FoF : Plays on Trapeze

A Chronicle of the FoF Mudder: "Is This The Mud Mile?"

Added on by Fight Flight.

The Basics: 

After a successful fundraising campaign, Team Fight or Flight conquered the 2013 Tri-State Tough Mudder.  The Tough Mudder is not a race. It's not about speed. The Tough Mudder is designed as an obstacle course that cannot be completed alone. It's team work that gets you through it.  What follows is our team's story.  

The Morning of the FoF Tough Mudder: 

October 13, 2013. 

8:30 am we met at the van in Brooklyn. We were bleary-eyed and excited. It was time for one last check that we had everything, one last chance to pee in a toilet with plumbing, and then off we went to Englishtown, New Jersey in a 15-passenger van. The hour-long drive helped dispel the nervous energy until we arrived at the Mudder extravaganza. 

At the starting gate!

At the Tough Mudder:

We turned into the parking lot and that's when the reality of what were about to do smacked us in the face. We could see part of the field and few obstacles with lots of muddy people looking very serious. 

The nerves kicked in but no going back now!

We checked in, wrote our assigned numbers on our foreheads, had one last pee in a porta-potty without mud, climbed over a 6' wall,  and went to the starting gate where the Emcee was already pumping everyone up with 'hoorahs'. 


The Official Course Map!  (click to enlarge)

The Course Itself:

Behold the map of the course

After a brisk half mile, we tiptoed through a field of tires in "Tired Yet" and leapt the concrete tubes of  "Zombie Apocalypse".  We were hoping for some Zombies to chase us - but unfortunately this course was designed by the Military - not actors!

Then, "Glory Blades": the angled walls. It was our first team challenge and our kickass team boosted each other up and over the walls with ease. 

The first taste of mud.

At last came the mud.  We ran through the woods and got our first taste of what the mudder was all about.  Our shoes would never be the same after that.  Little did we know, that was only Mud-Lite.  After The Greek and Breath is Life took a quick break for nature in the woods, we came upon the dreaded...

 "Electric Eel": We had to slide on our bellies through muddy water with live wires hanging above us of varying voltage. If you got too high you got shocked.  Fulvio got hit in the head twice - he thinks he blacked out.  (video below. **warning** Involuntary profanity is uttered in this video)

The Electric Eel. (pardon our language)

Personally, I have never moved so fast in my life. I felt like a newt skittering through the water and made it to the end unscathed! I was so relieved! I started to get out of the water but got up too early and my back touched a wire. It got me in the middle of my back and holy hell! it sucked. It knocked me back down and I lumbered out slowly and painfully and humbly.
— Lauren 'G Spot' Berst

Island Hopping!

Next up: "Island Hopping", or inflatable rafts strung together with rope across a pond. We had to jump or shimmy from one raft to the next. Thank goodness for our training, our leap frogs were beautiful, but it was exhausting. Some of the rafts weren't as inflated as the others so it took a lot of core strength (Trapeze!) to stay on top of the rafts and jump to the next. But we all made it! 

Then came "Cage Crawl": which wasn't nearly as claustrophobic as we expected. It felt like a water park ride. 

Funky Monkey!

Now came "Funky Monkey" - time for our trapezers to strut their stuff! And they were fantastic. It's not just simple monkey bars. These were on an incline for the first part and a decline to the finish. Oh! and some of the bars were greased. But that didn't stop our power houses. Behlmann and Dan made all the way across. Hostetler made it but he missed the last step and fell in, Eileen nearly made it while the rest of us tried, fell in, and swam across. 

Then there was a mud pit, some big tires (Jason "1 Train" Hall should always throw tires, he was a badass) and into "Kiss of Mud": or belly-crawling through mud avoiding the barbed wire above us.

Then... "Just the Tip":  the only obstacle that no one on the team could complete. (see video)

For next year I’ve learned that, counter-intuitively, success in conquering ‘Just the Tip’ requires substantial dryness.
— Dan 'Takin' Care of Business' Loeser

Mile 7 -  "Walk the Plank": or jump off the high dive into muddy water. We were already a team, but the little things that made us a strong team started to show. Slavick is afraid of heights but climbed up and jumped off the edge with her teammates on each side of her, who encouraged her the whole time. Such simple but needed support. 

Then came the "Arctic Enema". You can't prepare for this - it's ridiculous. An ice-filled tank of water that has an obstacle you need to swim under. The trick is to get in and get out as quickly as possible and not let your body freak out.

Arctic Enema!

Arctic Enema!

I was under water and my back seized up from the cold. I scrambled out and doubled over. Suddenly the whole team is around me and January just comes up and gets me on my back and moves my legs around. The whole team is jogging in place to get warm and I’m on the ground, it felt like I was having voodoo performed on me. And then I warmed up and my back unseized and I was good to go.
— Rob 'Rabbit' Hille

Life's great questions, in nickname form.

"Warrior Carry": We carried each other.

"The Phoenix": Just a lot of smoke and the volunteers yelling, "Crawl under and go! Just go!" So we crawled through a little tunnel and came upon a wall of fire with more volunteers yelling "Jump! Go! Go!" We couldn't see over the fire, we didn't know where would land. We just had to run and jump! So we did! Into a pool of water. It was a rush!

The Mud Mile: a Retrospective.

"Boa Constrictor": We crawled through water-filled plastic drainage tubes slanted down into a pool of muddy water, then up more drainage tube. 

"Mud Mile": This was a universal favorite but it should be hated. So.  Much.  Mud.  Basically it was mud pits that were 4' (or so) deep and we had to get over 4' (or so) high mud walls. Over and over again. It was slow going. We loved it, and were covered in mud head to toe. 

Then we carried some tires (boring!), ran a BMX course (awesome!), climbed the "Berlin Walls"5 walls in varying heights (go team!) and were almost exhausted as we rounded the turn for...

Berlin Walls... or Mad Max?

Everest: A slicked quarter-pipe.  And for this, we turn to the video:


As I’m prepping for my 5th attempt, Behlmann is hanging over the edge and yells, ‘Just spread your arms out and we’ll get you!’ So I ran and spread my arms as far as I could and jumped! And they caught me! I can only remember getting hoisted over the edge and the feeling of loving these people more than I ever thought possible. It was our Rudy moment
— Lauren 'G Spot' Berst

We shivered to our final obstacle "Electroshock Therapy": and the entire Fight or Flight Team ran through dangling electric wires, scaled a waist high speed bump of mud and sprinted to the end. In sum, getting shocked sucks! But we all made it! 

Just one more jog to the finish line! But Little's hip joints weren't going to let her run it -- so Behlmann put her on his back and we finished as a team. 

Fight or Flight gets shocked!

We were given headbands and t-shirts and beers and were covered in mud and dazed and kind of speechless.  Eventually we managed to hose off (literally) and change clothes and after a dirty van ride back to New York, we celebrated chez Jason '1 Train' Hall & Des 'Gris-Gris' Maumus with pasta and wine and professional massage and most importantly SHOWERS.

Team Fight or Flight!

In my family, the rule is that you have 24 hours to celebrate a win and then you have to get your head back in the game to be ready to do it again. Well I’m ready! I’m already thinking about what I’ll need to do training-wise to be ready for next year. I will be grateful to these people forever. I can still conjure up the feelings from that day. It was incredible. We were a TEAM and we needed and hoisted and boosted and caught and carried each other. And it was awesome.
— Lauren 'G Spot' Berst

Want more?

Check out January 'High and Tight' LaVoy's "Reflections on the Tough Mudder" 

AND you can watch the entire  Team Fight or Flight Mudder Video!  
 Edited by the miraculous Jason '1 Train' Hall.