Saturday, July 26, 2014

Facing Fears and Getting Dirty

So, I'm still trying to catch my breath from the last couple of weeks... It's been a whirlwind of activity here. Two of the kids are involved in a theater camp, which is 5 days a week for 6 weeks, and I've been volunteering on weekends to help out with fundraising and set painting. We're nearing the deadline for submitting homeschool stuff (reports from last year, and education plans for next year) to the superintendent, so I've been working on that. We also had visiting family and overnight guests and other activities and adventures, and we're still running the daycare! Busybusybusy.

But I really wanted to tell you about one really cool thing that happened last week... The Dirty Girl Mud Run.  The Dirty Girl is a 3 mile "mud run" for women, which benefits the breast cancer charity, BrightPink. There are several reasons why I wanted to do this.

1. I really wanted to support this charity, and to run in memory of my cousin, Mary, who was taken from this earth too soon, after a fierce battle with breast cancer.

2. I just turned 43. I'm not getting any younger, and I've always wanted to try something like this. I've written here about my battles with trying to get fit, and I felt that this would be a good way to challenge myself a bit physically.

3. Also related to getting older... I (like most people) have a lot of mental hang ups which hold me back from doing things. I'm working on facing some of the fears I have, and trying to learn to push beyond my comfort zone. I felt this run would be a cool way to stretch and grow.

Now that it's over I can say that I'm very glad that I did it! It turned out to be WAY easier than I expected, physically. It's not a timed race, and the whole environment was very supportive. My goal was simply to get through all the obstacles without taking any of the detours. I had some great teammates with me... my two cousins (Mary's daughters) and a friend.

While I did not find the course to be too physically challenging, there were two obstacles that freaked me out a bit... one was going down a HUGE slide, into a pool of muddy water. I have OCD and a fear of germs, so I was a little weirded out that the mud would get up in my nose and mouth. I wasn't fearful of crawling through the mud, but splashing into it at high speed made me a little nervous. I was afraid of the lack of control, because going down a big, wet, slippery slide you are truly at the mercy of physics, and you just have to go with it. I don't do well when I feel out of control. I did it, though... and it was actually fun! The other scary obstacle was this mesh/net thing that was about 12 feet high that we had to climb up, over and down. I am terrified of heights, and although it really wasn't ~that~ high, by most standards, for me, it was! I don't even like ladders! I was VERY tempted to take the detour, but my team was cheering me on, and with my heart beating loudly in my ears, I somehow managed to get up and over without passing out. It felt great to get back to the bottom, but it felt even better to know that I faced a fear successfully.

I feel really great about this experience, and I want to continue to challenge myself personally and physically, while I still can! Next up, I will be participating in Mudderella in September. I have also made myself the promise to continue to do things that scare me just a little (Quitting my job has been a big one!) Life is short, and I want to live it with no regrets.

Our team, post-run. Muddy but happy!

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