Shortly before Phase 2 of P90X began, I received an email from one of my co-workers asking if we were interested in forming a team to run the Tough Mudder in October. Weeks earlier Justin and one of his buddies were watching Mudder videos on YouTube when I caught a glimpse and immediately said those people are crazy. But, now that I had almost completed Phase 1 of P90X, I had a new found confidence and was actually considering signing up. I wasn’t convinced I was ready for that yet though, not to mention it was $135 to sign up. That’s a bit much for Justin and I to just throw out there on a whim.

Several people from work signed up, along with some of their friends and family. IF I signed up, I would be the only girl, and all I could think was that they would probably hate having a girl on their team because I would slow them down. At the very least I thought it would be fun to join in their team workouts, so I did.

We work at the best company. They were supportive of this little adventure of ours from day one. We were allowed to leave at 430 to go workout in our parking lot as a team on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. None of us had ever run the Mudder before and were all a bit unsure how to train for one either. We pulled all the information from the website we could find; combined that with the knowledge of those who did CrossFit and took turns creating our own 30 minute WODs. In addition to that, Justin found a few HUGE tires for flipping, logs for carrying and sandbags to run with. We were set!

P90X every morning at 4 am, and WODs 3 days a week wasn’t enough for me at this point. The fitness bug had bitten. My excitement and motivation was at an all time high and I had a whole new outlook on life and myself in general. I was so pumped that I decided I needed to up my game even more and learn how to run. Yikes! Nothing was ingrained in me more than the fact that I was not a runner. It wasn’t fun, it was hard, it was boring and I SUCKED at it! If I was going to even think about running the Mudder, I knew I had to figure out how to RUN.

I started out slow, real slow, like jogging about 5 mph for 30 seconds slow. Horrible, I know, but I felt like I was going to die after those 30 seconds! I pushed myself as far as I could go every time I ran because I wanted so badly to break this mentality that that I couldn’t run. By June I had reached my goal of consistently running 3 miles without wanting to keel over and die on the side of the road. It was time to officially commit to run the Mudder, so Justin and I finally signed up! Somehow forking over $300 to participate in an event ignited an even bigger fire under my ass! I kept pushing myself to run just 5 minutes more or 10 minutes more every time I hit the pavement. One of my proudest moments was when I reached 6 miles in an hour. I couldn’t wait to tell Justin, so I Googled how to take a screenshot of my iPhone and immediately shared the news with him. I’m pretty sure it was pushing 100 degrees that day too. I’m lucky I didn’t melt!

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About the same time I was to start the Performance phase in P90X2, October 14, 2012 had arrived. The Mudder was here! We had a great team and a couple new additions at the last minute…I wasn’t going to be the only girl after all! I was relieved, not gonna lie! We all met in a grocery store parking lot at 3:30 in the morning the day of the event to start our 4+ hour drive to Poplar Bluff, MO. The weather the day before was pretty brutal; it rained and was cold all day. We were hoping for a much better day for our run. The adrenaline running through my body was crazy! It had been a really long time since I had been so excited to be a part of something.

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It blows my mind how much FUN this event was. We all finished almost unharmed and covered in mud from head to toe. Unfortunately, I was one of the “almost unharmed” participants. With 2-3 miles to go and a Berlin Wall, Electric Eel, Everest and Electroshock Therapy still coming up, I sprained my ankle. To say I was mad would be the understatement of the year. Words can’t describe how livid I was that this happened! Nothing was going to stop me though; I finished the course, with Justin pleading with me to let him carry me the rest of the way. I was determined to finish this thing on my own two feet though. (I may be just a tad bit stubborn at times.) I hobbled across the finish line as I got zapped and burned by the hundreds of electric wires dangling from the sky. It was magical….and freaking painful!

What’s Next for Mrs. Hess…

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