Mark met TJ through our Small Group at church which consists of 4 other guys and 2 of them (Brandon & Sean) made up another team at the Muddy Buddy. I think it is so great that they all did this together. Our Small Group, which I've Blogged about before is about "doing life" together and "holding each other accountable." This was a perfect example of that philosophy in action. Here is a photo of the 2 teams at the finish line.
L to R: Sean, Brandon, Mark & TJ
The night before the race we learned there was a "Mini Muddy Buddy" following the men's race and that only the first 200 children to arrive could register. This was a shorter run with 3 obstacles and of course the same crawling finish through the mud pit. Jake & Will were eager and excited to participate! So..we got up early and headed out (with Grandma) to get the boys registered and cheer daddy on. Along the way, Jake started backpedaling and his insecurities got the best of him. He announced he wasn't doing it. This was one of those tough parenting decisions where you really don't know what the hell you're doing and you wish you had a child psychologist on speed-dial. I dropped Grandma, Will & Laine off and then took Jake with me to park the car and talk. He was adamant that he wasn't doing it. I said, "Jake--when we were in Maggie Valley; Will did the Vertical Flying thing and you sat back and watched, regretting it later. Then Will went down Sliding Rock and you sat back and watched, regretting it later. Son--don't let this be the 3rd thing that you miss out on and regret. I know you can do this and I'm signing you up because sometimes in life you have to push yourself beyond your comfort zone in order to face your fears and grow." He was really mad at me and I will admit that I was questioning my stance. Well, HE DID IT--they both did it and they did great. I picked Jake up in a bear hug at the finish line, not caring one bit about the mud that was getting all over me! I told him I was "SO proud of him" and he had a big smile on his face. On the drive home he said, "Mom--the next time we go to Maggie Valley; I'm doing that Vertical Flying thing!" I took that as a little God-Wink, a little tap from above to say, "good decision mom." Thanks God--I needed that.