As a young mother with many eyes on me (it seems), I have often had to stop and ask myself, “Am I tough enough?”  Tough enough to get through another sleepless night? Tough enough to gracefully deal with the fourth meltdown of the hour while surrounded by people I respect and hope I handle it right?  Tough enough to teach my boys what they need to know to get through life?

The world we live in is critical and this year I learned a lot about not letting what people think of me get to me.  If I do things with the right intention and to the best of my ability, I can't worry what other's perception of me will be.  Let them walk in my shoes and then they can judge me!

One way I set out to make myself tough enough to survive was to get my body into the best shape possible.  By getting my body strong, I believed I would be ready to tackle my daily tasks with more vigor and better be able to enjoy my state of life.  Joining Anytime Fitness last year was the best decision I could have made to move towards that goal.

After six months of working out religiously, I reached a plateau. Looking for a challenge, I heard about a 12-mile obstacle course called the Tough Mudder, which advertises itself to be “The Toughest Event on the Planet”.

Most people would hear that and run, but it was very enticing to me.   Soon, I had outlined the workouts I would need to do to prepare myself.  Training hard on my own all summer, I showed myself just how tough I can be while maintaining a life with work and three kids' schedules.     (Read more about training and before the race in Part 1 of this series.)

Laura Buller on Tough Mudder day. Laura Buller on Tough Mudder day.

Tough Mudder day came quickly and my body was ready.  My team and I were pumped and slightly nervous to get the race started.   Facing miles of mud, 15 foot walls, ice-water, and 10,000 volts of electricity (don't ask!), it is nice to have teammates to pick you up when your spirits dip, so I was glad to not be doing this alone.

It was dirty, grueling, and exactly what I had expected.  Highlights of the experience?  I finished the event strong, completing all but one of the 28 obstacles in my way and not giving up.  I am a stickler for finishing things and completing this race with a smile on my face was definitely a rewarding feeling.

There was one obstacle called the "Funky Monkey" that consisted of monkey bars over a pool of cold water that I had pretty much assumed I wouldn't be able to complete.  When I got to it towards the end of the Mudder, I was soaking wet and full of mud, yet I was determined to give it my best shot.

Funky Monkey Challenge Funky Monkey Challenge

Drying my hands I watched several strong, fit, and way-more-in-shape-than-me people attempt to cross the bars and fail miserably.  I had the feeling in that moment that I COULD do this; I just had to take my time.

Sure enough, after almost falling and having to go back, I DID IT!  It was so emotional for me.  None of my teammates even saw it. But that didn't matter.  It wasn't for them.  It was for me.

How much in life do you do JUST for yourself?  This year I have had to make many hard decisions, some with serious, life-changing consequences.   I could not even breathe some nights because I felt so overwhelmed and unsure of where God was taking me.

Tough Mudder

It was so refreshing to take a day to conquer a challenge that, as silly as it may sound, changed me.  I love my life, I love my kids, and I love that God has given me the talents and gifts that he has.  Being able to stretch myself in new ways is hard to put into words.

Simply put, what is YOUR challenge?  What will you do that seems out of your comfort zone yet still is attainable?

I truly believe we were not made to stay in our comfort zones and our true selves really come out in situations where we are stretched and uncomfortable.   Are YOU tough enough?  Prove it!

Copyright 2013 Laura Buller