"The timorous may stay at home."
~ Murphy v. Steeplechase Amusement Co., 250 N.Y. 479, 483 (N.Y. 1929)

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Ten Commandments of the World's Toughest Mudder: Part III

(7) Thou shall get your ass into the water
Standing there, staring at it, isn't going to make it go away or magically get warmer. It's December. In Jersey. Normal people don't get into freezing bodies of water at this time of year. And they definitely wouldn't do so, voluntarily, repeatedly, over the course of 24 hours.

So I have two musings on this point.

Tastes so good when it hits your lips

First, to you people trying to walk around the outside of "Jesus Walk/Mud Mile?" Grow some balls and get into the water. This is your first obstacle, not your first attempt at Twinkle Toes on the embankment. You signed up for it, you knew it was going to be there, so get your ass into the water.

Fifth and final lake crossing
Second, the anticipation of the water was 10x worse than the water itself. I have to extend a congratulatory bitch-slap to TMHQ for strategically placing (most) of the full submersions at the end of the loop (I assume they did it strategically, but sometimes even the dunce gets an A). Running through those woods after the Massive Turd, knowing that 4 (potentially 5) submersions await you may be the worst mental torture out there. But, assuming you are wearing wetsuit (or two and a half), once you were in there, it really wasn't THAT bad. Right? Sure, standing up on top of Walk the Plank at 4am when its 20 degrees out is a complete mind fuck, but that's the lesson: you don't stand up at the top of Walk the Plank. You get up there and jump like a Pointer Sister. That is, unless you agree to jump simultaneously with your race partner. And you do for the first two times and then he screws you on the last one by jumping without you. Thanks, Joel.

(8) Thou shall smile (and thank your volunteers)

You hate yourself. You've been doing this shit for 20 hours, and all you want is a hot shower and a bottle of tequila. Every three steps you are saying out loud "this is so effin retarded." Every spectator is telling you that you are crazy (but then again, there are no spectators at 4am).
Freezing my ass off.
Smiling is like a hand warmer.
Only not.

The only thing to do at that point is to realize the ridiculousness of it all, laugh, and smile. As cheesy as it is, smiling totally makes anything bearable. Oh, I have to crawl through water under live wires?? How fun! Oh, you want me to get up this 12 ft wall alone? Not a problem! You mean I get to jump off this 25 ft platform in the middle of the night into a 40-degree lake? HELL YES.

Along the same line, you can never be too grateful for your volunteers. As previously mentioned, at 4am, there are no spectators. There is no one cheering you on except for those volunteers at aid stations and certain obstacles. And if you smile, and thank them a lot, they may do things for you. Like let you eat bananas out of their hands. Or stick energy chews in your frozen mouth. Or tie your shoes when you can't feel your fingers. Or offer you wine from their tent (did not take that one up). Or talk to you for the entire length of the Mud Mile/Jesus Walk (thanks Fuzz!). Thank you volunteers. I almost felt that you had it worse having to stand around in the cold during the middle of the night. At least we were moving.

(9) Thou shalt not stop for bathroom breaks

Truth: There is nothing better than peeing in a wetsuit. Especially when it's cold. Before WTM, there was a lot of naysaying about wetsuits: chafing, dehydration, etc. But despite wearing 13mm of neoprene at one point, I never found myself remotely close to dehydration. I attribute this to the fact that I was guzzling water at every chance, not because I was thirsty, but solely so I had more fluid to pee in my wetsuit, warming myself up.

You got that right, I'm the classiest lady that you'll find around here. Any takers, boys?

(NB: I have heard that you are not a real man until you shit in your wetsuit. I don't think I want to be a real man)

Stay tuned for the final, and most important, commandment.


  1. My only regret is that I couldn't figure out a system so that sometimes pee would go down my right leg and sometimes my left. Poor left leg, you were never as pleasantly warm as your brother.

  2. Joel figured out how to pee down both. He'll blame it on the cold, but it may actually be a testament to his manhood.

  3. I like your take on the race this way.

  4. Amelia, this is hilarious. You are a great writer -- keep it up. I look forward to more of your musings :)

  5. PS -- can you figure out a way for me to subscribe to your posts via e-mail? :)

  6. Danielle--added it at the top right hand corner! (still new to this stuff)

  7. Look at you! Simply genius :) Thanks girl!