I am a collegiate athlete and in every sense of the word, I am a competitor. I truly love competition, I love pushing my mind and body to the limits and I love seeing results from these challenges. It is for these reasons that the end of my collegiate athletic career terrifies me. I foresee that fateful day with a looming, hovering, black cloud engulfing my entirety. I have a year and a half left of competitive collegiate athletics and I vow to make the most of my time; however, I can’t help but start to think of ways to mentally prepare myself for the next step. I know if I were to end my basketball career with no foreseeable future plans as a competitive athlete I would fall into a dismal state of depression. I plan on perhaps running my share of half marathons, IronMans, and triathlons. But the most appealing of all competitive events to me is the Tough Mudder.
The Tough Mudder prides itself on being “the toughest event on the planet” and demands serious team camaraderie. You sign up with a team, mine is be called “Team Death,” and complete the race not for time but for entire completion. The race is a 12-13 mile course riddle with over 20 obstacles designed by British Special Forces. Some obstacles include crawling through muddy holes trapped with wires, some include running and climbing up a halfpipe or pulling your entire body over a wall with only a rope.
This type of event truly appeals to me because of the teamwork aspect. I will miss the team camaraderie of college team sports more than anything else. I have never been a huge individual athlete, I love competing and sharing my passion with others.
This race is set to occur in May and as the day nears I can’t help but get nervous. There are several challenges that involve a severe degree of mental toughness and pure fear factor that scare me the most. The most grueling and mentally challenging seems to be immersion in a dumpster filled with 34 degree ice water and competitors must swim across the dumpster in this ice water and underneath a barbed wire in the middle. I know that it is challenges like this that are going to require a lot of team effort and I will be leaning heavily on my teammates to help me through.
Only time will tell if I have what it takes. The toughest part will be training for these mental challenges and how will I know if I’m truly ready?
Here’s a YouTube link to a video about the race.