Wow, did I have fun yesterday! My sister and I and some of our friends decided to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run. We signed up months ago, didn’t have a clue what to expect, and boy did we get dirty. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is a 5k distance with 12 obstacles along the way. You have to scale a wall, crawl thru muddy water, climb a net, and much more. Overall, a pretty good time.

I was an athlete in high school. Like, in ridiculously good shape, played 3 sports- athlete! After highschool came college. During college came the freshmen 10 (followed by the sophomore 10, the junior 10, and the senior 10). Thank god I graduated in 4 years! It was funny though, even though I had  completely stopped working out and literally gained 40 pounds, I still thought of my self as an athlete. I obviously wasn’t. If you can’t run a mile, you are not an athlete. 

I had a wake up call a while back when I did a body fat percentage test. I was 29% fat! That is crazy! Granted my baby was only 7 months old, but I had lost all the baby weight so I did not expect that. I was almost 1/3 fat. Combine that with my doctor’s lecture about exercise: “Women don’t wake up 40 and fat, they spend their 30’s getting that way.” I love my doctor; she tells it like it is. That was the stimulus I needed to start exercising.

Fast forward 4 months and I finished the Dirty Girl Mud Run! Not only did I finish, but I ran the whole thing, completed all the obstacles and felt good when I was done. Last night I was already googling other races that I can do. Me and my husband want to do the warrior dash next year and I’m pretty sure my team will come back for more dirty fun.

The Dirty Girl run had a pretty cool vibe too. It was women of all ages and fitness levels. Everyone was helping everyone out. Strangers were helping each other over the walls, nets, and encouraging each other. It was nice to see that camaraderie. For me the goal was to finish strong. I didn’t want the run to kick my butt and it didn’t. For other women it was to just finish. What I did not expect is that for the first time in a long time I felt like an athlete. I enjoyed challenging my body. I enjoyed being competitive. I truly know that the only thing limiting me is myself. There is nothing I can’t do. My highschool self KNEW this. I don’t know why my grown up self forgot.

Getting in shape just seemed so hard. It seemed like too much work. The problem is that before you start, you assume you are going to hate every moment. But, once you get started, you enjoy the process. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming to be the next fitness super-model. I realize I still have a long way to go and I will never be perfect. I enjoy beer and bread way too much.

It’s weird, for the first time in my life I thought about how great it will be to run this fall when the weather cools down a bit. What?! Me? Look forward to running? I never thought that day would come. It just goes to show you that you never know. You just have to start and see where it takes you. I feel like I can say that ‘I am an athlete’ again.