Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stupid Mudder

After having a few days to let my mind recover (my body is still in agony) I've come to a few conclusions.
-  The event organizers are out to punish
-  I can’t be the only crazy one if thousands of other fools signed up and did it also
-  I'm not doing another cold weather event for a very VERY long time

Can you see that sky in the background?! This picture just screams "COLD AS BALLS"
Thank you Becky for all the pictures. We forgot to get one of all four of us :(

Why this picture? Because Luke is awesome!!

Last year I did Tough Mudder (missing some pictures of course) with a really screwed up clavicle and 5 complete strangers. The event was in the middle of the summer in August. I had such a good time bonding and supporting my team of strangers that I thought it would be a fantastic event to organize with a tight group like Connected in Motion. That was under the assumption that it would be held in August again. Much to my dismay the date for the event would be spring. The thought of being soaking wet the entire time in the cold was enough to make me want to cut off my own arm so I wouldn't have to do it. This is Ontario and weather is unpredictable. Last weekend it was in the mid 20’s (Celsius) and ridiculously beautiful. Wouldn't you know that come the weekend of Tough Mudder it was calling for mighty cold and miserable weather. Included with that we were down to 3 people on our team which was a colossal disappointment to me. It would have been 4 but our dear Becky has been laid up in an air cast for months due to a foot injury. I give super huge kudos to her though for spending the day with us cheering from the sidelines and hobbling around with a camera!

Pre mudder. Waiting for the bus and totally frozen already

The course for this year

What’s it like? So many people have asked me.

My immediate answer is “MISERY”. Why would anybody ever want to do this? I wondered that myself even up until today. I know it’s about teamwork and camaraderie. It’s about helping your friends and strangers. It’s about just getting through it as a combined unit. We did that but my brain still wanted to cut my own arm off to get out of it all the way through.

I had a great time last August when it was SUMMER. Being soaking wet and muddy was nothing as long as I was warm. I hesitated when registering a team for this year when I found out it would be in May instead of August. The forecast was cloudy with a high of cold. Seriously. The temp hovered around maybe 10C (50F). Ryan had a brilliant idea and we got shorty wet suits to wear under our clothes.

I won’t lie. I was uncomfortably cold the entire time give or take a few moments when the sun came out. I didn't want to pussy out.  You see It was myself, Ryan and CIM inspiration overload, LUKE! This man’s laugh alone can brighten up any situation. He’s pretty much always cheery and full of motivation. At one point Ryan and I both said we would walk down that hill and leave if it weren't for Luke pushing us on.

The obstacles aim at getting you as wet and muddy as possible. I fell off the monkey bars into the frigid water yet at the same time I willingly jumped off the 20 foot high ledge. Half way through Ryan and I were nothing short of PERMANENTLY FUCKING FREEZING. The thought of another water obstacle was enough for us to avoid the rest and just complete the course. We did a fair bit of running which made me laugh since I don’t run any more but it kept me slightly warmer than freezing. Eventually all my muscles felt like blocks of concrete and I could barely move them enough to walk never mind run.

I had on both compression shorts and a tank under my wetsuit and a tshirt and pants on top of it all. I ripped the bum out of my pants at some point while sliding down a muddy hill. Another time it took me a good 10 minutes just to use the port-a-potty trying to get undressed and redressed with hands so frozen I couldn't operate a zipper. The thought of just peeing in the wetsuit was an option I chose not to partake in mainly because I had expensive compression clothes underneath. I'm sure it would have been warm for a few minutes but not at the risk of stinking like pee.

Only one last ski hill to climb, I can't wait for it to be over.

Was there any good? Well sort of. I mean at some point you have to look at the situation and wonder how mad we could all be. Cold, wet and hypothermic. Could that be safe at all? It crossed the line from crazy and fun to stupid and unsafe for us. I enjoyed the team aspect and helping others get out of muddy tunnels and over 12’ walls. I am proud of our little team CIM. Moments like watching Ryan do a full on back flip off the ledge into the muddy water or Luke manning up and slinking through the electric eel but I wouldn't do it again. There were smiles amongst the shivers and I love my friends for keeping me going.

That's right I thiefed pics off the site. $30/picture? I don't fucking think so!
This would be us coming through the electric shock at the end. I don't know how many times I got zapped but I sure as hell didn't like it.

Diabetes? Meh. It managed okay. Last year I was pumping and carried a small backpack with my meter bits in a water tight case. This year I had no meter and no insulin on my person the entire time. Luke unplugged from his pump and we both sort of went at it completely blind. I had a couple gels shoved in a pocket and Luke had an apothecary worth of Dex. They either had bananas or clif bars at the aid stations. Thanks to celiac I avoided the clif bars and ate a banana and a gel the entire time. I did not adjust my Lantus or Rapid. I never went low. The plan was to rendezvous with Becky to test and/or give insulin if need be but sadly the course wasn't conducive to that. When I finished, my beeg was 14.2mmol/l (255mg/dl) which I was totally okay with. Luke, on the other hand, was greeted with a 31.7mmol/l (570mg/dl). The perils of being on a pump, he was without basal insulin for way too long. Plus it’s a long day and y’know, we get hungry! Originally I had intended to find a way to carry a pre-loaded syringe but that would also require being able to test. In conclusion, Tough Mudder makes diabetes really… uhm… TOUGH. Everything from pumps to meters to fast acting sugars have to be somehow safe from water and mud.

Huge massive heart felt thank you goes to Luke for being an incredible inspiration. Thank you also to Becky for being tough enough to still come. Lastly, to Ryan for the wetsuit idea. We still froze but without the wetsuits we probably would have outright died.

I wouldn't do it again. Not unless it was in the summer and friends were more reliable. Ryan and I used the gopro until it died so we will have a video up soon. 


  1. I don't know how you do what you do!
    But, it certainly is entertaining to read all about it.

  2. Shouldn't your post have been called...
    Stupid Mudder Effer?
    In any case, you're not stupid, you are tough beyond belief and inspirational!

    Way to go! you 3 + 1!

  3. So... you're saying you enjoyed it and you plan on doing it again next year?

  4. Holy heck, I'm freezing just looking at these pictures! You guys are so hardcore!


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