Where every (almost every) Tuesday: I confess.
Confession: I love Tough Mudder.
Oh wait, you knew that. But don’t go anywhere or stop reading. I have a story to tell you that takes place outside of the mud.
But we do have to start on a Tough Mudder course. This past June we went to Michigan (one of our favorite TM locations) and were enjoying our first TM of the year. It always feels so good to get muddy again and see old and new friends.
During the event, we kept leap frogging with a woman and her son. They would pass us, we would pass them and we remarked on how cool it was that this woman was out here. There are typically not very many people over the age of 50 running these events (there should and NEED to be more).
We were approaching the big half pipe wall and I said “let’s wait for them to get to the wall so we can help her up.”
As they approached, her son got up the wall and then she ran up the wall again and again falling down each time. We looked her in the eyes and said “we will get you up this wall – trust us.”
With one more big run, a lot of trust and faith by her and some strong efforts on all of our parts we got her UP THE WALL.
We stood for a few moments, said hooray, and then we all carried on. But of course we met again and spent some time chatting.
- It was her very first Mudder
- She’s 61 years old
- She has kids and grandkids
- She teaches music
- She was LOVING the course and the experience of conquering obstacles
- She thanked us over and over for helping her up the wall
- She is from Michigan – close to the event
Her name is Buffie and she told us she was coming to Minneapolis for a work conference in July.
We didn’t forget. Because forging new friendships and bonds outside of the course is actually what Tough Mudder is about and how it helps you grow.
The experience I had over the course of dinner and what happened the next day is worth more than any race headband, tshirt, mud, or obstacle, and it is worth every mile traveled in the car to these events.
We met Buffie for dinner and had the best time. We learned that she found fitness and working out only about 5 years ago and is hooked on how it makes her feel and how awesome it was to conquer obstacles on the course. We discussed so much more but also how she’s going to be training for the full Tough Mudder next year.
More importantly, we also learned something we already knew to be true. You have to find something you are passionate about, that lights you up and connects you with similar people. (if you want more info on this topic – check out the podcast interview with Teri Smith).
Meeting Buffie on the course, connecting with her in person and learning more about her has created a new member of my tribe. The tribe who is passionate about health, moving your body, proactive care, reaching out, making new friends and living life no matter your age.
If you’re reading this, just know you are a member of this tribe. I am so thankful that you’re here.
We chatted for hours as if we had all been friends for ages. And of course we invited her to one of my weekend work outs the next day. We picked her up at her hotel, went to the gym, and then dropped her off at the airport.
Here’s the best part. Buffie told me that we were changing lives.
Little does she know – she’s also changing mine.
We were just turning around, helping out a fellow Mudder and making new friends.
But then she shared the most touching thing.
From her viewpoint at that wall she said “I looked up at the wall and there were athletes waiting to help me out and make sure that I got up that wall. It meant so much to me that you took time out of your race to help me – someone you didn’t know.”
Then she said the thing that warmed my heart the most and I will carry with me into my daily life.
“When was the last time you looked behind you to see if someone needed help and took time out of your day to help them??”
*Seriously at this part of the conversation I’m tearing up and holding back my tears.*
Here’s the thing. I live that way on the TM course, but this was such a challenging question for me. Do I look behind to see if someone needs help and do I take time out of my day to help them in my daily life?
I challenge you.
Look around. Help someone out. Meet for dinner. Create new connections. Change your life.