Thursday, July 25, 2013

You Just Never Know

1. to inspire with hope, courage, or confidence

On a scale of 1 to 10, my lifetime interest in running, even as recently as four months ago, was a solid 2, as far as activities I might consider doing for pleasure.  It made no sense to me.  Trying to imagine myself running for any reason other than to escape a predator was like trying to imagine eating tarantulas for an afternoon snack.  Nope.  But thanks for the offer.

And then.

A person in my life who happens to be very close to my heart, and who happens to share my name. . . and my DNA . . . and who happens to be the mother of my granddaughter . . . well, she extended an invitation.  I said, "No, but thanks for the offer."  Or, rather, it was more along the lines of, "Are you out of your mind???  You must be crazy!!!"  And that was that.  No, I will not join you in a 10k mud run!  I don't run, remember?  And, in case you haven't noticed, I'm officially a senior citizen.  The reason I know that is because I can get cheap drinks at Wendy's just by asking for the senior discount.  So, no.

And then.

I couldn't get it out of my head.  She was going to do this whether I joined her or not.  She was going to go trekking off to Washington, D.C. to make memories with her sister and cousin, and they were going to reminisce about their incredible shared experience for the rest of their lives.  And I was going to be left out. 

And then.

I lost my mind.  I called her back and said yes.  I hated running.  Hated it with a passion.  But my desire to do something crazy and memorable with my girls was bigger and badder than my loathing of running.  So, with four months to get ready, I started training.

And then.


Somehow I morphed from a quiet, run-disdaining grandmother into Wonder Woman willing to get Down & Dirty.  (We all have our secret selves longing to break free!)  With daughters Sarah & Sherilin, and neice Camille & her husband Clarke, we were a team to be reckoned with.  Not for speed perhaps, but definitely eye-catching!  Our heads were already swelling before we got to the starting line from all the participants running up and asking if they could have their pictures taken with us.  "Well, of course.  And we'll be signing autographs at the finish line."
So, yeah, that's a part of me most of you don't normally see.  Up and over!  An easy ladder wall (cattle ranch gate?) preceded by a slimy crawl below a low hanging cargo net and an awkward leap across some fake inflatable logs, all within the first mile of the course.

At this point we have already been in the river, but would you take your camera out of its safe place while sloshing chest deep through muddy water and back up a slippery riverbank?  Me neither, and so we have no photos to prove that we did it.  But trust me, we did - tutus and power accessories intact.

We wore our muck with pride!  It was into the river and through the woods . . . to the next obstacle we go.

One . . .
two . . .
and three.
Whew! With a little boost to get started, Wonder Granny was
 able to haul herself over the barricades without injury.
A lovely morning for a jog through a cornfield, don't you think?  We did!
After a set of push-ups and a claustrophobic crawl through some tunnels about the right size for gophers, we found ourselves on this grown-up playground equipment.  How can I get one of these contraptions for my backyard?
There she goes.  Still running.  And still wondering at the miracle that took place in the past four months that made this possible.  Is it not a miracle the way our bodies respond when we put out the effort to challenge them beyond their normal range of comfort?
There's no stopping a bona fide Wonder Woman when she's got her mind made up!
My fitness hero, Sherilin, who gets the blame if her mother gets injured in this crazy event!
Even Wonder Womanses need a water break now and then!
Don't even say what you're thinking!  It's not easy being a superhero, you know!
Two of the Wonder Girls and their Wonder Mama, proudly flashing their mud on the happy side of the Finish Line. 
And now our entire amazing team has regrouped with our scrapes, scratches and bruises appropriately camouflaged by our temporary tans from the final ucky blucky mud pit.  A total of 20 obstacles across 6.2 miles of cornfields and forests dotted with challenges just hard enough to make it fun, but not terribly threatening to life or limb for a Wonder Woman of any age.
And then . . . we admire our tutus one last time, resplendent with the glory
 for which they were created.
Did you notice the dictionary entry at the beginning of this post?  Maybe you should scroll back up and look at it again.  My daughters inspire me.  They are encouragers of the highest order.  Hopefully my accomplishment as the oldest participant in this Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run will inspire you to do something you currently think you can't do.  Yes, you can!  And then you can be an inspiration to someone else!
And now I need to go out for a run.  Just for fun.






  1. This. Is. Awesome! Thanks for being the inspiration I needed to make the changes in my own life that were big enough to then pull you into this one! Yay Wonder Womanses!

  2. Once again, Lin....I am PROUD to call you my friend! :)

  3. Wonderful commentary and photos to go with it! Congratulations to all on the courage to make the initial commitment and the focus and stamina to see it through to completion. I would have loved to be there to photograph this adventure.

  4. Great story Lin. I can't believe you did this! I am a friend that hates to run and can't even imagine just the training for such an event. Looks like great fun though! I'm proud of you too! Love your story and the pictures!

  5. Lin, you are one of a kind!! You are for sure unique. And I am so blessed to have you as my friend. I am so proud of you and the girls too. My kids have done this "mud" thing twice. Michael loves it!! I am not there yet but you inspired me so maybe I will try... Love ya!

  6. I am awestruck! By all of you! What an inspiration. Will you do this again, or is it the kind of thing that will stay in the rear view mirror? I have no words to tell you how impressed I am. I will keep an eye out to see you run past my house and send you cheers and applause.