Things Got Muddy.

There are some choice adjectives to describe the people who voluntarily submit themselves to 11 miles of electric shocks, mud crawls and ice submersion. But a great deal of recognition is owed the people who drive 6+ hours and give up their weekend to support those masochists with cheers and encouraging smiles throughout a 3-hour course.

This weekend was finally the date of Georgia's Tough Mudder: the event for which I had been training regularly over the past 11 months. My team met with a logistical catastrophe last September in Maryland that resulted in our missing the event. After a bit of reflection, I accepted their official apology at face value, accepted my refund and applied the money toward the 2013 Georgia Tough Mudder. I found several interested parties with whom I could build another team, but only one who fully committed with her wallet. This was the team that completed the 2013 Georgia Tough Mudder in a time of 2 hr 35 minutes.

Tough Mudder weekend started out with Afsi driving 400 miles to a Wal Mart in Lithonia, GA, where we consolidated supplies in one vehicle and went hunting for some pasta. After dinner, we drove east for another hour to a campground on Lake Oconee to set up for the night. This champion of a woman had been awake for 19 hours, much of it on the road, and still humored me with excitement over sleeping outside in a crowded campground. One adjective comes to mind- "resilient".

Waking up to a foggy lakeside sunrise was reward enough, before my cedar log cook fire smoked up the area.

Forgetting my Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared" (and cooking utensils and fresh water), Afsi still whipped up a hell of a race-day meal over a smoky grill and suffered without coffee. We drove to the race location,  about 45 minutes farther away than I had planned, and signed away our right to sue for injury or loss.

Even spectators had to relegate their rights.

We found +Emily Spurlock near the entrance and were assigned a number, written across our foreheads. With a few minutes to make introductions, Emily and I had a few minutes to stretch and strategize before climbing the first "obstacle" to get into the starting pit.

Emily and I, along with our new "Brothers" in Mud, were treated to a passionate motivation speech in the starting pit, reminding us that these events are intended to support our wounded veterans who have gone through similar courses, not for fun, but in preparation for war. With a final Ooo RAH, we were off.

What would have already been a grueling course had degraded into a mudslide of unsure footing and questionable water pits. After less than one mile we heard the universal call of distress from another runner: "Oh s***!"

Looking back, we saw a woman brandishing her broken wrist after a hard fall. It wasn't a Kevin-Ware-level break, so we kept on trucking. Not long after, we made our first hydration stop and sprinted on to the dumpster full of ice water, where I knew Afsi would be waiting. She was easy to pick out,  the solo beauty in a colorful long sleeve shirt, waving us cheerfully onto the pool of freezing water.

It was a bit chilly.
Cold, wet tired and still having a good time.

Nothing like being forced to sprint and leap after 10 miles of running through mud.

You too, can make this look easy. For 3 small payments of $19.99...

The most anticipated event on the course turned out to be child's play compared to an earlier electrifying obstacle, the Electric Eel.

Emily played "Just the Tip" and won.

Kevin and +Emily after the celebratory beer

I could not have asked for better motivation.