Imagine this. Thirty-Two of us have ran, walked, jumped, climbed, swung, splashed, cramped, moaned, cheered, froze, carried, sweat, and generally got super tired for over 10 miles..and here we are staring a newly heightened nearly lipless Mount Everest….almost the end of CFW’s Tough Mudder 2015….and they didn’t shy away this year, probably one of the most physically demanding Mudders I have faced (this was #4 for me) I looked around at all of our tired and muddied faces and saw hope, fear, happiness, grief, and probably one hundred other expressions…but I did not see surrender on anyone’s face. So…we took the wall, like we had the whole rest of the course….one at a time with tons of teamwork and camaraderie. I was probably 4th or 5th to go up, and after getting there helped another 5 or 6 up, and then I made my way down to watch and cheer on everyone else. And it was at that vantage point from the side of the wall that I spotted him again. I say again, because throughout the obstacles I had noticed this wily old veteran. He was wearing winter BDU’s and had been keeping pace for the most part with the 32 of us for the last hour or so of the race. He was every bit of 70 years old, and there was not an ounce of quit in this Gentleman’s face. His first attempt at the wall was his best, but he didn’t make it just missing the hands of the Mudd Ninjas that were there to help him up. On his head he had a 10x or more tough mudder band, which by itself is amazing, couple that with the will and determination to do this at his age, and I was in awe of him from the first time I saw him. Seeing him run, and move through this course had been a treat all day long, I was so happy to see him moving and smiling all day, so when he came up even shorter on his 2nd attempt at the wall I thought to myself….. if we all laid down and made a human ladder of sorts, I bet he could climb up and reach my guys up top. I knew we had to do it. So I touched him on his shoulder and asked. “Sir, if we all laid down would you crawl up to the top using our bodies as a ladder of sorts?” And he said absolutely….
What followed next left hardly a dry eye to anyone who witnessed it. My Ninjas supported me, the Veteran made it around…to get his weight on my back and shoulders…I pressed him toward my men at the top…they grabbed hold and never let go…he made it to the top…and the crowd rejoiced…..and there are not words to describe how I felt in that moment…..not a word…..but I know I will never forget it. And I am left wondering if that is the first time he has made it to the top of Everest…I’m thankful to my team for their help and absolute willingness to do something outside of the norm and I cannot wait to hit this course again next year..
here is a link to the video
such an awesome time!!!! and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for allowing us to share in this remarkable team building moment..