The Survivor Mud Run delivers exactly what it promises. You get to run (as well as crawl, swim, slide and trudge) through mud, and you pay money for the opportunity to do this to yourself. It was 3 miles with 22 obstacles that included walls, cargo nets and monkey bars. But it’s really all about getting down and dirty in the mud.
It felt a lot like I was reliving the opening mud scene from Raising Arizona and for my buddy Pete it was the Shawshank Redemption. I know…eww. I managed to run the whole thing even with my shoes full of mud and water, and the warrior kilt I wore operated like a mud flap on an eighteen wheeler. But I digress.
Something notable happened at one of the mud obstacles. We were trudging through waist high mud water in a long v-shaped ditch with dirt walls on either side. The footing was slippery and it was nearly impossible to maintain balance. I felt someone fall into me from behind and put her hand on my back. “Oh sorry!” she said. “Oh I don’t care if it helps you out,” I offered in return. We were all suffering the same instability problem.
Then it dawned on me that if I put my hand on the back of the person in front of me I could be stabilized too. To help get past the taboo of touching total strangers, I shouted “Let’s all help each other!” Very quickly we had 7 people hanging onto each other’s arms, shoulders and backs, with the outside people pushing against the walls. We created a stable mud juggernaut that could not be toppled.
As we rose out of the muck and onto dry land I smiled. Even through my muddy eyes I could see the metaphor clearly: When you’re down in the ditch and the going is tough, don’t be afraid to ask for help. And with enough people to lean on, you can make it through any trial without falling.
Now I think I need to go take just one more shower…