Friday, October 11, 2013

Tough Mud

Photo courtesy of Tough Mudder
While we were waiting for the way to open to work on my bike (and continuing to bide our time until we can try to cross the border back into the States), Roel discovered that there would be a Tough Mudder held just North of Toronto. Roel had volunteered at a Tough Mudder that I had worked at back in Vermont, and because he did such a great job, had been given a voucher to participate in a TM in the future for FREE. With our budget, free is pretty much necessary for any extra-motorcycle activities.

So, we headed back to Hans and Carol’s in Toronto, and joined them on Saturday for a nice ride to Tweed, Ontario where their BMW club was meeting at the home of club members we had also met at the Horizons Unlimited Meeting. It was a lively meet-up and we were really able to appreciate how this camaraderie has played a role in each members life (I think some of them have been in the club for 30+ years! Can you imagine being in any club for that long? Amazing.). But it quickly became apparent that they are like one big family. We were welcomed, right away, and made to feel “at home,” BMWs or no BMWs. 

Before sunrise the next morning, we headed for Mt. Saint Louis, on the lookout for deer until the sun rose enough to dry out the fog that completely concealed whatever was on either side of the yellow center line. I think I was on the verge of hallucinating fluffy white tails just before we finally pulled off at a coffee shop, where it took a good 5 minutes to get the feeling back into my fingers and toes.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Tough Mudder, it is an endurance event designed by the British Special Forces, and runs a course over 17 kilometers of mountainous terrain, over, around, through and under obstacles, and, as the name suggests, through pit after puddle after pond of mud. Tough Mudder raises funds to support the Wounded Warrior Project,  an organization whose purpose is “to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history." It’s an extremely apropos event to support an organization that does a tremendous service for those who have given invaluable service. 
Roel landing after sliding through the smoke chute
 Most people train for months leading up to this event. Not Roel. But he did an amazing job and actually finished, keeping true to the values of the event that are based on teamwork and heart.
I spent the day volunteering and helping Tough Mudders, including Roel, to get over/through the Smoke Chute obstacle. Oh, and I got lots of love from the Mudders I was cheering on… in the form of muddy hugs… and a kiss from the Toughest Mudder of them all. 

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