I never knew being black and blue could make me so happy!
After 17 months of losing weight and nine months of intense training that took me from an overweight sedentary individual to successfully participating in a Tough Mudder, I couldn’t be more sore or happier. On June 3, the Dryer Vent Wizard Corporate team made up of Jason Kapica, Mike Donnelly, me, and 6 brave friends and family members ran the Michigan Tough Mudder to help raise funds for the Children’s Burn Foundation.
When I dragged my sore and still exhausted body out of bed on Sunday, June 4, I noticed my legs were covered in bruises. Hauling myself over walls, through mud, and under barbed wire battered me. When I saw myself in the mirror, I started laughing and decided that every one of my bruises was a well-earned badge and I was happy. What kept me going through my training and on the day of the Mudder is that our team was doing this for many burned children who need the help the Children’s Burn Foundation provides. These bruises are a small price to pay for any money that our team is able to help raise for this awesome organization. Our fundraising page will be active until the end of June, so if you would like to help add to our cause, please visit www.DryerVentWizardCares.com to donate.
The Mudder event was like nothing I have done in my life. All participants at this event help each other, not just teammates. Everyone helps everyone! The designers of the course make sure most people will need help at some point. I accepted help and offered it during the event. There was an outpouring of encouragement all day. I was hugged and high fived by people I have never met and will likely never see again. I have never felt as much pure joy in my life, not only what I felt myself when I finished an obstacle, but on the faces of everyone when they helped another Mudder:
There were 5 of the 20 obstacles that I was not able to complete. I will train for another year and do the Michigan Mudder again next year to try to conquer all of the obstacles.
No accomplishment takes place in a vacuum and I need to thank some folks for helping me earn this achievement. I will always be grateful to these people for supporting me as I prepared for the Mudder.
- My husband Mil, he made it possible for me to find the time to train and never questioned my ability to do this
- My daughter Jen, my sister Denise, and other family members and friends who encouraged me all along the way
- Jason Kapica for asking me to join him in the Mudder and telling me I could do it
- Mike Donnelly for being a great sport and joining us on the team
- All the employees and franchisees at Dryer Vent Wizard who cheered us on
- The rest of our Mudder team, it was amazing to watch and participate in the teamwork it took to finish the Mudder!
- My business partner, Dave, who picked up the slack in our business to give me time to train, and for being a huge cheerleader for me
Finally, I send a special thank you to my personal trainer, Mason, at the Fitness 19 gym in Farmington, Michigan. Mason spent 9 months making sure I was ready. He constructed training in the appropriate order so that I would not injure myself but still gain enough strength and endurance to finish the Mudder. Mason pushed, encouraged, and laughed with me for those 9 months. Without his help, friendship, and expertise, I would not have been able to be an active participant in this fundraising effort, or experienced this amazing event!
At 66, and just nine months into my journey to get fit, making it though my first Tough Mudder is an accomplishment that will always make me proud. But, my journey is not over. I will continue to improve my fitness level and look for other opportunities to push myself outside my comfort zone. Who knows what the next new adventure might be!
-Terry Reuer, CEO of Dryer Vent Wizard