Friday, October 11, 2013

Doing it tough again

I'm dusting off a post from last year.  Bear with me.

Last year I ran a marathon then 6 days later lined up with my oldest bestie to compete in Tough Mudder.  I knew I could run the distance (20kms) because I'd just run twice that.  I loved it so much that I rallied my troops.  And this year, in fact today as you read this, I'm heading back for more with two gorgeous girls that want to share this madness with me.

Now this isn't about the event, this is about the challenge...because none of us are ready physically for it I haven't run this distance since then.  But that's part of the fun because this will be an experiment in endurance and balls.  And my girls and I have plenty of the latter.  I sent this blog post to them during the week.  Because the overrriding takeout for me is not about being sensible and 40 something and a mother.  This is about being me and having a laugh and having a "can do" attitude.  I'm not here to watch this life.  I'm here to live it.

What about you?

Every couple of years Katie, one of my BFF's (actually my very longest serving BFF - she showed me to the girls loos when I started a new school age 7) and I find an event to do that's about us, about pushing ourselves, about connecting - it needs to have some sort of physical challenge involved and hopefully a smidge of intrepidness.  So far we have done the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker, Mototapu, an offroad marathon in NZ,and this weekend gone, we competed in Tough Mudder.  I know many of you have seen photos and news stories about it, and yes, it really was as wickedly fun as it looked, as well as a physical challenge with electric shocks, mud and high things to climb while on a 20km run.  My marathon weary legs were a little weary, but managed even though I was always a few paces behind Katie.

And we ran, and chatted, and freaked out, and asked strong guys for help, and got muddy, and patted ourselves along the way as we realised that we were passing people who'd started an hour before us.  And we laughed.  At some points, we laughed so hard, we had tears running down our mud smeared faces.  One of us may or may not have  ripped the butt out of their pants resulting in an extra challenge when climbing up and over obstacles with their arse hanging out but it would be wrong for me to mention it here. This one will be long remembered for being fun.

Which got me thinking.  As we get older, how often do we have that kind of fun which makes you feel ageless.  Which makes you feel like you have no burden of responsibilities.  Which makes you feel light and blimmin joyous just because of the sheer fun of it all.  And I'm not talking about the kind of fun you have after that extra half bottle of wine - which is never quite as fun the next morning, (although Sister, the "flag dance" will be longstanding in our family treasure chest of happy memories). I'm talking about those moments that brighten your soul a little, and make you doggedly determined to do MORE OF THAT soon, ok, before you forget how good it feels?

Because I think in our busy lives of responsibilities, of raising children, of paying mortgages, of making our mark on the world, we forget to have fun. Or we have redefined fun as something that is really only a satisfactory attempt at "fun".  It's a little safe and a little controlled, and in my world, usually revolves around my kids and their version of fun.

I'm guessing that there are some of you reading this, who are happily shaking your heads thinking "nup, not me", well I say hats off to you, and I bow deeply, because you are my role models. Don't change a thing, just sit there smugly, because you can.

I ran over a marathon finishing line with my arms in the air and my face fill of joy last Sunday, and on Saturday, I ran laughing with my bum hanging out of my ripped pants, mud smeared all over my teeth, and a light heart.

It feels good to have fun.
When was the last time you had belly-laughing, pants-wetting fun?

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