The Ultimate Test

The Starting Line

In my mind, there is a difference between dreams and goals. Dreams are the bigger picture, long-term, “wouldn’t-it-be-nice”, kind of over the top visions. Dreams are the big “what-ifs” on your vision board; the ones that when you sit and seriously think about them coming to fruition you get misty-eyed and choked up. Goals are the smaller (but still quite large) steps in progress to bring you closer to that dream.

Say for example, a dream job. The logical goals would be to get accepted into a program, graduate with honours, get an entry job in that field, yadda yadda yadda until the rest is history and one day you look up and that huge dream that you had, is finally yours.

Sometimes dreams aren’t monumental achievements or events though, but things that you just don’t know how you’re going to accomplish it or get there. That’s where self-help and spiritual coaches tell you to just believe that it will happen, and leave it in the hands of a higher power that you believe in. In this case, I pinned it to my vision board only half-believing it would ever come to pass, and said, “Well it’s up to you Universe…l leave it up to you.”

In 2013 my father challenged himself to finish Tough Mudder. For those that aren’t aware, Tough Mudder is a 17-20k obstacle course designed by British Special Forces to test you physically, mentally, and emotionally; it’s the ultimate test in will power, endurance, and fitness.

I was there when he crossed the finish line. I was volunteering so I was there as hundreds of people crossed the finish line. Some were aloof, others were proud, excited, some were crying out in pain, and there were a few who were just downright emotional. I was emotional right alongside them. Being a sensitive person I picked up on and shared in their sheer joy. I thought they were absolutely crazy for even attempting it – but good on them for chasing that finishing line and getting it done.

I went home at the end of the weekend sunburned, dirty, and exhausted; and I wasn’t even running the course! But I was also in awe of all these people who challenged themselves! Yes, there are the athletes and the people who do nothing but train and they cross the finish line barely winded, but it’s rare. For the rest of them, it truly is the ultimate test.

Building the Dream

I started thinking about what it would be like. How would that feel to cross that line and be crowned with the ever-sought-after orange headband? To train like crazy, to be united with your team and encourage each other, to have fun, and push through the walls so that you can get over that line. What the hell would that feel like?!

Suddenly I was crying.
I have to do this. I have to try.

Then my brain catches up, the anxieties and insecurities kick in and we all do a 180 to thinking about the amount of training, the pain, and “what if I failed?” and “but I’m not fit at all…I could never.” I’m not brave enough, bold enough, strong enough… I don’t have the motivation, the drive, or the discipline. I don’t have the opportunity.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

But I pinned it to the board, and left the intention hanging there with it.

Fast-forward 3 years: someone at work has the crazy idea to put a team together. The event is in only 2 months. 55 days to train from couch to competing is an injury waiting to happen. But it’s the dream! The opportunity is being handed to me on a platter. Just as I asked.

So I said yes.

I may have fallen completely off my rocker…but it’s gonna happen!

One Month to Event Day

We are now just under one month to event day and I’ve been training my ass off. I’m nowhere near ‘athlete’ status but I’m much better off than if I’d continued to stay on the couch.

I’m already noticing slight changes, not so much in my body (though I’m sure at some point things will change…) but other things. I’m often in a better mood, I’m sleeping better, and I’m starting to look forward to training! They say that it takes about a month to form a noticeable habit and I must be at that point.

I took a week off of running to nurse my knees (that’s a whole other post in itself) but still did strength training. But I found myself restless, like I missed running! And let me tell you, I’m not exactly built for running so that’s quite a feat.

I still have my doubts and oh honey am I afraid. But I’ve committed.

My mentality going in is that I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got and see where it takes me. Because even if it’s only half way, it’s a hell of a lot further than if I had let fear decide to keep me on the couch. But who knows… I’ve come this far. I’m continuing to train and get help and insight from professionals and I’m part of a pretty kick-ass team! I’ll do my part, and leave the rest to the Universe.

Maybe that headband will be mine after all!

TM Headband Your time has come


3 thoughts on “The Ultimate Test

  1. Thanks for posting this, it’s encouraging to those of us who have similar thoughts and fears. At 43 I wasn’t sure I could handle it, and in a couple of days I’ll find out whether or not I can, but the training to get ready for it has me in the best shape I’ve been in 15 or 20 years! I would Love to cross that finish line and think it was nothing, but even if I don’t finish, I’m happy with the lifestyle changes I made and the way I feel going into this. My plan is to help anyone who needs it along the way if I’m able to. Good luck to you, and if you see someone getting down, help them out… who knows, you might even help me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading Adrien!
      I absolutely agree that even if we don’t get across the finish line, half the fun (and benefits) were saying yes and training! I’m confident that we can do it though. Congratulations on the progress you have already made. Take it one obstacle at a time 😀
      All the best for your event!


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