Let me rewind a little bit. My wonderful cousin was participating in this 10 mile obstacle course called the “Tough Mudder” and invited my sister, another amazing cousin, and I to run it with her and her friends. What an awesome experience! We all signed up right then and there. But there was one problem….I am NOT athletic, I do not enjoy working out or going to the gym, and the most I’ve ever run at once was 2 miles...not a good set up. Additionally, my sister is one of the most fit people I know, my one cousin is a weight-lifting champ, and my other cousin is an absolute pro at this course having run it over 5 times. So, the day of the race arrives and we’re off! By this point, I had come to accept that I was going to die.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad. Yes, it was hard, but I tried all 25 of the obstacles over 10 miles. A neat thing about the Tough Mudder is that they’re very intentional about how the race is set up. Every obstacle is geared towards different fears people have: heights, tight spaces, etc. Additionally, everyone HAS to rely on their teammates to get through; there’s no way to complete the challenges on your own. I learned some things about myself that I didn’t know before :D
We got through the majority of the course and we came to the second-to-last obstacle: The MUDDERHORN. Let me help you visualize. It’s nearly 3 stories tall. Only netting is between you and a very, very long fall.
I was still going on adrenaline from the last obstacle so I just hopped up and started climbing. I made it about half-way up the first side when I made the mistake of looking down. It was really far. Then, I looked at the netting. Those were really big gaps! That’s when my mind spiraled: “I could fall through those holes. I’m going to die.” That was the thought that paralized me. It was at that point I told my cousin, “I can’t do this. I have to get down.” To her credit, my cousin was extremely gracious and gently encouraged me to keep going. That I just had to focus on one step at a time. Not to look down, but to look at her. keep going, keep focusing on one step at a time, and not look down, but to look at her, God whispers the same to us.
So, I did. I kept going one painful, scary step at a time. Pretty soon, I was at the top. In some ways, that was both the scariest and most encouraging part of the whole experience. It was scary in that I had to look down and it was the highest I’d ever been. But, it was the most encouraging in that I was supported by a metal frame now and not the netting. Plus, I got to go down now. That was amazing!
I booked it down as fast as I could and soon found myself on the ground. I remember just looking at that scary thing and thinking, “Don’t cry. Don’t cry. The worst is over.”
Even though that was the scariest, most-unnecessary thing I think I’ve done, it was also the most rewarding. This applies to real life too, you know. God doesn’t call us to what’s easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Physically, I was completely capable of doing that obstacle. Additionally, He doesn’t expect us to do the hard stuff on our own. Just like my cousin was right there with me, encouraging us to keep going, keep focusing on one step at a time, and not look down, but to look at her, God whispers the same to us.
He’s with us every step of the way and He KNOWS we can do it because He is with us and has overcome everything by paying the price.
Would I ever have put myself in that position if I had known the fear?
But, because I did it, I gained and learned so much more than I ever would have if I had remained comfortable on the ground.
Well, I hope this encourages you to do the scary things anyway
Hi, I'm Abigail Dorn, the founder and director of Arts With Love.
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