Monday, April 23, 2012

Mudder May I Take a POUNDing?

So, a couple Saturdays ago I participated in the Tough Mudder. It was basically an 11 mile long obstacle course, with obstacles pulled directly from a boot camp set up in the 80s by Dr. Kavorkian. The weather was normal for April, meaning that it was cold and rainy. And the rain made the already muddy course even muddier.

So it went like this:
  1. Run through mud
  2. Jump over 15 five-foot walls
  3. Run through mud
  4. Wade through waist deep ice water
  5. Run through mud
  6. Swim through mud
  7. Run through mud
  8. Run up a hill, down a hill, through a lake, up a hill, down a hill, through a river, up a hill, down a hill
  9. Jump off a 25 foot high platform into a freezing cold lake
  10. Run through mud
  11. Run through a field that is on fire
  12. Run through mud
  13. Etc.
  14. Etc.
  15. Etc.
 Do you get the idea?

There were a total of 24 obstacles spread throughout the 11 miles. They don’t call it tough just for fun. I think that there were three separate ways in which it was challenging. The first, and probably easiest to prep for, was that it was long; it tested one’s endurance. The second was that it required bursts of strength to get over the obstacles.

The third was that it was mentally challenging. I have to admit, I was a little freaked out waiting my turn to jump off the high dive into that lake. The volunteer said, “One – Two – Three” and I took a step forward, off the platform. As I was falling I realized that taking that step wasn’t actually what I had wanted to do. I’m glad that I didn’t take the time to think about it. Several of the obstacles didn’t require any particular feat of strength or endurance, but just made me decide whether I was going to give up or do something that was uncomfortable.
I’m happy to report that I survived, with the help of some great teammates (and some helpful strangers), although my legs are a little worse for the wear. Going back to work most people thought I was crazy, and I probably am. I like the sense of accomplishment that I get from stretching the limits of what I think I can do, whether it’s a marathon or a Tough Mudder, and the lessons I learn about myself.

I just hope I can talk someone into doing it with me next year.


Since I  really took a pounding I thought I'd share the recipe for an awesome pound cake we made a few weeks ago. (Thanks to my wife for the juvenile word play). It's full of butter and that can only mean one thing: it's from Paula Dean.

Mama's Pound Cake


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together. Add sugar, a little at a time. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Thanks Paula!