Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Mud Run Experience

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not the athletic type.  I so wish I was, but truth be told, I’m just not very good at athletic things.  I’m content to sit on the side lines and cheer for people, but I don’t like to be the one playing, mostly because I don’t particularly enjoy being laughed at.  I do enjoy being outside and going hiking and I’ll even camp out for a few nights, but that’s about as athletic and outdoorsy as I get.  Now, my husband knew this about me when he married me. So, last year when he decided to participate in a mud run, he knew not to even ask if I’d like to run in it with him. I mean, it’s exactly like it sounds: a run in the nasty, dirty mud.  Yes, I went to watch him and laugh at how nasty he looked and make jokes about how crazy it is that people pay to get muddy. He had a great time participating, and I enjoyed making fun of him on the sidelines.  It was fun for everyone.  So, when he decided to sign up again this year, I wasn’t surprised.  I wasn’t entirely thrilled about the fact that a chunk of our money was wasted, but at least it was going towards a good cause and he was having fun.  But, here was the catch: he decided to sign both of us up this year.  Haha….yeah, right; there was no way I was participating.  Why would I want to participate in an event where you have to run and get muddy and dirty?  And, I’m not getting paid to do it? I pictured falling on my face and mud getting all in my mouth (both of which happened). 

My husband laid on the guilt trip about how it would be a special thing for us to do together…blah, blah, blah.  I fought against my fleshly desire to say no, and I took a few days to think about it.  I finally came to the conclusion that I shared with my husband: “I so don’t want to do this, but if it’s that important to you, I will do it because I love you.”  I kind of hoped he’d say “nevermind, I’ll find a buddy to run with me,” but he was super excited that I was willing to do it, he promised he would run right beside me the whole way, and it would be great fun. 

Fast-forward several months.  Three weeks prior to the race, I had a bit of an emergency when I had some major chest pains that ended with a heart cath where 70% blockage was found and a stent had to be put in.  This is a whole different story that has definitely rocked my world, but by the time of the race, I had started running again and knew I was in good enough condition to do the mud race. I couldn’t use that as an excuse, as tempting as it was. But it’s the night before the race, and the weather conditions do not look promising.  It’s supposed to storm the day of the race! Woo-hoo…this is my “out.”  But, as luck would have it, it rained the night before (making it extra muddy) and ended up a pretty day for the race.  My husband kindly picked out some hideous matching shirts for us to wear with a sumo-wrestler on the front of them (don’t even get me started)!  Our gracious friends, Jared and Adrienne, showed up at the race to watch our three kids as we stood at the start line. 

And, we’re off!  After the first initial huge mud puddles, there was a clear path, and we ran beside each other for a little bit.  This is not too bad, I thought, as I focused on the scenery and the fact that there was not a screaming child pulling on my legs for a moment.  Then, comes A LOT more mud.  I had to climb up muddy mountains and muddy stairs and slide into muddy water.  I fell several times because I couldn’t tell what I was standing on because of the brown, nasty, muddy water. By the end of it, I had mud in every possible crevice of my body…head to toe. 

We finally finished, and I headed to a little “ladies” outside tent to change my clothes.  Scott handed me my bag with my clothes in it, and I kindly asked him where my towel was….the towel that I had asked him to pack for me.  He pulls out a small hand towel that I like to use for our guest bathroom.  I had no words.  I was picturing a nice big beach towel so I could wipe off the wretched mud and at least cover myself as I go into a tent full of complete naked strangers, while the tent door flies open from the wind.  But, no. Instead, I have my nice aqua blue guest hand towel that will be covered in mud as soon as I touch it. I begrudgingly head into the tent with about 20 other women and try to modestly cover myself with my 8 x 8 hand towel.  I emerged from the tent a little disgruntled, but glad to be finished with my mud race endeavor! 

The race definitely taught me something.  No, I would not choose to do a mud race. It doesn’t excite me to get muddy and slide into giant mud puddles, but it is something that my husband loves.  I may never understand that, but that’s okay.  My husband does stuff for me that he doesn’t enjoy all the time…like watching chick flicks with me and helping me tag all of my baby items for my consignment sale and painting the baby’s nursery.  He does this because he knows it’s important to me and he wants to make me happy.  After the mud run was over yesterday, Scott told me that that was one of the funnest things he has done with me in a long time and he asked me to get him a framed picture of us in our sumo shirts!

My recollection of the day may look just a tad different than his, but the fact that it meant so much to him makes it worth it.  Now, this doesn’t mean another mud run is in my future, but it does mean that I will be looking for more ways to do things that my husband loves.  I also hope to find more things that we can do together that are fun for both of us.  Sometimes it’s hard to find things like that when it seems like all you’re doing is taking care of little kids.  But, I think we all have to be intentional to look for creative ways to enjoy our spouse’s company. 

In the busy-ness of life, it is easy to take our spouse’s for granted or to push their desires to the side.  Let’s do something about this and be intentional to look for opportunities to put our spouse first and make the most of the opportunities we are given with each other.  After all, I don’t think we will ever regret spending too much time with our spouse, but I imagine we will regret it if we don’t spend enough time with them! Ephesians 5 reminds us of the importance of doing just this: making the most of every opportunity and being thoughtful of others, thanking God for everything.  Let this be our prayer this week:

Ephesians 5:15-20
"So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

What are some activities that you do for your spouse that you wouldn’t choose to do on your own?  Make a point to think of a few activities that you could do together in the near future and sign up or make a plan to accomplish them soon!

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