Two weeks ago, I watched my husband and son get ten thousand volts of electricity shocked through their bodies – and live to tell about it. As they linked arms with the rest of the Tough Mudder Team, Carpe Diem (which means Seize the Day), and went through this last obstacle together, tears streamed down my face and my flesh was riddled with goose bumps. I had just watched them all go through twelve miles of extreme terrain, fifteen ridiculous obstacles, mud, rocks, hills, holes, and trenches, and felt so proud and satisfied with how hard they had worked to see it through to the end.
This is the kind of thing that needs training. (DUH) But I don’t just mean the kind of training I watched them do under the watch of the Team Captain, Jan-Michael Jenkins (Legacy Fitness) every Saturday morning at boot camp; nor do I just mean the kind of training that made my husband nearly have a heat stroke one Tuesday afternoon. I mean TEAM training. The people that made sure “no man was left behind”.
The weekend before the event, my husband decided we needed to get the entire team to break bread - together. He found it curious that there were so many people on his team he didn’t know and that probably didn’t know him, and decided to change that. Knowing the heart and soul that has to go into this event, he wanted to know that if he needed help crawling through the mud under barbed wire, or getting the courage to jump into a murky pond from fifty feet in the air, he would get it. And that is how Tough Mudder Elegante Reception Dinner Night became one for the Garcia Theme Night history books.
Now don’t get me wrong, the menu was pretty awesome and well-thought out. I mean, we had things like Mud Slides, Fire in the Mudhole, Swamp Mud Soup, and Mississippi Mud Pie, among other things. We had pictures taken in front of a gold curtain like they were Olympians. We played charades. It was AWESOME.
But the one thing that stood out was the camaraderie. We started with hors d’oeuvres and story time ...... with everyone telling the others why they were doing the Tough Mudder to begin with – and though everyone’s story was different, they realized they all had a purpose. It changed everything. It went from being an extreme sport they wanted to “do”, to realizing they weren't just in it for themselves.
I actually think the dinner was as memorable as the event itself. I felt such a pride watching Carpe Diem beat the Tough Mudder Challenge – and becoming a family in the meantime.
When life is like going through mud trenches with barbed wire everywhere, or you feel like you’re getting shocked with ten thousand volts of electricity, or like you’re jumping from fifty feet into the murky pond of life, look around you. There IS someone who will encourage you through or pull you out. You have to know where to look and make sure you build that relationship, create that legacy – and be ready to seize the day and help pull someone else out if you see they need it.
My hats off to you, Team Carpe Diem. I raise my glass to you with honor as I loudly say to each of you, “Here’s Mud in Your Eye!”