Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 26, 2012

A dose of muddy teamwork

ASHLAND — The human body is often capable of doing more than the human mind thinks it can. Add a few more human bodies and minds and the seemingly impossible can more easily become reality.

Last weekend, I experienced just that.

A few minutes past noon on Saturday, I crossed a finish line in Maysville with 12 teammates and was crowned with a Tough Mudder headband. We had finished the 12-mile, 23-obstacle challenge course in just over four hours.

Muddy, cold, bruised and battered, we were exhausted yet exhilarated. Together we had braved electric shocks, frigid ice water, fire, steep climbs, a dozen varieties of mud, rocky descents, chilly wind and cramping muscles, yet had triumphed over it all because we worked as a team. We had left no one behind.

The deep sense of accomplishment I felt, still feel, is almost indescribable. In today's “me-centric” society, putting aside one’s individuality to accomplish something shared is an all-too-rare experience. It’s one to be cherished and prized.

The teamwork that occurred on those muddy hills at the Big Rock Off Road Park were both practical and inspiring. It made the course possible and the experience way more fun than I imagined.

Tough Mudder courses are designed to test camaraderie along with mental grit, stamina and strength. The group is valued over the individual in Tough Mudder for a reason. The courses are created by former British Special Forces members and a portion of proceeds from every event benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

It was for that reason I was inspired to take on the challenge. I wanted to do something hard and painful to honor and support our combat veterans who voluntarily shoulder the burden of protecting our freedoms. I could suffer one day to show solidarity with them and raise money to help provide them services to heal. It was my small way of giving back.

Tough Mudder even has its own pledge to hammer that message home. Every participant repeats it before the start of the event and the T-shirts you receive at the end bear it in print. “I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge. I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time. I do not whine — kids whine. I help my fellow mudders complete the course. I overcome all fears.”

I am proud that myself and my team were able to live up to the pledge.

We helped one another to overcome our individual fears on Saturday and to push through the doubt and discomfort that threatened to make us quit.

For me, I was petrified of the obstacle called “The Boa Constrictor.” It had dominated my nightmares for weeks before Tough Mudder and I had planned to walk around it. In the challenge, participants crawl headfirst down an angled corrugated plastic tube into a deep mud puddle, enclosed overhead by barbed wire. The only exit is a crawl-out via another corrugated plastic tube, which is partially submerged in water and extremely slippery.

When I got to it on Saturday, I felt so supported and inspired by my team I decided to try it.

The first tube was a slide-down. Easy enough, but the water was cold and the mud thick, making moving hard. Then I entered the second tube. I quickly realized I would have to crawl several feet before I had enough room to lift my head to breathe, and I began to panic.

About that time, a head obscured the light at the end of the tunnel and then another, filling the opening. A torrent of encouragement began to flow down toward me. Then two sets of hands reached in, waiting to pull me the rest of the way out.

Giddy and uplifted by that small victory, I turned around to do the same for the teammate behind me.

The entire day was filled with moments like that.

There were falls and bruises, but lots of laughter and pats on the back, too.

When I finished I felt stronger and more confident than I did before Tough Mudder.

I completed each and every obstacle solely because I hadn’t tried alone.

I cannot wait to do another one.

Go Team RescuePro!

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

Text Only
Local News
  • jeremymccombs.jpg Jeremy McComb enjoys Tri-State's limelight

    Jeremy McComb’s career has been a wild ride, especialy in the last week.
    The lead single from his latest album was released on iTunes last week and it was a huge success right from the start.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Festival to showcase new plays

    The ACTC New Play Festival will feature 10 student and faculty written plays (short scenes, monologues, ten-minutes, one acts) that will premiere at 8 p.m. April 25 and 26 and at 2:30 p.m. April 27 at J.B. Sowards Theater on campus.

    April 17, 2014

  • 0420mongol1.JPG A ride to remember

    Riding 50 miles a day is no big deal to Amy Whelan.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418melodies.jpg Melodies & Masterpieces returns Friday

    Anyone strolling through downtown Ashland at lunchtime Friday will have a chance to enjoy the artistry of one of the area’s most-respected guitarists as Chris Kitchen kicks off the return of the Melodies & Masterpieces series on Judd Plaza.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418odell.jpg MSU professor appointed state geographer

    Dr. Gary O’Dell, a professor of physical geography at Morehead State University, was named state geographer in January.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill to benefit AK Steel

    During the 11th hour of the General Assembly, a bill extending important sustainable incentives for AK Steel’s Ashland Works was pushed through for approval Tuesday night.
    House Bill 483 was created to extend the plant's incentives provided by the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act in 2004.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pathways begins autism services

    Pathways has extended its community outreach in a big way by providing services for families facing autism.
    Lena Harmon, central director for the company's Kentucky Impact Youth Council, said these services can save families the trouble of being added to long queue lines in Cincinnati and Louisville.
    Harmon said she has heard some families testify having to wait up to 12 months for appointments in faraway cities.

    April 16, 2014

  • Russell academic new dean at OUS

    Nicole Pennington chose a two-year community college degree track in 1991 because she wanted to enter the nursing work force with as little delay as possible.

    April 16, 2014

  • 1936 Indian lasting wedding gift

    When it came time to present his future wife with a symbol of his undying devotion, Virgil Erskine gave her a 1936 Indian motorcycle instead of a diamond ring.
    “I’ve always called it my wedding present. It’s my diamond ring,” said Charlene Erskine, explaining she and her husband were married at Sturgis, S.D., in 1983, found the antique Indian Sport Scout in 1984 and had it restored and on the road in 1985.

    April 16, 2014

  • Boyd Democrats take floor at Elks

    Boyd County Democrats met at the Elks Lodge for a matchup between candidates for two of the hottest primary races in Boyd County: sheriff and judge-executive.
    The candidates, sponsored by the Boyd County Democratic Women’s Club, each took to the podium to face the crowd Tuesday night and discuss the candidacy and platforms for the race that is still over a month away.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone