I have to say, as a rule, I am not a dirty girl; I don’t like to get wet and I don’t like mud. But when I heard that the Dirty Girl Mud Run was coming to town, something I had heard of but never participated in, I surprised myself by impulsively signing up for it. Then, I recruited my friends to sign up too.
At first everyone was a bit skeptical. The idea of a three mile run with obstacles along the course was a bit intimidating. Add to that the mud we would be walking on, splashing in and crawling over and the sale got a little harder. Yet, I watched as a sparkle appeared in everyone’s eyes while they mulled this over. There was something oddly appealing in this. It felt like a challenge. It felt a little like a dare. It felt kind of naughty! I barely got the words, “Come on girls, it’s for charity” out – they were already in!
The morning of the run I woke up to a thunderstorm. “There is no way I’m going out in this,” I thought. I immediately sent out a group text; It’s really awful out and may be like this all day. What do you want to do? I was sure they were all feeling the same way as me, but one by one they texted back, I’m still in. I couldn’t believe it! I was the wimp of the group?
My friend, Michelle, was on to me. She kindly tried to give me an out; It’s OK if you don’t want to go, she texted. I don’t even want to admit how seriously I deliberated that. But finally, I took a deep breath and replied; I’m in if you’re in.
“And here we go,” I thought.
I couldn’t have known what I was in for. I mean, of course I knew it would be muddy and I was at least semi-ready for that. But the very first obstacle was one where we had to crawl on our bellies IN THE MUD! There was nothing left to do but embrace it. So, that’s what I did. Everyone did, and in a big way!
By the time we finished the course, there was not an inch of us left unblemished. And if there was, someone affectionately took care of that (we were all covered in each others muddy hand prints).
What I hadn’t expected and was pleasantly surprised to experience, was the incredible energy emanating from the thousands of women there. It was so tangible you couldn’t escape it. Not that you’d want to anyway. It filled the air like a soft, cozy blanket; warming us in spite of the chilly rain.I know this had a lot to do with gathering together as “One” for a great cause. In this case some of the proceeds were going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Any time a great number of people get together to peacefully support something, the collective consciousness creates solidarity. Honestly, I believe we can literally move mountains, if that’s what we intend to do.
The other thing I witnessed, in myself and in those around me, was the enthusiasm we all had to “let go”; to have fun and to challenge ourselves! I’m guessing most of the women there, like me, don’t make it a habit to play in the mud. We were given a rare opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone here. To be a little kid again.
Considering how many people not only walked through a muddy pool of water, but ran through it -making as big a splash as possible – I’d say they were making the most of it. It was exhilarating!
Even though this was considered a run, and a challenging one at that, it wasn’t about competition. We women stayed together. No one got left behind. If you needed a hand, it was extended, and it didn’t have to be from someone you came with. This was about camaraderie. Unity. Cohesiveness. Sisterhood. Just ask the 8,000 women that were there that day!
There were many men there as well, contributing to this great field of energy in the positions of support. If they recognized their sludge-filled ladies as they came down that final hill, they cheered them on. Actually, even if they didn’t the men were cheering. (We’ll even give the guys who stayed warm under the tent kudos for being there – after all, they were in charge of the purses!)
For me, this event showed me what women are made of. More specifically, I learned what I was made of. I am officially a Dirty Girl now…and proud of it!
(I am a Dirty Girl from Hamburg, NY….are you a Dirty Girl? And from where?)
For more information on Denise CLICK HERE!
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
Live your happiest life. Get my research-based happiness newsletter delivered conveniently to your inbox.