Tough Lessons From Tough Mudder

66 is not typically the age at which people begin training for a 10+ mile, military-style obstacle course. But, that’s exactly what I did. In December 2015, I changed my habits, got fit, and dropped 65 pounds. On June 3rd, after 9 months of intense training, I will run in the Tough Mudder Challenge.


Sustaining habit changes hasn’t always been easy, but it has been an excellent learning experience. While Dryer Vent Wizard International is completing the Tough Mudder Challenge to raise money for the Children’s Burn Foundation, I truly feel that I’ve gained more than I am giving. Training for 9 months, 6 days a week to do something that not too long ago I thought would be impossible, has taught me the following:

  1. Being self-conscious is a waste of time and energy. The idea of a serious training program was scary. Looking foolish and having someone laugh at me was stomach churning. But, no one laughed and the atmosphere at the Farmington Fitness 19 was supportive. Stop caring about how you look and start focusing on doing the work. That is when you begin to make improvements.
  2. Fear is a liar. Fear disguises itself as many emotions and traits. It might seem like self-consciousness, shyness, analysis paralysis, anger, imposed isolation, or other behaviors that stand in the way of fitness and happiness. If you dig for the underlying reason for self-defeating behavior, you will often find fear. Recognize the problem, design a solution, and then practice, practice and practice.
  3. You can change habits. It takes about three months for new habits to become normal behavior. After that, they become fundamental to your life. If you want to stay active and mobile for your whole life, three months of struggle is a small price to pay.
  4. Get rid of negative people in your life. I have heard many negative comments from people and some of them have been hurtful. However, I have a very large group of people who have been unwavering in their support. The people who have supported my efforts have allowed me to block out the negativity and value those who care. Life is too short to surround yourself with negative people with motives that are not in your best interest.
  5. Age really is just a number. Cleaning up my diet and exercising has made me feel great. At my yearly checkup, my blood pressure was 110/66, my fasting glucose was 72, and my cholesterol was under 180. My aches and pains are gone, my energy level has gone way up, and I feel strong and capable. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too old to get better, learn something new, or stretch outside of your comfort zone.
  6. Don’t underestimate how much what we do affects those around us.When others started noticing my dedication to getting fit, it became a topic of conversation among my family, co-workers, and friends. Since employees felt inspired to get fit, Dryer Vent Wizard International now offers gym memberships to staff members. We formed a group that goes to the gym together once a week and has fun working out together. My husband started going to the gym, too, and my business partner even lost 20 pounds! It’s surprising how much one person can impact their entire community.


Soon, I will participate with my team in the Tough Mudder in Oxford, Michigan. I don’t know how I will do, but know I want to collect my t-shirt, headband, and beer for being a finisher. I want to race for myself, for my community, and for the children who are supported by the Children’s Burn Foundation.

I’d love for you to be a part of this accomplishment. You can support our team by donating to our cause on our website and by sending our team positive vibes on June 2nd and 3rd. See you at the finish line.