Pushing yourself mentally and physically. Working as a team. Shouting encouragement and being encouraged by strangers. Literally slogging thru the mud and streams, over tree roots and fallen branches. This is how I spent the day on Saturday with a dozen of my co-workers.
Wikipedia defines mud runs or obstacle runs, “mud and trail runs are combined with obstacles and the races are designed to result in mental and physical collapse”. So why would someone sign up to do one of these crazy things?
Our employees at DAVIS wanted to do a fundraiser to support a local animal hospital. We’re dog people! With 80 employees, we have almost 50 dogs at home and sometimes in the office with us. So the cause was an easy one to choose. But how to raise the funds?
Let’s do a mud run. A Spartan race. Yes, it was a millennial that suggested it, but we soon attracted participants who were parents of millennials. Our team grew in numbers. The trash talking started. And somehow after mentioning it to my own millennials, my 2 oldest daughters and I decided to sign up. Back in March, when it’s still cold out and hard to imagine we’re really doing this.
Now it’s suddenly May and it’s time to fundraise…and think about training. I didn’t do very well at either one. But come June I finally got my act in gear, raised some money and realized that as a non-runner, I should try to do some running. I ran a few times and hated it but didn’t die, so I figured I was as prepared as I was going to get.
And then comes Saturday. We have our DAVIS Warriors lime green shirts! We’re excited and a bit nervous. Can we do it? Look at all these people-they’re not all toned and buff. Some look more out of shape than I am. We get to the course and we hear the course is over 5 miles, we were hoping for a shorter distance. It’s 23 obstacles, we had hoped it would be 20. But people are smiling. And they said how much fun they had. We all remained hopeful and a bit nervous about the unknown!
And now it’s our turn to start, with 200 other people…and we first have to climb over a 5 foot wall-I’m only 5’3, so this starts off as a challenge. But I get over it-to the cheers of my daughters. One of my co-workers needs a boost to get over the wall, she gets help to get over and we cheer as she clears it!!! And we start running up the trail, thru the woods, over rocks and boulders, tree roots and brush.
I didn’t see my daughters again until I finished the race about 2 hours later. But during that time, I ran with a co-worker. We cheered each other on, we encouraged each other as we carried huge buckets filled with rocks-the worst obstacle for sure. We were cheered on my strangers to “Keep going”, ”you’re doing great” and just laughing along the way. And thinking about the free beer at the end.
People helped us over walls when we needed a hand and a push. We carried each other on our backs across the rings and hanging obstacles. We worked as a team and with determination, perseverance and tenacity we all jumped across the fire pit at the end and ran thru the finish line to cheers of those who had already finished. We collected our impressive medals and wore them proudly!
We heard how each group of people did thru the course, which obstacles they conquered and when they did burpees instead. But we all did it and the feeling of accomplishment from the millennials to the baby boomers was great.
We’re showing our bruises today proudly, our scrapes and cuts are badges of honor. And our co-workers are enjoying our stories and proud of what we did-for ourselves and the animal hospital. I have a new connection with these fellow Warriors and all that we accomplished, together, as a team. We are Spartans!!!