[Before we begin, a note for my mother and any other worried parties: A friend of mine suggested I solve my ragey eye infection problem by wearing goggles during the Tough Mudder, so I dug through some stuff in my shed and found a pair of ten-year-old swim goggles. They more or less did the trick. 'Course, they were real squeezy on my head and always opaque with condensation and I looked real cute, you guys. But between them and the drops, which have been actually landing on my eyeballs, thanks to Shiv's steady hand, it looks like we might be able to save the eye. Onward!]
There were so many Worst Parts of the Tough Mudder Carolinas, I don’t really know where to begin.
We’ll get to them in a minute, but I should start with this: it was SO RIDICULOUSLY FUN. After the Shit Show known as Tough Mudder Mid-Atlantic, TM management was clearly back on their game for this one, and Team ‘Lisa
had SUCH a good time, y’all. People kept asking, “Are you all really named Lisa?” and we would explain that we were all Herculisas! Ha!
The fifth member of our team, Z, is not pictured, as he was behind the camera. Also, this counts as the Embarrassing Photo of the Week, considering that my “booming system”, as Dan NJ calls it, makes everyone else’s systems look like subwoofers.
Anyway, there was laughter and camaraderie. There was psyching each other up, cheering each other on, and hoisting each other over walls. There were inspiring athletes: one dude carried a pumpkin the entire course (you know, for Halloween!); a guy with a prosthetic leg ran our heat.
Some Mudders dressed in costumes: a caveman, a couple bumblebees, a bunch of superheroes, folks in interview suits, some jailbirds, and two guys who wore nothing but sneakers and pink lamé thongs. With their race numbers written in Sharpie on their ass cheeks.
It was hilarious and awesome and inspiring.
But the Mudder is supposed to be hard. When it’s hard, it’s good, and the good is bad, and the bad is good, because you’re doing it; you’re really doing this ridiculous thing. And so I present to you:
The Worst Parts of the Tough Mudder Carolinas, Ranked from Least Worst to Most Worstest of All the Things Ever
Least Worst: I’m actually kind of impressed that I didn’t have a panic attack in any of the tubes and tunnels we had to crawl through. My knees and elbows got scrapey and bruised, but apparently my theoretical claustrophobia is not as bad as my practical claustrophobia.
Worse: The upper body obstacles. Not the walls or the haystacks—those were fun because people let me climb on them and/or they shoved me over by my legs, feet, and ass—but the Hangin’ Tough and the Funky Monkey.
To be honest, I didn’t even really try on those because I knew I would be dropping into the water at some point, so I figured I’d just go ahead and put myself there. I KNOW, NOT THE MUDDER SPIRIT. Next time.
Also maybe for next time… Everest. (Z did it!)
Worser: Remember how I was worried about falling into the series of trenches full of water? Well, I didn’t fall in, but I did fuck up some other Mudders’ rhythm because, even though they say not to stop in between, I stopped. Sorry, people!
Kinda Bad: It wasn’t the carrying of logs that was bad. It was carrying the logs a long fucking way that was bad.
Definitely Bad: At one point, you had to fireman’s-carry a partner up a hill. I called dibs on Hammer, threw her over my shoulders, and started trudging. And even though she was the smallest person in our group, I still had to stop mid-way and take a break. She piggy-backed my ass from the switch-off point to the end. Beast!
Goddamn Terrible: The very first obstacle is called the Arctic Enema, a dumpster full of ice water with a board in the middle that you have to swim under. And when I say “ice water”, I don’t mean “really cold water”, I mean, water, but with a shit-ton of ice in it. As someone who grew up swimming summers in
I liked to consider myself a person who knew something about submersing oneself in cold water, but after experiencing the Arctic Enema, I imagine it’s more akin to winter-swimming in
And even if I’d had the upper-body strength to hoist myself out, which I didn’t, being in that water for eight seconds made all my systems go beeeeeeeeeew brrrwwww booooo, and I was functionally dysfunctional. Fortunately, Z scooped me out by my arms.
Coming soon: One Tough Mudder, Part 2