something — just remember it for next time (in this case, an extra towel to get the mud off because those fire hoses you’re sprayed down with don’t really do the trick);

  • Don’t beat yourself up too much, just don’t keep making the same mistakes, or you won’t be able to move forward;

  • Have more faith in yourself, you can accomplish more than you think you can;

  • And finally, a little fire under someone’s ass, can get them moving — quickly!

I haven’t dropped all the weight I wanted to before the run, but I am stronger and on a healthier path. It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding and I’ve got a good support system. Since I’m signing up for another “Dash” in October, now more than ever, I’m motivated to ditch the Peanut M&Ms and replace them with bananas. <

AMPs Newsletter • 6

  • June 2011

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