My CFS Story- Part 3: Tough Mudder

February 15, 2016

Well, it has been awhile since I wrote Part 1 and Part 2 of my journey into Chronic Fatigue if you haven't had a chance to read them, or would like a refresher here they are...

My CFS Story- Part 1: The Never Ending Cold
Back where it all began!
The catalyst!

My CFS Story -Part 3: Tough Mudder

They ( the medical professionals) did not know what was going on with my body. So, with Asthma being the only diagnosis, I was cleared to do Tough Mudder. That being said...I'm pretty stubborn, so I probably would have decided to do it anyway. Especially after ALL the training that had happened.

Anyway, the day arrived, and I was pumped! And scared...oh so scared. Would little old me who had been unfit for so long in the past, really be able to complete the equivalent of a half marathon with a ton of crazy strength obstacles in between.
Me Pre Race

But, I was doing it as part of a community. And the aim was no man left behind. The idea of Tough Mudder is that you help your fellow competitors, it is a team effort. You may have never met the person in front of you...but their aim was to help you through, likewise, it was my job to help the person behind me. Every person had a part to play.

Tough Mudder has reminded me a lot of what life with a chronic illness is like.


Because you can't do it alone. You can't face all that life whilst you are sick alone. You need a helping hand.

You need that team around you encouraging you to do your best, helping you with your weaknesses, training and doing life alongside you.

You need others around you being vulnerable admitting that they too are freaked out by what is ahead.

You need that friend running beside you at kilometre 7, counting you through the next twenty seconds...taking life one tiny chunk of life at a time.

You need that friend jumping with (ie. pushing) you into the water when the height has you paralysed with fear. You need that friend challenging you as another setback leaves you struggling to take that step forward.

You need that stranger reaching down to yank you up and over wall in front of you. It is amazing how the kindness or a simple act by someone you don't really know can make a difference in your day.

You need that person who yanked you out after you got zapped by the electricity and you are frozen...those people in your life who pull you out of the dark spots and encourage you forward onto the next challenge.

You need that friend who encourages you that "you can do this" as they give you a leg up and over the wall, over the next hurdle that life throws your way.

You need the people in your life who are waiting with arms outstretched when you are freaked out running directly at a slippery slope and you can trust will catch you as you fling yourself upwards. You need those around you who will catch you as you scale your Everest.

You need those friends and family members that will forgive you when you snap at them, when the fatigue, the pain, or the heartache has got all too much.

You need that person giving you the extra push up the hill...spurring you onto perseverance.

You need people around you who don't comment or make any mention of the fact you are the slowest on this journey, but instead stop and wait and allow you the time and space to catch up and do things in your body's timing.

You need the people around you who know that life...just like an obstacle course a team effort. Who start strong with you, who walk/run the journey together, who are moving towards a common goal, who are helping others along the way who have joined the journey, bringing others with them, to finish the race well together.

The Team (and some random dude!)
These verses from Hebrews 12 (verses 1-3) come to mind when I think of this race, this life…

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (NIV-emphasis mine)

May my journey through chronic illness be run with perseverance. May my eyes be fixed on Jesus. May I not grow weary and lose heart!

Walking (and running) through life with a chronic illness you need those around you to celebrate with you. To celebrate the small wins, to celebrate the big. You need those alongside you to encourage you to persevere and point you to the finish line. To encourage you so that you do not grow weary and lose heart.

So, I completed Tough Mudder. I both loved it and hated it. A mere three weeks later I was officially diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.

I guess there are not many people who have (idiotically) completed Tough Mudder with a major chronic illness. (Though secretly...I'm really proud of that achievement!)

I look forward to the day I can complete Tough Mudder again, this time without a chronic illness. I hope that when I do, I can have the same team running the race alongside me.

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