Last updated on May 7th, 2018 at 02:24 pm
In case you missed my recap, last weekend I ran in a 5 km Obstacle Mud run: The Grapes of Wrath 2017. My team and I had a great time, and a week later, my coworkers and I are still talking about it. I did however, learn some valuable lessons from the Grapes of Wrath. Today’s post is about the lessons I learned from running a mud obstacle race.
Lesson 1: Read & Follow The Race Instructions
I’m starting off with the biggest lesson I learned last weekend: Don’t just read the instructions, but follow them! And for my coworkers that are reading this (I know who you are), you already know where I’m going with this.
A week or so before the race, I received the “Handbook” that had some instructions for the event. They suggested long pants and gloves. As Team Captain, I emailed my team a few days before reminding them of a few key points for the race, including instructions to wear long pants and gloves. And on the day of the race, about half the team, including me – the team captain – showed up wearing shorts.
Big mistake! Why? One of the first obstacles (as pictured above) was a rope crossing. Our strategy was to wrap our legs around the rope and let our hands do the pulling. Well, those of us silly not to heed to instructions suffered severe rope burns similar to second degree burn on our legs. Antibiotics and several tetanus shots later, I’m happy to report that we are all on the mend! Yikes!
Lesson 2: Wear Coordinating T-shirts
Although we thought about getting coordinating T-Shirts with our team name “Municipal Mudders” printed on the front, we dismissed it because of the cost. Looking back though, all the big teams did so. It would have identified us as a team. It sure would have been easier to keep track of your team members. It would have been also easier to spot the Municipal Mudders on the hundreds of photos posted on the event Facebook page after the event. Oh well, we will definitely do it next year. And yes, there will be a next year!
Lesson 3: If you are racing to the finish line, you are missing the point
To me, this whole Grapes of Wrath experience was working as a team. Doing this alone wouldn’t have been half as fun and it would have been very difficult. Sharing this event with a bunch of coworkers, many of whom I don’t work with on a daily basis, was actually a lot of fun! You see a different side of people when you are put to the test in a situation outside of work. It was nice to see everyone helping each other out. Also, the shenanigans made for great stories. I loved the sense of accomplishment that my coworkers experienced at the end of the run. It’s one of the reasons I love competing in races. That euphoria of setting a goal, and reaching it!
This event is also about fundraising for the Canadian Cancer Society. I’m proud of our team’s fundraising efforts. We raised over $8000 as team, making us the Top Fundraising Team – Corporate Division. And yes, we do get a trophy for that! This money will go to a local charity, The Wheels of Hope, which drives cancer patients to and from their appointments. A great event, for a great cause!
Lesson 4: Push beyond your fear otherwise you’ll limit yourself
And finally I close with this last lesson, Push beyond your fears, otherwise you’ll just limit yourself. Sound familiar? It is for me! I let fear be the limit too often!
Amongst many other things, I am afraid of heights. The first few obstacles were a bit scary. But after a few, I decided to push fear aside. I ascended a tall rope ladder, crossed over A-frames 3 times my height and climbed, then repelled down a 20 foot wall. It just seems that once I pushed that voice aside, I wasn’t scared any more.
I also got way way out of my comfort zone by crawling and wading through stinky cohesive mud. I feared drowning in waist-deep gunk! I didn’t think about the obstacle. I just put my mind to it and went, helping a few strangers out in the process.
Have you done a Mud Run before? What lessons have your learned about yourself?