Mudderella was incredible. I’m going to skip past the play-by-play of the day to the best parts: the last three obstacles. There were two climb-over the wall type obstacles earlier in the race, one which had a rope to help you climb, and one that didn’t. It is nearly impossible to get over them without help, but I attempted both of them on my own. Very nice people came up to try to help me but I couldn’t get over- I could reach the top but I couldn’t pull myself over. Not enough upper body strength and a lot of fear that I would fall. Maybe I could have done the wall with the rope if I’d been able to take my time, but the nice people who were helping me also had to try to get over the wall with their own teams, and it was just really overwhelming, and that’s how I felt as I walked past both obstacles nearing tears: really overwhelmed, mad at my team for ditching me and blaming them for making this whole thing harder for me and mad at myself because I really wanted to do these obstacles. (Actually, this was probably the worst part of the day besides the injuries, but knowing this makes the next part so much better) and then I got to the cargo net.
The cargo net. Suspended between two trees, hanging over a cable. You had to climb up one side and then down the other. Basically, just like the wall, only if the wall had more footholds and moved as you tried to climb it. I got nearly to the top and got scared – what if I fell over? I just couldn’t pull myself up any farther. If I put my foot in the next loop so I could climb over, most of my weight would start to lean dangerously over the other side. I climbed back down and stepped away.
I was SO UPSET. I had already skipped two obstacles (well, two and a half sort of) and I was so anxious to prove to myself that I was stronger than I thought I was.
I got back in line and watched other people climb up and over and worked on my strategy. I got to the top and somehow got my foot in the right loop so I could swing my leg over. Someone on the ground started coaching me, saying, “Take your time.” She steadied the net so I could keep my balance and talked me through the process of getting over the top. I swung my leg over and found a foothold, and then almost started crying when my feet hit the ground on the other side. I steadied the rope on the other side as she climbed up and over.
The next challenge was like a thin ditch of muddy water, and to get from one side to the other you had to like, plank and shimmy across on your hands and feet. I sort of felt like I was on top of the world when I got to it. There were several ditches without anybody crossing, and a bunch of girls sort of just standing there saying, “It looks too wide, I don’t think I can reach it.” and I just walked right past them and got into a downward facing dog and walked my way across it. Obviously, not too wide, because I’m on the short side and I could do it.
The last obstacle before the end was called the hat trick: You had to run and jump off a springboard onto a cargo net, which you had to climb maybe 15 -20 feet up to a platform, and then slide into muddy water at the bottom. The slid was freaking vertical and flattened out a little at the bottom. I saw a girl ahead of me in line not quite land on the cargo net right, and both her feet went straight through and she sort of fell backwards, hanging from the net by her legs. She was very close to the ground and she was ok, she got back up and climbed her way to the top, and I thought, “Well, I guess it’s less likely to happen to me know.” You know, probability and stuff like that. I ran, I sprung, I climbed and then I got to the top with a bunch of girls who were just standing there either too scared to go (I MEAN IT WAS A VERTICAL DROP) or were waiting for their friends so they could go together and the edge was empty, so I went and sat. and then lifted myself off and just dropped. I held my nose and held onto my glasses for dear life, bumped my butt on the bottom of the slide and splashed into the water. It was totally fun! I have never been so happy to cross a finish line.