This past weekend I was on an adventure in Whistler, BC, taking on the Tough Mudder challenge with a group of friends. Tough Mudder is a hybrid marathon/obstacle course challenge that was designed to test your limits, and in the end, raise awareness for those who serve in high risk areas. i.e. firefighters, military, police, and the like. The course consisted of 20 kilometres (12 miles) worth of running, and 10+ physically intensive obstacles to overcome along the way.
An Obstacle In My Way
The obstacle “arctic enema”, one of the first obstacles within the course, contained a vat of ice water with boards that you needed to dive under in order to reach the other side, and climb out. While jumping in, and embracing the ice water, I reached the board, took a breath, and dove underneath. Considering the temperature of the ice water, once you dunk your head, the first thing you want to do is scream, and the second is to get out of there as fast as you can. Little did I know that there was a second board underwater; one I was not anticipating. While underneath, I threw my head forward to get to the other side, and hit my head on the second board, and the thoughts in my head were no longer pertaining to screaming, and moving forward, but a split second of panic while trying to get lower; and this is what I learned.
A Choice To Be Made
I had three options while under that water; stop and do nothing, try and get my head back up above the water, or keep moving forward. Thankfully, I choose the latter, and made it out from the other side. Whether another made it out of the obstacle easily, or had a certain struggle they had to overcome is not the point. The point is what I learned while under that water; to keep moving forward, and to never go back.
If I had gone back I would have 1) had to do it again anyways and 2) failed to test my limits, in a time of adversity. The truth is that some of the most rewarding things are accomplished through pursuing goals while under pressure; and it’s through these circumstances that teach an individual how important it is to keep moving forward. To keep moving forward, and not quit just because it’s too hard, or you ‘never expected [blank] to happen’, is what makes the reward so good, and so special, because not many people have overcome the same adversity that you did.
The brutal reality is that in our society the apathetic spirit has taken over our schools, homes, and workplaces because we’d rather watch TV, or play some video game, and get a high score in a world that is non-existent, and keep living our lives as if we’re heroes. But what gave me hope today was running this course, and experiencing the exhaustion, and pain that some people experience on a daily basis, for the sake of protecting and providing for those around them, in time of adversity, whether your a civil servant, or a civilian in a civil war.
If you want to accomplish something great, meaningful, and impacting, then keep moving forward. Keeping taking on the challenges that are ahead of you, and never settle, because settling is just being ok with who you were yesterday, and knowing that you’ll be the same person tomorrow.