“This isn’t about charity—it’s about giving back to the military.”
These were the words of the DJ as participants knelt down on one knee at the starting line of Tough Mudder, an 11+ mile course with 20+ military style obstacles. I took this challenge last weekend at Northstar Ski Resort by Lake Tahoe with four other Cisco employees, plus three friends.
Cisco employee John Milo on the Log Jammin’ Obstacle at the Tough Mudder Norcal 2012
Tough Mudder benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps empower and support post-9/11 veterans as they heal their physical wounds (such as lost limbs) and emotional wounds (such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and re-assimilate into society. Many Wounded Warriors completed the course alongside us.
“As a Tough Mudder I Pledge That…
- I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge
- I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time
- I do not whine—kids whine
- I help my fellow Mudders complete the course
- I overcome all fears”
Some people will tell you to do one thing that scares you every day. Why not take it to the extreme and do a couple dozen things that scare you at once? We did, and even after complete submersion in ice water in the “Arctic Enema” we are still alive to tell you about it.
The biggest fear I faced was electric shock—and I got it bad on the “Electric Eel” obstacle, in which we crawled on our bellies in water with live electrical wires dangling above us. My entire body convulsed, I let out a guttural scream, and shed some tears. For the record—I didn’t cry, but merely “shed tears involuntarily.”
When someone tells you that you’re not capable of doing something because you’re too old, too fat, too girlie, too disabled, etc… do you think to yourself, “Oh really? Watch me!” This just might be the challenge for you. Plus, it’s hard to give up when you have a team helping you out and urging you on. I even scored a piggy-back ride during the “Wounded Warrior Carry” obstacle.
After the race: Sara Weber, Franklin Trujillo, Drew Duchkes, John Milo, and Aaron Tarver.
The sense of accomplishment at the end of the course is priceless (although in case you were wondering, we did happily pay for this torture).
All things considered, the little taste of danger we experienced is nothing in comparison to the sacrifices our military makes daily. Click on the links below to learn how you can make a difference.
Veterans Program at Cisco | Wounded Warrior Project | Donate Now | Find a Tough Mudder