Life is Dangerous…Live Anyway!

 Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose, tears his ACL during playoff game #1 against the Sixers and is done for 2012 NBA season.

New York Yankees’ Joba Chamberlein hurts ankle while playing on trampoline with five year old son and is out for 2012 season.

New York Knicks Jeremy Lin recovering from knee surgery and now rookie Iman Shumpert is out for eight months after tears to his ACL as well as a lateral meniscus.

Life is dangerous. Each of these players knows. They’re hurting now. But, the truth is, they probably have the option to come back. Hopefully make their game stronger. And play some more. 

When hubby and one of his best friends trotted off to catch the shuttle bus over the the Pocono Raceway for their first Tough Mudder competition, I can’t lie. I was a little nervous. The description and videos of the event included obstacles involving fire, electrical shocks, ice water, climbing walls, and dark tunnels. The twelve to thirteen mile course is broken up with these army-simulated challenges that you cannot complete apart from your team. 

So happy that hubby is part of a large team named of all things, Stunads (Look it up!) but still. Anything can happen. And hubs is not that cozy with swimming. Good thing water is part of almost half the trials along the way. Even better that his buddy is a certified life guard. Life Guard is just as glad hubs is a doctor. Make note, doctor, not surgeon. Anyway, they’ll be there for each other and that calms my nerves. Mostly.

So they do it. They take off and tackle each mile, each obstacle, and each challenge. With the team. And some four hours later, they cross the finish line, smiling. Shivering. But smiling. No injuries that required more than a band aid. No mud that couldn’t be washed off with a hot shower. And no memories, that I’m aware of, that will mar them for life. If anything, I think the memories are the greatest treasures that each teammate walked away with.

When I asked hubby what the scariest moment was, he didn’t hesitate to answer.

“Walk the Plank,” the fifteen foot high jump into over eight-feet deep, muddy water.

In fact, when he climbed the ladder up to the platform, his heart pounded inside his chest. Everything looks taller from the top.



“I’m just gonna close my eyes and jump!” That was hubby’s plan.


A marine who stood at the top heard him, looked at my husband’s face and said in his best Marine voice, “Are you scared?”

“N-n-n-oooooo.” Hubby responded with his best I hope he can’t tell I’m lying voice.

“I’ll tell you what you’re gonna do.” Marine Man had a better plan. “You’re gonna jump with your eyes open so you can see where you’re going. So you can make sure the area is clear.”

The Marine went on to tell him exactly how he was going to do this:

“This is what you’re gonna do.” Marine Motivator points to hubby and then points to the water. “See that spot right there? That’s your spot. You’re gonna jump right there. Right there on that spot. When I say jump! You’re gonna jump. All right? Ready. Jump!”

And he jumped. Just like that. Not sure if he hit the “spot” right on, but he jumped. And then he got out. Kicking away so strongly as he made his way to the edge of the swamp-type pool, that he kicked his life guard buddy. Twice! Glad neither drowned. Oopsie.

So as hubby tells my cousins this evening the story again, there’s a twinkle in his eyes. He was scared. But he jumped.

“Like so much in life, you’re never ready.” Where have I heard that before? “But doesn’t mean you don’t prepare for it, and go into the thing you’re scared of with your eyes shut. That marine taught me the importance of facing my fears. With my eyes open.” 

TEAM CAPTAIN FRAN FAUSTINO ON THE FAR
RIGHT WITH THE COOL MOHAWK!

As I watched the videos of footage from the various obstacles, one voice rang louder than any other. The Stunads’ Team Captain. He not only prepared his peeps by giving them a heads up on what a particular challenge entailed. I noticed that he was often the last to go through the challenge, wanting to make sure his teammates had conquered the challenge and were safe on the other side. And sometimes, he went through it first to show the others how best to get through it. Kudos to any captain who gathers his teammates months in advance, reminds them to train hard, plans a “pep” rally the night before, and then helps you along the course and cheers you on in the process. 


When are you coming over for your victory dinner Fran? :) 

Wow! 

“Would you do it again?” I have asked hubby several times since. 

“Would you do it with me?” He replies with a smile. 

Hey, that’s not fair. Answering a question with a question. Only Socrates can get away with it. 

If I can guarantee sunny and warm outdoor conditions, that my kids won’t throw up for hours the night before, and my heel spur will not act up for several month before, I might be game. But the truth of the matter is, there is little in this life that I can control.

Actually, there’s only one real condition I need to agree to doing a Tough Mudder with Hubby in 2013. We need a team. If we have a team of at least 10 people who are committed to getting in shape for it, promise not to cancel, and plan not to give up, I think I could do it. Because it’s no easy task to face your fears. 

What a difference to know you’re not alone! 

And what an accomplishment to cross the finish line. Together

That was definitely my favorite part to see.
Hoping to make that my favorite memory next year. 

THAT’S HUBBY’S ARMS IN THE AIR! GO STUNADS!! 



Cuz I want to more than just a tough mutha! 

I want to be a Tough Mudder. Yes I do.

**What fear do you worry that you’re not ready to face? With your eyes open? Was there a time you faced a fear and overcame it? With your eyes open! :)

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