Momma Told Me: How To Own Your Strong: You Can Do Mudderella (Photo Intensive)

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

How To Own Your Strong: You Can Do Mudderella (Photo Intensive)

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for #Mudderella2015. I received complimentary admission to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All photos contained below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2015, except those with the Mudderella logo, provided by the event photographers.
How To Own Your Strong- Why anyone can conquer a Mudderella course! #Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
Momma Told Me: Mind over body.

When I was a young girl I avoided sports and physical exertion at any cost. Yes, I could climb a tree, and I certainly felt more at home rough-housing with the boys than the girls, but the idea of competing or eve cooperating in a group, or breaking into a sweat, was not my concept of enjoyable. Then, at 11 entering 8th grade, my knee blew out doing absolutely nothing, standing in the center of our family's kitchen. One twist the wrong way and I was landing on my knee, tearing a tendon. It was an incident that got me a free pass from physical education though out high school, but somehow remained an excuse through my adulthood.
#Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
#Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
A few years ago I began doing 'fun runs,' such as The Color Run. For me, they were really more 'fun' than 'run,' as me and my teams walked them. For me, there was no accomplishment, or bragging rights, in the idea of running a 5k, so I felt no motivation to do so. This year I began exploring other events I could add to my yearly lineup. An uncle of mine had recently completed a Spartan Race and, while the idea of something so intense and committed terrified me, I wanted to feel a similar sense of goal and achievement. My physical activity was pretty low- I'd only just began getting back in the gym, regularly, in January.

When I came across Mudderella, and announced I'd be attending, my friends and family voiced their concerns. A 6+ mile run/walk on rugged and varied terrain with 10+ obstacles including heights, mud, and water? But I knew Mudderella wasn't just some 'mud run,' I knew immediately, this was an experience I could achieve.
The Works- #Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
The first thing that makes Mudderella so very unbelievably awesome and unique is it's commitment to support. From the moment you sign up you will have access to their weekly training program, designed to help you shape all the right muscles for event day. This intimidated me at first, but really consisted of varied squats, muscle holds, and aerobics- anyone can do. There are even variations of exercises offered so you can decide just how much to push yourself.
#Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
#Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
And once you walk through that entrance gate on game day you are immediately a part of a very special community of women. Walking through that gate at the Solano County Fairgrounds (Vallejo, CA- NorCal Event) I felt instantly empowered and as though I were about to be a part of something truly great. Women of every age, shape, size, and ethnicity had gathered. And, while most teams or groups were dressed similar in matching outfits, I could easily see them commingling and socializing about the event- before it had even begun! So, after checking in, I stopped by 'The Works' and got my bib number painted on me, and a few very special temporary tattoos. I emerged feeling more and more like a warrior every second.
#Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
#Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
At the starting gate participants danced eagerly to the blasting music. I was surrounded by smiles, and pulled into the stories of the unique women surrounding me. Sure, some of the participants had GoPro cameras strapped to their chests and were there with the intent of breaking records and taking names but the majority of us were there to conquer for ourselves.

To my left I chatted with a few women my mother's age who shared that they were participating in honor of their friend, with cancer, who could not attend as planned this year. To my right, 'The Sloth Runners' made up a motley crew of women from 20-64 (I asked) of varying heights and weights. They explained there was no intent to conquer anything except their own personal fears, and that completion was the true prize. And, directly in front of me a group of college aged girls with impressively small waists and toned bodies, in tutus, twerked to Taylor Swift with an energy that was contagious.
Our 6 mile course had 3 water stations, sponsored by Pure Protein. At each one porta-potties stood as on site facilities, and volunteers furiously pumped water into Dixie Cups. Our first water station was stationed after I Got your Back (piggy back carry,) and just past the mile marker. I found the addition of Pure Protein bar cubes a great pick-me up addition to the classic water station concept.
Down To The Wire- #Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
Our first 'real' obstacle of the event was one commonly associated with Mudderella. While the obstacle lineup is not announced prior to the event, and varies with each city, Down To The Wire- or the Mud Crawl, is one boot camp style event that makes for great photos. It's not particularly tough- but it is the first opportunity we had to truly get muddy- as the event cameraman captured in the photo above. My, personal shots were captured with my Samsung Galaxy S4 in a Lifeproof case- I'm happy to report my phone was submerged multiple times and emerged with no damage :)
#Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored

