Climbing the Goddamn Wall

About a month ago, I stopped blogging. I stopped posting on Facebook, I stopped Tweeting, I stopped engaging with you, the Mud Run Maniac community. I just stopped. I shut down. I hit my wall.

I pour into it like a freight train, but then…I sputter. I think. I swing and miss. I smash into the freakin’ thing like an inflatable wrecking ball.

We’ve all been there, at the wall. At Tough Mudder, I’ve stared that sucker down until I KNOW 100% I can jump and reach the top. That’s when I GO with all my might! I pour into it like a freight train, but then, a millimeter before I’m about to make my leap to Berlin Wall dominance, I sputter. I think. I swing and miss. I smash into the freakin’ thing like an inflatable wrecking ball.

Yes, it’s happened to me. It’s happened to you. It’s happened to all of us. When it happens, we don’t know why and there’s one of three main choices we can make. Option 1: Quit. Option 2: Go around. Option 3: Find a way over.

Since you’re here reading this post, I’m making the casual assumption that Option 1 is off the table. You didn’t sign-up for a mud run to run home for a box of tissues. You’re here for the long haul, for the exhilaration of not just starting something epic, but finishing it. You’re here because you don’t quit.

When I first started this blog about a year ago now, I definitely hit a few walls along the way. But early on, I always found a way to climb those suckers and get things done and continue to build the Mud Run Maniac community. But in a year, things can change dramatically…

A little about me.

In the past year, my wife gave birth to our first daughter Cecily. It’s so true how the world changes when you have a child. Nothing matters anymore except big picture things like love, nourishment, care and patience. And it all happens so naturally. It’s truly beautiful.

If there’s a reverse positive to this story, it’s that other things in your life take a rain-check or at least a backseat. I’m passionate about mud running and I absolutely enjoy engaging with the Mud Run Maniac community. But when given the choice to toss my daughter in the air, watch her crawl, read her a story, take her with me to Home Depot – OR – blog…it’s a no-brainer.

In February, I started a new job. I work in Admissions at Hunter College in NYC. If you’ve caught any of my MapMyRun posts on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll notice their usually from Central Park…it’s just a few blocks away. I work primarily in marketing and communications, finding ways to employ new media as a means to have a positive effect on enrollment. Blah, blah, blah…it’s actually a great job, and I’m really excited about it. Two issues: 1) it’s far from home (over 1:30 one-way)…2) it takes a lot of time and energy.

So, by now you’re probably saying, “Welcome to the real world Paul. Would you like some cheese with that whine?” And you’re probably right since I’m a big fan of cheese.

But I’m sharing this with you because I know it happens to you too. It’s life and it’s not going away (well, hopefully not anytime soon). So the point is if you want to continue to do the things that exhilarate you, or reduce your stress or are goddamn EPIC, then you just need to do them! I realized, tonight maybe, that I really want to finish this race, but right now I don’t have the time to get over the wall, so I’m going around it. I’ve been staring at this thing waaaaay too long and whether I can fully make it over or not doesn’t matter at this point…I just want to get on with it and get to the next obstacle. Whether it’s at a Tough Mudder or just in life…sometimes, it’s the way it’s gotta be.

So, let’s make it official…I’m back. I finally signed up for Tough Mudder TriState just now (FYI it’s 4:55am 🙂 and Round Two of World’s Toughest Mudder is back on the radar. Thanks for sticking around. And if you’re a new reader or subscriber, just chalk this up to one of the many WTF moments that are bound to come.

Mud run maniacs rock! You’re all my heroes. Now let’s get back to training for epic shit!

Cheers,
-Paul (aka: Mud Run Maniac)

17 comments… add one
  • Stevo of Townsville, QLD, Australia

    Great to hear from ya mate.
    You have more than a few team mates around here to help boost ya over that wall aye.
    Cheers

  • Hal Davis

    Welcom back brother!

  • Welcome back. Just had a little package delivered in November as well and she is the the best thing since the first two, and the Mrs saying ‘I Do’! The Mrs still lets me out of the house once in a while, but all my mud runs have to be chosen wisely – 10 miles is the minimum and no more than a 2 hour drive, which cuts down on the options.

    • Sounds like a sensible compromise! Congrats on the little one and following your mud running passions. Great job!

  • Sandy

    Congrats!! Babies teach us to look at things differently and sounds like your little one has you wrapped around her finger already….as it should be. Happy fathers day, just a little late. Good luck on that next Tough Mudder.

  • i’m the father of two daughters and i know how they melt your heart, congrats. not to sound selfish, but i thought this was one of those ‘i’m going to quit blogging’ kind of posts and i was worried. i like your blog a lot and even if you only get to post once a month i’ll still be looking forward to reading it.

    • Thanks Johnny. I didn’t know what to expect when we found out our baby was a girl, but I really couldn’t agree with you more. She’s absolutely the world to me and my wife and gives us a new reason to smile each day. 🙂
      Appreciate the kind words.
      All the best,
      Paul

  • jenne

    welcome back!!! you’ve been missed.

  • Barry

    Hey Paul, at least you’ve got your priorities straight. I love mud runs, and it has been my “gateway drug” to a bunch of other exciting ventures. More importantly, I’m taking my fitness to new heights. I’m even considering to enter a triathlon sprint. Glad to see you’re back. What time is your tri-state Mudder heat? I believe my heat is at 9AM, 10/20.

    • Thanks Barry! I’m glad to see mud running has influenced you to train for other epic events. Thats the right idea! Best of luck in that tri-sprint. I think I’m 9am Sunday as well. Hope to see u there.
      -Paul

  • Paul,

    That is really moving and I think could do a lot for the cancer fighters in my event. Could you modify it a little bit to make it geared more towards the Bill Bottino Mud Run and the fight against cancer. Can’t wait to see you there.

    Sincerely,

    Norm

  • I am putting together a list of obstacle course races and fell upon your site Paul. Great stuff.

    My wife is actually pregnant with our first. 3 more months til she is born. Super excited.

    Todd

    • Congrats Todd! The best part is when the little one gets a little older so you can train with the jogging stroller.

      Cheers my friend!
      Paul

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