Here’s Mud in Your Eye!: The Final Chapter

27 Nov

You know what I really want right now?  A fudge pop. God dang do I want a fudge pop. But I shall persevere in my fudgeless state, penning for my dear readers the conclusion of the Tough Mudder story instead of shlepping down to Steve’s C-Town to buy fudge pops. Do you know why I will do this?

It’s because I love you.

Except for you, No Pantsu.  I still hate you.

—————————————————————————–

So. Back to the race.

Ice bath completed, we stand dripping and incapacitated at the start of another running leg. No Pantsu, Steph, the Bad Idea Bear and I deliriously shuffle along with the crowd, and we enter the second stage of the race, The Silver Bullet Dynasty. (The first being “The Era of General Denial”)

You see, about 10 minutes before the start of Tough Mudder, I had the brilliant idea to wear a shiny silver swim cap under my  hat to keep my head dryer, and therefore, warmer (earning me the nickname, The Silver Bullet).  Once we plunged into the ice bath, all of our hats were rendered wet and useless except as “getting-water-in-your-eyes” devices. The result was that I was substantially less hypothermically challenged than my teammates, which gave me a 5 or 6 obstacle handicap wherein I was still positive and shouting encouragement, mostly in the form of reminders about the free beer we were getting at the end of the race.

The next obstacle was a single rope traverse. If you fell off, you were back in the water. Everyone but No Pantsu immediately fell in. No Pantsu lost it about halfway through.

OneBadYamPajama: “Alright, alright, we’re alright. Gotta keep moving. Woo. Moving will keep us warm! And we get a free beer at the end!”

No Pantsu: “I can’t feel my feet! AHH I CAN’T FEEL MY FEET!”

Bad Idea Bear: “Running. Good. Beer. Good. *teeth chatter*”

Steph: *silent*

Next was a 15-foot platform we had to jump off of, landing in a freezing cold lake, which we then had to swim across.  The water was so shockingly cold that I think my vulva may have actually detached itself from my body and run away, and yet, throughout the entire swim all I could hear were mammoth Muscle Mag types whining about how cold their balls were.

Giant Bodybuilder guy: “eeeek.  My BAALLLSSSS”

OneBad: “Hey, McFuck, at least you can retract those into your abdomen. This water is INSIDE ME! I HATE YOU NO PANTSU!”

No Pantsu: *teeth chattering*

Well, that’s what I thought. I didn’t say that. This is a family race, people.

Haystacks, 10-foot walls, rope nets and trenches with real barbed wire followed, and the silver bullet remained positive through it all. But soon we hit the obstacle that fucked us all: 100 yards of waist high mud arranged in a maze, so you’d fall in it about once every 30 seconds or so.

Oh, and it was freezing.

By the time we escaped, each of us was covered in a layer of mud at least an inch thick; we had eaten some mud, we had silt in our eyes and none of us could feel anything from the tits down. And there was a fucking video camera.

OneBad: *Tries to smile at camera. Fails. Grunts instead* “Beer. Need…. Beer”

No Pantsu: “I REALLY CAN’T FEEL MY FEET GUYS ISTHISBAD OHMYGOD”

Bad Idea Bear: “eeeee Eeeeee  EEEEeeEee”

Stage 3: The Beating

It turns out it’s pretty difficult not to sprain every single muscle in your body while running and climbing over enormous walls with feet you can neither feel nor see. I lost it first, on a motocross track covered in sprinklers, I stepped in a hole and sprained my ankle.A team friend broke both ankles falling into some unexpectedly shallow water, and Bad Idea Bear’s boyfriend, who was running separately, strained his knee.  Then, the Bad Idea Bear took a tumble off of this terrible half pipe called “Everest,” which you had to take at a dead run and leap into the arms of complete strangers to get over, and jacked up her hip.

The Silver Bullet attempts "Everest"

We assumed that this was the peak of general pain and misery. And we were right.

For awhile.

Stage 4: Paradoxical Happiness

Around mile 5, race volunteers started reporting that we were halfway to the finish. This was news to us, as we were expecting the race to be 12 miles. But the web site had said “approximately” and the emcee at the beginning had said 10 as well, and we were hardly in any condition to protest our good fortune. The water obstacles temporarily disappeared. We were getting close to the fire obstacle, which we had been anticipating with pleasure since the ice bath. We all sang my college fight song so I wouldn’t freak out in some underground trenches (OneBad is claustrophobic like a bitch). Then we all made it across a balance beam without falling into cold water.

By the time we were carrying tires around a Nascar track, we were actually racing each other and making “vroom vroom” noises.

The fire temporarily warmed us up enough that we didn’t even mind the smoke, and soon after, we passed the 10 mile sign. Then we passed a sign warning us about velociraptors. (!?) Then one that said “Remember: You signed a death waiver.” Then we passed one that said, simply, “Welcome to Hell.”

Stage 5: Hell

The race organizers lied. There WERE 12 fucking miles. And the last two were stuffed with the worst obstacles of all–greased monkey bars, deep trenches, nets you had to crawl under with your face pressed against the ground, more barbed wire, tight tubes filled with water you had to crawl through, another freezing cold lake that you had to swim underwater in. There were even fucking electroshock tentacles that would zap you with 10,000 volts.

At one point, in the underwater freezing lake section, No Pantsu and I were huddled next to each other for solace against the barrels, trying to balance the task of getting enough air for another underwater stint with getting out of the freezing lake as quickly as possible.

I know I'm like the boy who cried wolf with exaggerated pictures, y'all, but this is really what it looked like.

“This must be what it’s like to fall through thin ice in winter and DIE,” I think, because I am no longer able to speak.

No Pantsu: “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”

Crossing the finish line was amazing, as you can  see in the “Official TriState Tough Mudder 2011” video, which I am thankfully not in. Then we returned to the car, where I learned that when you’re suffering from hypothermia, you can’t button your pants. Or open anything. Or, you know, think. Thus we sat, half clothed, in No Pantsu’s car with the heat up to 85, groaning, until our friends found us and made us go to TGIFridays.

You should have seen the size of the beer I had.

Guess what!? You can't feel bruises when you're drunk!

I’m gonna go have that fudge pop now.

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