The Final Dance in the Desert: WTM 2017

There is another group of people who influenced my decision to take part in WTM 2018.

First, let me explain the Tough Mudder community, specifically the Legionnaires.

Legionnaires are people, like myself, that have completed multiple Tough Mudders.  There are a few people who have completed a TM 100x or more!  These are the people who not only love the challenge, but also love the camaraderie.  These are the people you will see helping EVERY SINGLE PERSON over an obstacle and when you turn to help them, they wave you off and tell you that this is what they came for.

These are the people that people remember.

In the past year I’ve met too many fellow Legionnaires to count.  But there are a few that really made a difference in this decision.

The first: A lady named JahLisa.  I met JahLisa at the Legionnaire tent Saturday afternoon at the Carolinas.  She was part of a team with an adaptive athlete named Jesi.  And watching them cross the finish line was amazing.  I had a chance to chat with Jahlisa and we became Facebook friends.  Which led me to doing the TM the next weekend in Central Florida and to meeting more Legionnaires which eventually led to me buying a plane ticket.

The second: A fella named Abhi.  I only knew Abhi through Tough Mudder Facebook groups until I met him after he and some others gave me the slight push to take a flight to Vegas, where the last ‘Dance in the Desert’, as the 2017 WTM was called, was being held.  Abhi and I roomed together and he let me ride along in his rental truck, which wasn’t nearly as big as I expected.  He convinced me to jump off a building and put the idea in my head that maybe WTM was something I could achieve.

Last but NOT AT ALL least: Chavez.  Chavez was another Legionnaire that I became Facebook friends with before I met him.  He was the only person I felt like I really ‘knew’ who was taking on WTM that weekend in Vegas.  And he’s the kind of man that you want to win.  But he is not built like the kind of man who wins WTM.  He is a Clydesdale and gives amazing hugs and I didn’t realize how happy I was to meet him until I had to leave.

Selfie - 4

Meeting JahLisa was only the beginning.  She is the reason I met so many others.  And those others are what led to me flying to Vegas on a whim, where I would watch people compete and push themselves in ways I would, at first, think that I couldn’t.

But through their stories, I realized I wanted to at least try.  As I watched Mudder after Mudder jump from the Cliff, I knew I was watching something amazing.  As I watched a women crying, sobbing, because she was going to earn her 50 mile bib, I was inspired. As I read countless recaps, I knew I wanted to do this.  Through talking with Chavez, I realized I could do this.

Through my own determination, I realized I would do it.

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