All Tough Mudders have to take a pledge.

- 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.

The last one really resonates with me… I OVERCOME ALL FEARS.

At my lowest point, I was scared of everything… heights, tight spaces, being trapped, getting sick, getting hurt, saying the wrong thing, not being in control, failure, embarrassment… need I go on? I lived in fear every day. It was exhausting.

For the past two and a half years, I’ve been changing my life. If you don’t know my story, read it here. To me, the Tough Mudder was not just a race… it was a truly life-changing day where I proved to myself that I have changed and that I’m not going back.

There’s something exhilarating about facing all your fears in one day. Of course I was scared… I had no idea what was going to happen. Can I run 12 miles? Am I strong enough to get across rings and monkey bars? Am I going to have a panic attack in the underground tunnels? Am I going to be able to run up a half pipe and trust that someone will catch me (hello control issues!!)? Will I be able to get over the walls? Can I handle jumping in ice water? Will I get shocked? Will I hurt myself? Will I chicken out?

The old me would have let these questions get the best of me and I would have made up an excuse to get out of the race entirely. The new me took this as a challenge and used these fears to excite me and push me to do something out of my comfort zone… that’s where the magic happens you know!

I am happy to say that I did every obstacle and made it to the end. I did fall from the monkey bars and the rings but it did not feel like failure and it wasn’t embarrassing like I thought it might be. It felt amazing because I gave it everything I had and then some. There was no judgement… only support. And with the completion of every mile and obstacle, I felt myself getting mentally stronger. It was truly the most empowered I have ever felt.

I could not have made it without my teammates. They were crucial to my success. They helped me over walls, through waist-deep mud, through ice cold waters, and through 12 miles of challenges. Being the only woman with three men was great for me… it made me push myself to keep up and give it everything I had.

During this challenge, there was no time to think about fears. Only time to jump in, without hesitation, and OVERCOME fears. And you know what, all those things I thought were so scary weren’t so scary after all. I left my fears at Westgate River Ranch and I’ll tell you this… I won’t be going back to claim them!

Next up? Tough Mudder South Florida - April 12, 2014. Who’s coming with me? ;)