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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Coming Home: World's Toughest Mudder 2014

The most fun you've had? Oh yes
There are times in life when things just feel right. When you know you are where you are supposed to be.

And as soon as I pulled up to the site of World's Toughest Mudder 2014 in Lake Las Vegas last Friday, I knew it was one of those times.

Hugging old friends, meeting new ones, we all anxiously set up our pits areas, commenting on how the Vegas desert was the FURTHEST thing from Raceway Park in Jersey that we had all grown accustomed to over the past few years. Excitement ran high. We were ready to begin.

But 8 weeks ago, I didn't think I would be there in Vegas, preparing to race. 8 weeks ago, I was mourning the loss of running the Spartan World Championship, and undergoing surgery on a bum knee. I had mentioned to my surgeon that I would love to make it back in time for a "24 hour race," and he rolled his eyes.

See, when the surgeon told me "return to sport" in 8 weeks, he meant "go play a basketball game," not "run around in circles in the desert for 24 hours." Sorry doc - can't help the sport I chose, and technically, you didn't qualify your statement. With that in mind, however, I came in cautious, mentally prepping myself for the fact that I might have to pull the plug. That the moment the knee started hurting, I needed to call it. I questioned how much conditioning and endurance I had lost being laid up for a good portion of those 8 weeks. I doubted whether my ego could take that (as I'm sure the others did around me). But regardless of how far I could make it, I knew I needed to be at WTM. Having missed last year with injury, the thought of missing another gutted me more than I could ever imagine.

But come WTM morning, it was all smiles and laughs. Surgeries, injuries, and disappointments were far from my mind as we started out. I try and learn something from every race, and over those next 24 hours, a few things became clear to me: