A Tough Mudder DadStory


What challenges your notion of self-sufficiency?

I’m not a stranger to obstacle course races, but I think a Tough Mudder is going to be a new experience.

My brother and I are set for the Mudder 5k In Nashville on August 12th. Running has been a constant workout activity for me for a long time, but body weight exercises, core conditioning, jumping and sprints have been only occasional activities. In the few obstacle courses I have completed, my physical training has been lacking.

I am not an unfit person; in fact, I do frequent manual labor of medium to high difficulty. But focusing on completing a task is not the same as fitness being the task, and natural ability on its own will not make you a winner, or even a finisher necessarily.

That’s where the real difficulty with training comes in. I’m not alone in feeling like I am insufficient on my own, or in having a real hard time mentally when facing the fact that I’m wrong. Such a realization brought me to running back around 2010. I was 30, had two sons, and after working a desk job for several years, I was unfit. Going back to my glory days wasn’t an option, but I figured I could be alive, healthy, and giving my sons a run for their money long into their teenage years. So I prepared for my first 5k.

Every new challenge requires a different level of preparation. And the start of training reveals just how insufficient you are, which is why all too few people with potential actually take up new challenges. It’s hard, and it makes you feel small.

Nearly a month into dedicated training for the Tough Mudder, I still feel small. But I’m making strides. Just as when I first trained for a 5k, a 10-miler, and a half marathon. Just as when I decided to go back to finish my college education. Just as when I accepted a call to ministry and opted to run for public office. I read this morning that our country was founded on reflection and choice; so are our lives.

Reflect on how difficult the obstacle was, realize you’re now stronger than you were before, and that you will excel even more the next time for having endured the difficulty.

Choose to move forward, whether your most recent attempt was a failure or a success.

I believe your ability to do these two things will not only decide whether you grow and thrive, but it will also determine your legacy to those closest and most important to you.

One week to the Tough Mudder 5k in Nashville at Nissan Stadium. I’ll be posting my thoughts on challenges met and lessons learned through the process of training. Want to have a story worth telling? Read more here and let me know how I can help. Got a DadStory to share? Send yours to glengaugh@gmail.com.

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