A Grandma’s Guide to Getting Dirty

I get told by more people than I can count that “those mud runs you do look like so much fun, but I’ll never be able to do it.” I’ve spent almost 2 whole years telling them that ANYBODY can do a mud run. Most obstacles at most events are completely doable by anyone who is willing to try and/or accept a helping hand from a teammate or complete stranger. You can run or walk or hobble or crawl at your own pace and whether you finish in first place or 7,061st place, you still finished the darn thing and get to have all of the same bragging rights. All you have to do is tell that little pessimistic dipshit voice in the back of your head to shut up and just do it.

Most people still remain skeptical, so for those would-be mud runners, I submit this post.

I am ridiculously proud to say that my MOTHER, who also happens to be a GRANDMOTHER, ran her first mud run this past weekend. Here is her story:

note: I added in picture and links, but did not alter her story.

I’ve spent the last couple of years, standing on the sidelines and listening to my daughter Nicole, my son-in-law Jay and my son Stephen talk about the mud races that they enjoy doing.  I always thought they were crazy!

Back in October of 2012, after I had lost 50 pounds, my oldest daughter, Nicole, asked if I would be interested in participating in a mud run, specifically, the Dirty Girl.   I was feeling pretty good after losing the weight and maybe I was a little, shall we say, drunk, and I said sure, why not!

The secret to getting my mom to agree to just about anything. I wish I had known that when I was a kid…

I figured, if I chickened out, oh well, the registration money was going to a good cause, namely breast cancer research, so I registered.  Then time got away from me and before I knew it the race was less than a month away.  I had not trained or worked out or even walked!  I must be insane!

I got excited the week before the race, when Nicole and her husband Jay took me shopping for the right clothes for the race.  I went pink of course!  I bought sweats with a pink stripe and pink and purple sneakers!  I even went I had a mani/pedi the day before so I could have pink nails!

The day before the race, I actually considered pretending to be sick.  But because it wasn’t only Nicole and I on the team, there was my former Girl Scout Allison and my VFW Ladies Auxiliary Sister Tina to think about.  So I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to do this race and pray I didn’t break a leg or my head.

You must know that I am still a little over weight and I am 53 YEARS OLD.  I am sooo not athletic!   I didn’t even play softball as a kid.  Needless to say, I was very worried for myself.

The morning of the race I was nervous, but excited at the same time.  I got all dressed up in my new gear and I was ready.  Driving to Scranton, PA didn’t take long at all, but that’s because I really wasn’t sure I wanted to continue on this journey, so we got there in no time and I was on my way.  As we walked to the registration area I started getting excited.  You have to be in coma not to.  The energy at the place was contagious.

We registered, checked in our gear and headed for the starting line.  All those woman just as crazy as I am.  We started out and came to our first bit of mud.  I thought to myself “I’m nuts”!  But onward on went.  I walked through mud, I ran (I hadn’t run in years), I came to my first real obstacle.

My mommy’s very first obstacle.

I was so proud of myself for actually doing it.  Before I knew it, I was jumping through faux tires, climbing walls, trekking through mud, climbing up rope webs and sliding down a slide into a mud pit.  Who would have ever thought I COULD actually do these things?  NOT ME.  I had mud everywhere on my body and I LOVED every minute of.

That is a gigantic smile on her face!

Doing this mud race was one of the top five things I’ve ever done!  I am so doing the Dirty Girl again next year.  I am even going to do the Trauma Run at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY.  (Just a side note:  The Trauma Unit at Westchester is amazing.  When my younger daughter Natalie was there last year, they took care of her as if they were her mothers and fathers. So I owe them a bit of gratitude, more than I can say).

A good friend of mine (Colleen), said once you do one, it’s like getting a tattoo, you want more and she’s right.

Doesn’t matter what age your birth certificate says you are, no one is too old to do a mud run.

So thank you Nicole for getting me to do this.  But do not expect me to do Spartan or any of those other crazy ones you do.  I draw the line at Dirty Girl and Trauma!  Maybe we can get Dad to do the Trauma Run!  And Miss Natalie!

See you all in the mud!!!

I want to add that my mom tried every single obstacle. No skipping obstacles for her! She ran when she felt like running and got ahead of the rest of our team on quite a few occasions. I am so unbelievably proud of her for losing those 50pounds and then getting up and trying something new and different with her fab new body. And I can’t wait for her to get another race under her belt (and then that magical day when that screw pops loose and she decides to try a Spartan – there are septuagenarians doing that thing!)

So next time you think “That looks like so much fun but I could never do that” get over yourself and ask “WHY THE HELL NOT?” And if that doesn’t work just picture my son saying “Dude, stop being a wienie. My grandmother can do it!”

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