My oldest son has asked to run an obstacle course ever since falling in love with American Ninja Warrior.. when I ran Tough Mudder in March, he was disappointed he was too young.. BUT not all hope was lost.
In Louisiana, we have Battle Races created by Battle 6:11.
They have weekly training, races, rucks, etc. If you’re in the area and looking for a local OCR circuit, this is it.
So when a date and location popped up that was pretty convenient, we decided to register him. Elated was an understatement. When he found out he’d get to run, he was so overcome with emotions that he cried. Truly touching as a parent to see that much emotion and happiness come out of such a tiny body. Even more emotional when it’s over something you love, too.
Race day came and that same level of excitement was still there. As his heat approached, I pointed out the parks alligator in the pond, I told him a few obstacles I’d seen at my earlier arrival and told him some cool stuff the state park had for after the race.. and then..
It was time!
The start bell sounded and WE WERE OFF! Due to his age, he needed an adult and it just made sense that I would go with him since Shawn isn’t into the entire OCR scene. He flew over the first obstacles like they were nothing. A little hesitation at trying new things but over the moon with every step at everything he was achieving.
Leaps and bounds came and went and he breezed through obstacles I had previously assumed he’d struggle with.
I totally assumed he’d breeze through this. Not because its easy but because we do play outside. And, well, he’s said he wanted to do Tough Mudder, everything.
Had you told me just milliseconds after I’d taken the photo above that he was about to have a huge mental breakdown, I would have laughed at you. He had just scaled 4 foot walls with ease and flew off of them like Superman.. but we hit the mud and it happened. I have lovingly referred to this moment as #MuddyMeltdownApocalypse.
As he took little steps holding his log, his feet sunk into the clay-like mud. And each step was a little heavier and a little deeper. He chunked the log and exclaimed it was too heavy as he looked at me with defeat. Fine, I’ll carry it- no big deal, right? I grab the log and we go just inched forward. Next step, his shoe is totally submerged in the mud and when he pulls his leg up *POP*.. his foot comes out and the shoe stays hidden. At this point, he LOSES his mind. Tears, screams, wails, groans. Total mental breakdown. I’m doing my best to calm him but it’s just getting worse and nothing I say gives any sense of hope whatsoever. With his next step, his other shoe comes off. Then it’s socks to the mud and he is just a mess of emotions at this point and not happy ones.
I’m doing my best to hold it together but the mud is gross, I’m sinking myself and his screams are making is pretty impossible to make rational thoughts. So I finally catch my head, hoist him to my back, the log in my arms and every slipped off shoe; his, mine and strays tossed onto my fingers and turn back around. When we finally get out of the mud, he’s screaming that he just needs to rinse off. He’s done and ready to go home. Tosses himself straight to the ground in a fit of refusing to put back on his shoes.
The “Mom” in me fussed with him a bit that he needed to go on. Not for the medal.. but because I knew he would look back on that moment with regret if he didn’t and I didn’t want that for him. I’ve been there before and the regret haunts me. It took some convincing but he finally gave in and agreed to go a little further and “feel things out”.
The brisk run after the mud was rough. He just kept fussing, grumbling and giving me a death stare. I picked up the pace a little so that he’d give chase and be distracted until the next obstacle. It worked.
When he finally completely the course, he had been stuck, shed tears, fallen off of an obstacle, overcome obstacles he never thought possible and achieved something he always said he wanted to do. The raw emotion at the finish line was overwhelming, even staff teared up at his reaction. He was immediately brought to tears in amazement of all he’d done in such a short time.
Check out his live finish by clicking on the link below:
Greyson’s Battle Finish
Ironically, I check my email and his “word of the month” at MMA is resilience. Their definition is “when life pushes me down, I bounce back up.” There is literally no better way to explain what had just happened to him than this. Somethint had just *clicked* inside of him with this word. He realized that by getting back up and moving on, he was able to overcome an obstacle AND achieve a dream..
Some people wait a lifetime to meet a superhero.. I am blessed enough that I am raising two tiny heroes. In this moment, I was elated at how mature of a realization this was for such a tiny soul. I spend every second of my life trying to help them through life.. and every second right back, they are showing me just what life is about..
If you find yourself knocked down or just stuck… do not succumb to the mud pit.. dig yourself out and bounce back up.
Battle 6:11 always encourages participants to discover what’s their battle cry?
On this day, we learned that Greyson’s battle cry is #Resilience.