I participated in the Chestnut Mountain Mudder yesterday. I’ve done only one other mud race in my running career to date. I signed up for this one thinking it would be quite easy. The distance was roughly one-third my previous mud race and the website informed me that it was “great for beginners.”
After completing this race, I just have to say, I now know why it’s called Chestnut Mountain and I have no idea why it’s rated for beginners.
Wow. I did not expect it to be as hard as it was. Naivety always gets the best of me.
Last fall, when I competed in Seven Springs’ Mud on the Mountain, I went expecting a difficult endurance race with a big mountain on top. I trained accordingly. But this time I went in expecting to breeze through little more than a 5K with a side of mud. I did not prepare for something requiring mountain climbing terrain or mountain conquering tenacity in the least. I now understand the meaning of the term sorely mistaken.
There were quite a lot of volunteers along the course. Funny thing – none of them were muddy. They weren’t tired, beaten, bruised, or broken – and I’m almost positive they had a “no hugs” policy. I did notice another breed of volunteers, though. Running alongside my teammate and I virtually the entire race was part of Morgantown’s Crossfit team. There were quite a few crossfit beginners and several coaches. The coaches were not only stationed along the course to aid, but also running, sweating, and poop creek stinkin’ right alongside their students.
That’s the difference between a volunteer and a coach; a title and a trainer; a preacher and a partner; a looker and a leader.
Oh, and I was quite happy to see the firemen there as well – in case I went up in flames jumping over the flaming hay bales.
Anyway, all in all it was truly a really fun time. I’m thankful for all the volunteers and supporters of such a great cause*. It did make me think about our world, it’s filth, and what kind of help we all really need.
Am I going to stand on the sidelines backing away when dirty hands reach for help? Or will I be part of a different breed? One who is willing to train far harder than everyone I’m reaching for that I might not be timid or tired when I’m in their trenches together with them? Because the latter – that’s the kind of leader this dirty world needs.
*Chestnut Mountain Ranch will establish an academic environment to motivate the student to use his gifts and abilities for God’s glory. (Prov. 22:6) Consistent encouragement, meaningful relationships and quality instruction will help the student and his family realize God’s purpose in every aspect of their lives and equip them to make sound choices.