Day 209 - Why World's Toughest Mudder?
Really, it is not a bad question to ask. Why would anyone in their right mind willingly sign up for a 24-hour endurance event, held in New Jersey, in November? An event that is sure to have plenty of cold water obstacles. Plenty of electrocution. Plenty of mud. Plenty of climbing, running, crawling, and just downright miserable things?
Why would anyone want to do these things?
Short answer: Because I can!
I will get into a number of reasons below, but for those of you who do not wish to read the entire blog, then just remember this. As long as I have this body that can run, climb, swim, and experience an event like this, I am going to do it...because I can.
Why else do you have the body that you do? To sit on a couch and watch TV? To stuff your face full of garbage? To obsess over material items that ultimately at the end of your life have no real meaning?
The rush and feeling of achievement I get when I complete something that I have been working hard towards, trumps anything else I have ever experienced. I enjoy testing myself mentally and physically. We have been given these wonderfully complex and amazing pieces of machinery (our bodies), so why not use them to their full potential?
If someone was to let you borrow the keys to a high-end sports car, would you take it to do your grocery shopping and then park it in your garage to collect dust? No, you would more than likely want to go drive that sucker around testing its performance and capabilities. So why would you allow your body to go essentially unused, sitting around being lazy?
Sure there are plenty of other ways to get active and experience life. I get it. There are many other ways for folks to enjoy life and be active. For me, I don't feel truly alive unless I am pushing myself to my absolute limits. I almost get this out-of-body experience, where I stand back and look at what I have accomplished, what I have worked hard towards. When my lungs and muscles are burning, and my heart feels like it is going to pound right out of my chest. Add-in some mud covering my body, scrapes and cuts, bruises and sores. I can look at myself and know that I have given everything I've got. That rush of excitement is unlike anything else...
My family has been amazingly inspirational to me. My wife just spent over 5 years of her life working towards, and achieving her PhD in Molecular Genetics! The ups and downs I watched her go through were unlike anything I have seen before. The amount of hard work and dedication she put into her studies have been tremendously inspirational to me.
My son who is just 11 months old works his butt off every day. I know, I know, this seems so trivial to many. He is a baby, that is what babies do right, they learn to crawl, they learn to walk, they learn to grow and mature. But have you ever stopped to think and wonder why the rest of us should be any different? Why do we stop working hard to improve ourselves both mentally and physically? Is it because we have reached perfection? No. There is always something you could be doing to improve yourself in one way or another. Stop wasting your time and do it now.
On top of the inspirational side of things, my wife, son, parents, brother, sister, father and mother in law, have all helped me with words of encouragement and through monetary means to get to this event. I work hard and will be doing this event for them!
I truly feel the most alive when I am doing something that pushes me to my limits, both mentally and physically. Like the sports car analogy above, so few of us have truly pushed our bodies to the limits that we are capable of.
Since I come from a scientific background, not to mention an overall passion and interest for the human body and the science that surrounds it, I am constantly amazed at what the human body can do. The symphony of processes that are carried out within our minds and bodies on a daily basis is absolutely astounding, yet nearly all of us have never, or will never use our minds and our bodies to their true capabilities.
This event may not even bring me to that point either. I may have to bow out of the competition early due to extreme exhaustion, or being ill-prepared equipment-wise, but I can safely say right now that I am willing to do whatever it takes to have zero regrets when I leave New Jersey at the end of this weekend. I want to experience this event for all that it's worth and see what my body and my mind can do!
I made mention to my wife in the past at how much support I have received for this event, both financially and morally. It is one thing to receive family support, it is something completely different when you receive the kind of support that I have from either folks I hardly know, or even complete strangers!
I have a tremendous family, and I never want to take that away from them, and I know they will always be there for me. Having said that, I am forever grateful for the support I have received from folks that, as I said, I hardly know or are a complete stranger to me. The overwhelming amount of support that I have received from my community and folks around the world has truly touched my heart. I compete for all of you as well! (you know who you are)
Another Year Older
Let's face it, none of us are getting older. Time keeps ticking away. I don't want to make this all doom and gloom, but just keep that ticking clock in the back of your head!
My upcoming birthday (November 25th), I will be turning 28 years old. Although this is not a 'milestone' birthday by any means, it is yet another year tacked on. In my opinion, there is no better way to celebrate a birthday, than to put your body through the rigors that I will experience at the WTM. Sure, some people may think drinking their face off, or eating a bunch of cake sounds like a raucous time, but not me. I will have a few beers on my birthday, don't get me wrong, but this is also a tremendous way for me to celebrate getting another year older.
When I am old and wrinkly, and aches and pains are setting in, I really do not want to regret the time I wasted by not using my body when it was young and energetic. What's that saying again? Oh yeah, "Youth is wasted on the young!" I look to prove that quote wrong.
I don't know where this fascination will take me next. I ran into my doctor a little while ago, after she had heard about my plans to compete in the World's Toughest Mudder. Jokingly she said to me, "What's next after this? You are just going to keep going, moving on to other things to top this event!" She is probably right. But the way I look at it, if my biggest concern, as I age, is trying to figure out the next thing to challenge me, then I am a pretty lucky guy.
Quote of the day:
"Learn to appreciate what you have, before time makes you appreciate what you had."
Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com