The Mud Ninja Experience

I finally had an opportunity to participate in an extreme obstacle course event, The Mud Ninja, on Saturday. We’ve helped clients prepare for these over the last year, so I was excited to test my MovNat skills on the course.

It was a lot of fun to be part of the Train4Autism Columbus chapter team and support this important cause with a great group of people, headed up by Jamie and Jenn Fellrath.

We've had a few obstacle and movement training sessions at MovNat Ohio as a group to prepare for this, but you can’t really prepare for this.

The best part of the event was the team -- the cool people you share the experience with, the stories and laughs, the strategies that work and some that don’t, and how you help each other get through the 25 obstacles and the muddy, treacherous trails in between.

Mud Ninja is on a some hilly, rocky land owned by a family outside of Chillicothe. This year the mud was double-overtime as it rained the entire morning of the event and most of the day.

before the race.jpg

Walking on muddy downhill trails often proved more challenging than the obstacles. One moment of not paying attention, and down you go. Balancing body weight evenly on both feet, staying low, and being ready to go into an inverted crawl (crab walk) at any time helped a lot.

Truly, mindfulness was the most important skill -- along with positive thinking. Look how happy we are!

If an obstacle got ‘ya and your mind said, ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I don’t want to do this’ you might as well pass that obstacle by, plan on going into the drink, sliding down the muddy hill landing on your hind end, or finding a teammate to help you strategize and get through it.

Amy and I experienced this at the 'muddy holes' obstacle.

We talked strategy and landing form and then jumped across 3 muddy trenches and made the landings (not pretty landings, but we did hit the bank) and then we realized there were 3 or 4 more trenches to jump over. But we were mentally and physically done. It was one of the last obstacles and as we watched people jump and slam their ribs into the embankment, so we listened when our minds and bodies decided our work was done here.

All day long, I couldn’t wait for the next obstacle. Rope challenges over muddy water were my favorits -- the MovNat leg-over-leg traverse and the swinging side traverse did the trick with the rope.

My absolute favorite was launching off a springboard and grabbing a knotted rope and climbing up to the platform. I did that one twice much to the surprise of the guys at the top who give you a final hand up.

It doesn’t make sense ... I came home battered, bruised, sore, exhausted, with an eye swelling shut (mud in my eye all day, no joke) and I am not sure what's up with my left knee.

But I couldn’t be happier.

It was just plain 'ole fun.

It was play with an element of surprise, some danger thrown in (re: Widow Maker Hill) and a great community of crazy people to share it with.

Shaking up our comfortable lives for a day is a good thing. Give it a try.

P.S. Special thanks to Traci Auerbach for the wonderful photos and videos and to all my teammates for your help and great attitude!