Speaking of cameras and photos- There were professional photographers stationed at 3 obstacles during our event. If you intend on capturing all of your Mudderella moments bring some non participants along to act as your cheering team and snap those triumph moments. Spectator tickets are available at each event and allow one to wander the shorter course 'spectator' route and take photos at leisure. I highly suggest this as it's also a great way to meet up and reapply sunscreen, wipe the mud out of your eyes, or get motivated for the next obstacle. Besides, which of your friends wouldn't want to tell the story about how you scaled that wall and swung through those tires?
Our second obstacle was one we had trained for- Downward Dirty Dog. This tested the majority of my muscles, as I stretched across a carved pit and side-walked (or shimmied) the entire length to the other side. Think of it as one long, held, push up. In fact, the Warrior Challenge (the extra 'cherry' for participants to push themselves) included completing a push up in the center! It was here I discovered why I will be wearing gloves next year. You'll also note there ARE some male participants at Mudderella- they're pretty much all boyfriends or husbands there to cheer on an equally strong woman in their life. Nothing wrong with that!
There was then a long stretch of walking/jogging/running as we wove through the fairground's old stable area. It was fairly scenic, but redundant and not the best for morale. About 3/4 through the stretch we came to the first obstacle where I would require encouragement and assistance. Testing upper body strength, New Heights demanded we scale a wood wall with nothing but our bare hands. I had a team with me to help me out (though one of my teammates scaled it with such enthusiasm she was on the other side before I'd even noticed!) However, there were plenty of participants harnessing the power of women and comradery. Time and time again I saw complete strangers cheering each-other on, reaching a hand out to pull someone up, and slapping muddy hands on behinds to support their fellow Mudders.
Break The Glass Ceiling- #Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
Break The Glass Ceiling was an unexpected challenge. Here a very heavy net was cast across the floor and we were expected to back our way out. The weight of the net when standing alone was unbearable, pushing down, but traveling in a row with other participants immediately became lighter and easier. It was a wonderful example of the spirit of the event and distinctly reminded me of the Futures Without Violence charity benefiting from that day's run. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence; only through our fellow women can we hope to rise and overcome, and end this!
Tough Ta-Tas- #Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
Tough Ta-Tas is another one of those iconic Mudderella obstacles. It was also the only obstacle where we had to stop, and wait. The line to scale this wall was 23 minutes for us, and several of the more hardcore participants simply ran around. While it makes for great event photos- many teams were holding the obstacle up with poses and group shots. I didn't mind, it was a change to recharge just over halfway. Which was good because I would need my energy and determination for the next obstacle.
Ain't No Mountain High- #Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
Ain't No Mountain High wasn't simply the muddiest obstacle of the event, it was also, by far, the toughest. Standing in muddy water up to my hips, I was expected to scale my way up and over mountains of mud and dirt that sometimes came up to my shoulders. Not once, but 5 times! And, I suspect, we were lucky we were in a later wave of participants, because many had carved out nooks and cubbies to grasp and climb. Regardless, this is where I was most determined to help my mind overcome my body. Crossing that last muddy hill and climbing out of those pits I felt exhausted. I felt invigorated.
Squeaky Clean- #Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
We had just passed the 4 mile marker when we spotted more signs of encouragement and a declaration that we were 'almost there!' Here we were met with a silly obstacle- Squeaky Clean. The inflatable human wash required us to climb though on hands and knees with fluffy suds all around us. Fun as it was, it certainly was no place to take a bath and 'get clean.' After all, Hat Trick, yet another Mudderella event staple was the final obstacle, and just ahead.
Hat Trick Obstacle- #Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsoredHat Trick truly tests those with a fear of heights as well as those afraid of bodies of water. This is a great place to point out that Mudderella encourages participants to skip any obstacles that they feel are beyond their comfort level. One could, in theory, runt he entire course never having done a single obstacle. There is no judging- participate in Mudderella for you, and only you- conquer what you feel you can conquer. However, you should know, you are stronger than you think! We completed all 11 obstacles on event day, except the piggy back carry. Above you will see JoJo making her way down the Hat Trick Slide after spending a few minutes clinging to the top. She was terrified, but determined to conquer her fear of heights!
#Mudderella2015 Norcal #IC #sponsored
At the end of the event we passed by the Fruit Shoot Jr event course (a small obstacle course available to kids) and walked back into base camp where we were handed our event headbands, t-shirts, and those 21+ could claim a refreshing complimentary Shock Top beer. Music blasted, people amazingly had the energy still to dance, and our team made their way to the back of the camp where a shower station was set up to rinse and change. There also happened to be a shoe graveyard for participants to discard their event footwear, surrendering sneakers to the Mud gods, so to speak. For more photos from my event day, and the other events from this year, check out the Mudderella Facebook page!

