Hey y’all! I’ve been blogless lately because I wore myself out. I worked my butt off to get Hook Up and Power Trip in to my editor before I started teaching a five-week night class.
I also turned forty.
I considered blogging about turning forty, but even *I* don’t want to read about how great my life is even though I feel conflicted about dying my hair and, yup, these hands on the keyboard look like my momma’s. Hell, naw! Blah, blah, blah.
Instead I bring you juicy inspiration from the Michigan/Ohio Tough Mudder Challenge! It’s an obstacle course designed by the British Special Forces. Twelve miles of mud, fire, monkey bars, walls, barbed wire, electrified wire, hills, dales, rusty pipes and a ton of other crazy shit that was great fun to watch – so much fun that I’m considering doing it myself next year. It was that inspiring. And did I mention the proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project?
I should also probably mention I had to sign a death waiver just to be a spectator.
My husband struggled with a groin injury during his training for this event. He wasn’t sure how the challenge was going to go for him. Actually he wasn’t even sure he would be able to complete it – and he didn’t care. It was all in the name of a good cause, and he’s doing his own fight against forty. Apparently, it’s hard to feel “old” when you spend the winter months going to the gym getting in ass-kicking shape. He recruited a friend from work to be his “Muddy Buddy” and they cheered and insulted each other through their training.
Lucky for me, his Muddy Buddy brought a friend to the event, because I suck at reading maps. We tromped around the outside of the course and took pictures, hooting and hollering. I did him the service of pointing out several fine female asses and he promised not to rat me out for stalking these guys and taking multiple pictures.
I mean, seriously, holy hotness! I have no clue who they are. I don’t care who they are. Let’s just call them inspirational erotic romance research heroes. You’re welcome.
This guy helped my husband over a fourteen foot wall, and then caught his hand and pulled him up to the top of monster Mt. Everest.
It was amazing, amazing to see my husband kicking obstacle ass and grinning, amazing to see the stamina and endurance of so many people engaged in helping each other complete the course, amazing to think maybe I could do it too. I watched a woman try to fly up Mt. Everest fifteen times and slide back down into the mud pit at the bottom. She made it to the top when she reached high enough to catch the hands of the people who were reaching down to catch her. The whole crowd howled in triumph. Sometimes it’s the people you meet along the way who haul your ass to the top. Nobody went over that barrier without stopping to lift a few people up after them. And that’s pretty much how I feel about life at forty. Grateful. Blessed. Humbled. Inspired. Ready to fly at the wall with my hands reaching up and willing to return the favor.
There’s a writing parallel in this experience. Although I don’t by any means feel like I’ve reached the top of Mt. Everest career-wise, I have achieved goals that others are still trying to reach. I didn’t do it alone. When I first started writing, I joined a writing group and the other members of the group lit the way, pointed out the road and then a few of them hauled my ass out of the slush pile by critiquing my work and giving me advice. I feel like I’ve learned enough by finishing a few books and going through the editing process that I now critique for others in the group. Wherever you are, whatever you do, whoever you are, there is probably someone behind you who could use a boost. Lifting others high doesn’t diminish us. Life isn’t a competition. It’s a challenge, a shared experience. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to experience the triumph not only of reaching your own goals, but of helping others reach theirs. If you’re really lucky, there will also be beer.
Lastly, because I just can’t resist, here’s a video my awesome Muddy Buddy took of the guys going through the last challenge “Electroshock Therapy.” My husband gets zapped in the balls and his Muddy Buddy takes a nose dive through the mud. Make sure you turn the sound up!!! XOXO