I’m not elite. I’m not hardcore. I’m an amateur athlete with an elite, hardcore spirit willing to give IT a try. I’m a mom, wife, and a hard worker trying to inspire others to give IT a try as well. IT all began when my husband begged me to do The Bearable Run. Now, the name of the race should have sent me running to the hills as it had a tint of sarcasm when my husband described it to me. The phrase “obstacle run” was foreign to me as was long (longer than running from the basement to the upstairs after I turned the light off) distance running and serious mountain biking. I mean, ok, I ran. But running with my husband is a totally different ball game. He is a soldier. He trains for this every day. I considered getting two young kids out the door on time “training”. (Hey, it’s cardio.) I thought I was going to die at this race. We ran through rivers, crawled through mud, solved puzzles, swam, mountain biked, and ran some more. Well, low and behold, I not only survived, but I loved IT. So much in fact, I’m addicted now to mud runs, obstacle runs, strength training and just plain running.
My husband soon deployed after that race and I found the therapeutic side of running – the hash it out on pavement, peace on the trail, sun on my face, wind in my hair kind of therapy. As I was becoming physically stronger and a better runner, I found myself becoming a better mom and stronger wife. I had energy and a new outlook on life. I was craving more grit and grind of these obstacle races and I was encouraging others to join my adventure!
I have this amazing sisterhood with other military wives. I know how easy it is to fall into the “typical” army wife lifestyle and I wanted to encourage my sisterhood to hit the door running. Not from their Soldier of course, but from the depression, the eating, the doubt. It seems as though we are always in limbo, always waiting for them to come home, always living vicariously through their hero’s adventures. I was honestly tired of seeing overweight unhappy women in fact I used to be one. The Bearable knocked some sense into me. I’m capable, I’m willing, and gosh darn it, I’m going to give ME a chance and live through MY adventures. That’s when the Dirty Girl Mud Run came into play.
I took my umph from Bearable and my therapeutic running and put it towards getting others to join me! What went from a group of 5 girls soon became a team of 60 women! We called ourselves the GI Sloppy Janes. It was one of the best days of my life. Now, logistics for 60 women to run together on a Saturday is pretty insane. I mean, finding a babysitter alone requires hard liquor. We had t-shirts, ribbons, posters, and even supporters! The race was an absolute blast and awe inspiring. No, there were no elite runners or waves of women who were Olympic athletes. We were regular women – moms, daughters, sisters, even grandmothers – all putting our “to do” lists aside, our fears aside, our doubts aside to show the world we are capable. We are ready. We are not afraid. And we can do IT.
Dirty girl led to Rugged Maniac, which led to Survivor, Spartan, Dirty Dash, Color Me Rad, and even Run the Rockies Half Marathon. I am so grateful for the lessons, adventures, and gifts of each run. 2014 I’m going to push harder. I want to go from amateur to elite. I want to show my kids that mom can do IT. I want my husband to be proud of me. I want to prove to myself that I have IT in me. So look out 2014. Here I come. I’m going after IT.