Above you'll see me after exiting the fairgrounds. I survived. No, I did more than survive, I conquered! I'm not going to lie, I used muscles I very well may have never used before in my life- and I was sore for days after- but I wore my aches and pains like a badge. I am incredibly proud of myself, my team, and every woman who stood alongside me at Mudderella NorCal 2015- and yes, I WILL be back next year! Now, tell me, what part of the Mudderella event would prove most challenging for you- heights, obstacles, water, training, 6 miles, the mud? Whatever it is, I know you could conquer it! Own Your Strong and find an upcoming Mudderella event near you and register today, events in Colorado (8/22), Pennsylvania (9/12), and New England (10/3) are still open and for sale!

What Daughter Says: The only way to find your strength is to open your mind.

22 comments:

  1. I am definitely a strong woman. I'm 3 months away from getting my black belt.

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  2. you are so awesome! I don't think I could accomplish a mudderella! Although I am 7 months pregnant, that could be a big barrier for me. lol. But seriously of any obstacle challenge, I think this one looks like the most fun! So proud of you! You definitely should be proud of your accomplishment on this one!

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  3. You are not only awesome, but I can't believe you just wrote the best story-telling of a mud obstacle course that I've ever read. LOL It looks like a ton of fun, I just don't know if I'd have the stamina!

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  4. I saw this and I thought of you immediately! You just know how to have fun. I don't think I'd be able to walk through it let alone doing any of the obstacles. The photos are amazing.

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  5. Looks like you had an amazing time. I will have to see if they have these in my area.

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  6. This looks so amazing. I would love to get a group of friends together to do this. You must feel so accomplished when you are done.

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  7. My friend just did this event. It looks like a blast. I will have to try it next year.

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  8. Wow. That is awesome you did this! The 6 miles definitely would be the most challenging for me.

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  9. How much fun. I have friends that do runs like this and I have always wanted to do one.

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  10. Wow this sounds like an awesome challenge! I bet my daughter would love doing one of these!

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  11. What a fun challenge . Great shots of your progress too. :)

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  12. You're so brave to participate in an event like that! I would be too scared and too afraid of getting so messy!

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  13. I want to do something like this, but I can't get any of my friends to do with me! You look like you had a blast!

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  14. you rock sister! doing somethign like this takes bravery and courage. Nice job.

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  15. This looks like such a blast! You are awesome!

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  16. I wish this mud run came near me. I love doing mud runs they are so much fun to do.

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  17. How awesome is that! SO proud of you! Was it very intense like tough Mudder?

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  18. Great job! The only way to do it is with a friend. I've been wanting to do a mud run. Now I just need to find a friend willing to do one with me.

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  19. Oh my gosh, this is like my childhood dream right here. I am not sure if I could do it as an adult but kudos to you for making it!

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  20. I will be participating in Mudderella in September.... I admit I am a bit scared, but I know I can do it!

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  21. It looks messy but fun! Ive heard so much about this event and hopefully one day I'll be able to do it.

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  22. Way to go! Proud of you for completing the course. I've never done a Mud Run. Looks fun. The Downward Dirty Dog would be the hardest for me. I don't have much core strength.

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