– Rebecca Crump
I sit here typing at 11pm. The only sound is the song Pandora decides I am in the mood to hear at this moment. Thankfully, the Dave Matthews tune is spot on tonight. It’s been a long day. Work, kids, baseball practice, homework, laundry and then the dreaded workout. But, was it really dreaded? That’s what my friends say it is. That’s the answer I hear from strangers and family. I have so much to do in my life, there is no time to get in a decent workout. But, here I am at 11pm, having just finished yet another late night workout, proving that if there is a minute in the day, I will use it. I have events to get ready for, kids to keep up with. There is no giving up for me.
I’ve always been active, from day long adventures when I was young to camping trips with my family. I can’t remember many days where I wasn’t outside running around in the woods.
The first ad I saw for an OCR (Tough Mudder) floored me. A newly divorced, single mother, I had just moved to a new area. It was just the challenge I needed! I joined a new gym in hopes of meeting new teammates. Little did I know that I would meet my new family in the most unlikely of all spots… my daughter’s t-ball practice.
After months of working out, I still hadn’t met anyone interested in these “crazy” OCRs. One night at my daughter’s practice, I heard a woman talking about a mud run she completed over the weekend. I had just met Wonder Woman and my first girl crush was sealed! We talked about training, runs and diets. Soon Jennifer had me indoctrinated in the OCR scene. I had forgotten just how much I love running trails, jumping over obstacles and above all, the teamwork. I’ll never forget her words as we crossed our first obstacle together. After struggling to keep her pace I was worried. But, just as I passed her on the wall she yelled, “what are you, a damn monkey?” We push each other, in everything we do. The saying is, you can’t pick your family. Well, Jennifer came into my life when I needed her so I probably didn’t pick her either. Because our families have become one big family.
The obstacles on the course were nothing compared to those I faced in life. Our team attempted the Maryland Tough Mudder, just to have it cancelled the night before. Since it was the end of the OCR season, I decided to continue my training and run the Richmond Marathon instead. Two weeks before, while running in the Pretty Muddy, I tore my meniscus. I tried to continue on, but had to cancel a week before the event. My surgery was the following February. Jennifer was by my side the whole time. She made sure I was ready for the next season. The Rugged Maniac was scheduled for the first day I was cleared to run trails again. Jennifer convinced me the night before that I was ready. After all, it was just a trail with a few obstacles. We conquered the course with our team and were ready to tackle the Tough Mudder Virginia the following month. Again, we faced another big hurdle… Tropical Storm Andrea came through the night before and tore apart the course, flooding the James River (which was part of the course as well). Again, our core event was cancelled and our team’s morale was at an all time low. Jennifer and I continued to train. We did several other events last year. With my knee surgery, I limited my big events to just the Virginia Super Spartan and the Tri-State Tough Mudder. Both were absolutely amazing! It was great to experience each, but I definitely learned where my weaknesses were.
This year, my training is stronger. While my kids keep me busy between baseball and gymnastics, I take every opportunity I can to train. I do burpees while the pasta is boiling. Squats while my daughter recites her spelling list. Push-ups while my son reviews his periodic table. I run late at night or early in the morning. I do this because I will not quit. My goals are stronger, I have four Tough Mudders with multiple days and multiple laps scheduled. I have numerous local races scheduled (many with my kids, as well!). There are multiple Spartan Sprints on my calendar. The biggest goal of my year is to Trifecta with the most amazing person I could do that with. We’re capping that off in Vermont and if I want any chance at all, I will work out at every moment possible.
Rebecca Crump is a proud Army Veteran that grew up with an appreciation of the outdoors and fitness. Her passion is sharing this love with others, especially her children.