And then there was T.H.E.M.

Posted: May 8, 2012 in Self-Deprecation
Tags: , , , , ,

So……….. back when I was languishing on the couch for weeks at a time, I watched a lot of TV.  When I say a lot of TV, I mean more than a kid with crappy parents.  Then again, from posts like this, you’d probably figure these facts to be self-evident.  I only say these things because I’ve been away for so long.

Interesting sidebar.  I’ve been gone for months on end, yet I’ve cranked in over 4500 unique hits.  How in the Nine Levels of Hell does that work?

Anyway.  Back to the task at hand– TV.  More importantly, how I was introduced to an epic case of masochism known as the Tough Mudder.  One wonderful evening, Cortana and I were sitting on my parents’ couch… and we saw that blubbering tub of unbridled excitement, Bert the Conqueror, doing one.  Only now, after having done one myself, do I realize that it’s highly likely that he ran through a few obstacles and called it a day.

That’s right, ladies and germs.  Not even a year after having Jill rebuilt into Jill 2.0, I went and proved my level of badass…. and it’s over 9000.  Let’s back up for just a teensy-weensy second here.  Just running the 2012 Michigan/Ohio Mudder wasn’t the best part.  The best part?  Was T.H.E.M.  We are everything that’s right (and wrong) with a team, and I wouldn’t run this insanity with anyone else.

See T.H.E.M.?

Minus one, these are the T.erribly H.ysterical E.gotistical M.aniacs—- better known as T.H.E.M.

It’s almost cute when you look at all the excitement that accompanied our war paint.  We all had an idea of what we were getting ourselves into, but none of us had a damn clue.  Let me put this into perspective, I’ve never been one who’s taken his limits too seriously.  After all, I can readily think up about a half dozen occasions where mathematically–  I should be as cold as the Titanic.  Anyway.

All jocularity aside, Cortana and I made a few calls– and we did our run April 14.  I could pretend that I was actually in the gym like a beast for the last month and a half, but between the aforementioned “employment issues” and being sick– yeah no.  I figured that I’d already got most of my body back, and I’d let willpower handle the rest.  Mind you, I am no runner, but I’m a beast at the obstacles (and surprisingly little issue out of Jill 2.0).

The Bars of Doom

So I didn’t quite make it all the way across these INCLINING monkey bars— but I got farther than 90% of my team.

However, my major hampering milestone was not the 12 miles (well actually it was, but I digress).  It wasn’t the rebuilt wrist, although I did have to put it back into place a few times.  No no.  My biggest issue stemmed from hypothermia.  The “official” recorded temperature makes one think it was a balmy 60 degrees.  Surely you jest, if it had been 60, I wouldn’t have pulled my quad around– oh– mile 8!  When we got to our cars, my thermometer said 52.  It was also windy, and we were constantly ending up in either mud– or ice water.  You know you’re freaking cold when jumping in the water hazard feels like it warms you up.

At one point, there’s a nice little obstacle called the “Electric Eel.”  Yes, if you’re wondering, some asshole had the bright idea to mix  electricity and water.   Think about the gratuitous assholery involved with creating this sadistic obstacle for just one second.  Instead of your mundane “crawl through icy/muddy water beneath barbed wire” routine–  oh no, we had live wires.  Some of you have already reached the punchline of this joke, but oh no– it gets better.  Yes, if someone’s ass is too high in the air, everyone in the water gets nailed— but to get out of the obstacle?  You have to either shinny through them, or have someone else brave enough to do the grab-and-drag routine with you (and be willing to eat a shock along with it).  There is no way around the wires.   Hypothermia’s a very odd beast, because every time I got hit with current (reportedly up to 10k volts)– it didn’t hurt, but I was well aware that I’d been hit.  I’d feel my muscles spasm, etc., but it didn’t actually hurt.

Oh yeah, by the way, did I mention that I had to sign a freaking death waiver to participate in these shenanigans?  Did I mention that I also paid to do this?

Death from above!

If you look reallllly closely up above (next to the fat one of T.H.E.M.), you can see the number 160 on one of the jerseys. There I am. About to jump about 25′ into the ravine below. The impact with the water actually broke the lens right out of my sunglasses.

You know that’s a long way down when you have the time to complete entire thoughts before you hit the water.  Yeah, I paid to be awesome– as did every one of T.H.E.M.  However, all proceeds of Tough Mudder benefit The Wounded Warrior Project.  I think that more than justifies the investments made.  I’m not just talking money, or time, or energy.  I’m also talking determination.

…..and here I thought I had an obscenely high pain threshold before.  All in all?  We’re doing it again next year– but more like August.  So if we have to wait for anyone, none of us end up limping the last four miles cheering to each other “When I say ‘hot,’ you say ‘tub!'”

Battle damage and all.

This is what it means to be an unstoppable bad ass. This. Right here.


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