I’m back with Part 3 of my story. I know it’s been a long time, so if you need to refresh your memory, read Part 2 here!
“Jen, my ankle,” Mom said.
I tried to ignore her. Mom complaining about her ankle is just her way of trying to quit the race. I’m not having it. We’re at the halfway point, I think. But I am slightly concerned we maybe overdoing it at this point.
We reach another obstacle. There is a dip in the middle of the road filled with muddy water that we have to cross. I could hear the moans and screams from many of the participants in front of us. Not one person could get out of this muddy pit.
I quickly strategize to see how Mom and I can come out of this alive and with her ankle intact. Meanwhile, Mom is still reeling from that fire truck and her ankle, her poor ankle. She says she can no longer lift herself up, and I can see the paralyzing fear on her face.
In trying to keep the situation calm, I quickly grab her hand and just go for it. She, of course, released my hand, which left me no choice but to move forward. Someone has to lead, right?
I, once again, dive head first into the mud. Mom follows me and forgets that she ever injured her ankle. After we pull ourselves up out the mud for the 1000th time, we head into the woods.
The Other Side of Fear
“What’s that?” I ask Mom. I can see a weird yellow apparatus ahead of us. As we move closer and closer, my biggest fear started to come true.
“That thing is huge!” I tell Mom. She doesn’t answer, but just stands with me in the woods silent. We both look up as if we were facing a giant. This net had to be about 15 feet in the air.
“I’m not doing this,” I said.
“Come on Jen!” Mom replied.
She approached and started to climb the net. I was still hesitant. That thing is just too high. Now I’m the one who needs a cheerleader. I am deathly afraid of heights.
Because Mom did it, I decide to take those first steps on this net/apparatus thing. It didn’t seem bad at first. Mom quickly made her way to the top, so I began to climb faster. I soon realized this thing is highly unstable. I began to sway from side to side as more people started to climb. I even see kids pass me, make their way to the top and climb over. This whole situation is just sad.
And to add insult to injury, Mom decided it was just too much for her to finish the obstacle.
“I can’t do this,” Mom said.
She then proceeds to climb down. So there I was on the net, frozen. Did I mention I’m deathly afraid of heights? It seemed like I was stuck there forever. I’m pretty sure over 100 people passed me at this point.
After a few minutes of strangers coaching me through, I finally climbed over and down the obstacle. Mom was just happy to get a break. She had a conversation with one of the mud run volunteers.
After climbing down, I saw another person trying to conquer the same fear. I didn’t have the heart to help her. Mom and I had to move on. We lost a great deal of time.
We power walked into the woods hopefully for the very last time. As we ventured further, it seemed the mud was getting deeper and deeper. And there was no end in sight. I had to rely on my wits and my faith in God to get me through the rest of this race.
After quite a few falls in the mud, Mom almost quit again. She then fell again.
“Mom,” I yelled. “I cannot keep picking you up.” We’re too big for this.” Get it together!”
“Jen, I don’t have anything left in me,” Mom said. “I just don’t have anything left in me!”
I’m over this whole cheerleader thing. I’m hot, sweaty and dirty. Her survival skills are just going to have to kick in. Sorry Mom.
After five more obstacles, we could finally see the end! We could finally see sunlight! And our whole team waiting for us! But we weren’t at the finish line…yet.
Mom instantly thought the race was over. Her boss, co-workers and I had to convince her to finish. So we dragged her up that last hill and carried her over the finish line. We did it. We finished in just under 3 hours. And we weren’t last. There were at least three people behind us.
Mom and I at the finish line/Photo by: David Feliciano