As you might have noticed, on the weekends, I love to do races. Long races, short races, races with bling, races with costumes, and the list goes on and on. Today was mud racing day, and the special part about this morning's race is that it was the first time in more than a month that Kay was able to come out and play with us. With starting back to work and being the loving support behind her husband Jim's cancer journey, her plate has been full and her days exhausting.
This morning Jim (as spectator and photographer) and Kay joined Mark, Emily and I for a little fun, a little mud, and a little obstacle course craziness. As I trudged through the course with Emily and Kay by my side, I was struck by the lessons that could be learned from our mud running experience.
Sometimes life tries to suck you down to the depths, and you have to fight like hell to pull yourself back up again. There were times during this race that the mud was so thick that your shoes and feet would stick, and we had to struggle to keep our shoes from getting sucked off our feet. No matter how hard the struggle, it was worth it because soon we were back on flat ground where we could run freely and quickly through the course--back to a flat and easy run.
It was important that Kay, Emily, and I stick together today. This was not a race done for time, because it was more important to make sure that we all made it through the obstacles safely. There were slippery, muddy hills that we had to help each other conquer, mud pits to pull each other through, rope obstacles to lend a helping hand, because alone we were not as powerful. There was a point in this race where not only were Emily's shoes stuck in the pit, but she fell backwards in a position where she had no leverage to move herself forward. She needed help to pull herself up so she could move forward in the race. In life we need each other to face those mountains that try to get in our way. We can be strong alone, but together we are a force to be reckoned with.
Sometimes you need to just let go and have a little fun. Life can be so serious, so challenging, so unbelievably exhausting if you do not set aside time to get out there and play. My dad always wonders why I time every run and why sometimes I don't just get out there and run for the joy of running--dad, this was pure fun. No GPS, no music, just running with my friends, playing in the mud, and topping it off with an exhilarating trip, twice, down a huge water slide into the lake.
As we all get out there into the real world next week, remember to push through the difficult parts, stick together and support others along the way, don't give up on yourself no matter how difficult it gets, and don't forget to make time for some fun. These muddy lessons learned should help us move forward and enjoy the journey along the way!