So, as all of you know as I have talked about it without ceasing on FB...I did the Tough Mudder last weekend. I will probably tell you more about the terrain, the obstacles, later, but I wanted to take this post to talk about what meant the most to me, what I truly think I will remember even more deeply than getting my first (but not only) orange Tough Mudder Headband.
And that was what happened before the race started, when we were all gathered at the start line.
First, I was there as an individual. Now, you don't do TM alone. The whole purpose, and why I love it and why I did it, is that this is not a race, you are supposed to help and support your fellow mudders on the course. You aren't even timed. But still, I wasn't with a team. Until a team I was standing by found out I was a solo, was impressed, and invited me to join their team. I was with them at the end. It meant...a lot. THAT is the Tough Mudder spirit, right there.
Second, the normal stuff of cheering, getting you pumped, etc. Fun! We chanted the Tough Mudder philosophy, which speaks of teamwork and not leaving anyone behind, and has the wonderful line "I do not whine. Kids whine".
Then they had everyone take a knee and asked all who were serving or had served in the Military to stand up. Oh, the cheers for our troops was deafening. DEAFENING. I was so proud to be amongst our brave soldiers, and with people who clearly loved them as much as I did.
As some of you might know, Tough Mudder's charity is Wounded Warriors. So they had everyone take 10 seconds of silence in honor and respect for all those that had lost their lives for our freedoms. In that absolute silence, my eyes started filling.
And then the guy leading us all said that in the Tough Mudder first wave we have a tradition. We don't play the National Anthem. We all look at the flag and sing it. I was one among hundreds that turned to the flag, put my hand over my heart, and our voices raised to the skies singing the National Anthem. Now, the National Anthem always makes me teary eyed, for I love my Country. But this time, in this circumstance, with everyone singing next to me...
Tears flowed down my face and I was so choked up I almost had to hit my inhalor.
And that was even before we started, which is for another post. But...
God Bless the Tough Mudder, God bless our troops, and God bless the USA.