Since my first blog here at gap Intelligence (roughly 6 months ago) you could say that I have acclimated to life in the office. The subtle hum of the air conditioner vent above my head, the bright gapU calander behind me keeps me up to date on all the cool goings on, and the 4 coffee machines in the kitchen (I LOVE coffee) yep it is definitely feeling like home.

So what have I been up to these last 6 months other than consuming a ton of coffee? Well for starters I have signed myself up for the life changing, grueling, dirty Tough Mudder. You might be asking, that sounds tough and muddy but what is it exactly is it, what makes it so life changing? Well, directly from the website, “Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course designed to test all-around strength, stamina, teamwork, and mental grit. Tough Mudder is probably the Toughest Event on the Planet. Probably.”

I am not an athletic person (or even a “dirt” person for that matter) but what I lack in respect to that, I more than make up for with my competitive nature. I am that friend who loves 3 day marathon Monopoly sessions, watches shows like Minute to Win It saying it looks easy (I could totally stack 20 nuts on a straw using just my teeth!) and yes, I was even that child who used to watch Legends of the Hidden Temple telling myself I could indeed make it out of that temple artifact in hand under 3 minutes, those kids were slow! I legitimately enjoy workouts where the instructor demands more than what I am giving. I revel in them because without them, without the pressure, and camaraderie, I know I would not push myself as hard as I should

So when my friend told me that he attempted Tough Mudder and his leg seized up at mile 7, and he couldn’t finish, that little spark of competitiveness in my mind turned into a full on flame and I was dead set on  FINISHING Tough Mudder with him the next time it came to San Diego. As luck would have it, Tough Mudder comes to San Diego this October. This is the part of my story where I realized Tough Mudder is less than 6 months from today and that I in fact had no clue what I was signing myself up for. No amount of blog reading and workout pinning on Pinterest could actually prepare me for the commitment I needed to make both to the event and my teammates. I have now been training for a couple months with a pretty regular regimen of weight lifting, strength training, spin class, and (my least favorite part) running. If you asked me a few months ago if I thought I was in shape, I would’ve said, “Sure, not great shape, but not necessarily out of shape either.” I hiked every now and then, participated in gapWellness, I have a fitbit, fit is even in the name! (I would’ve listed what I thought would rationalize me as a “decently in shape” person.) I would’ve been very wrong. The Melissa, who is writing this blog now knows better! I am in fact OUT of shape, and I will admit, a bit frightened of what lies ahead of me 6 months from now. My squat presses, lat-pulldowns, planks, and deadlifts have a LONG way to go if I am going to make the 12+ mile marker. Luckily, Tough Mudder puts training tips on their website, (yay) focusing on what someone should do to prepare in order to successfully complete the various obstacles along the 12 miles. Unfortunately, they all include pull-ups, which while determined, I still have yet to be able to do, I am however, a great hang-er.

I will admit my competitive nature got the best of me in saying I could do this, a challenge less than 80% of those who attempt, actually complete. To be fair, even with the statistics, fire pits, ice vats and electric shock, and actual distance in front of me I am not scared of the entire thing, I am confident in my ability to scale mountains of hay, climb up ropes and monkey bar my way through some of the obstacles.

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While Tough Mudder is fitness focused, I would be doing a serious disservice if that was all I focused on. I am intrigued by the community as well as the physical challenge. Tough Mudder is about serious teamwork and camaraderie, not about a completion time. It is really about being part of a team that together overcomes all those fears and challenges, and accomplishes more than they thought they were capable of; It is a community I am very much looking forward to joining, assuming I survive to do so.

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