Tough Mothers

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Many women have inspired me but I am inspired most by those who have figured out a way to fit exercise into their lives. I was active in high school and college – played on some teams. But when my kids were young, I always had an excuse. I am too tired, I have to go to work, and if I exercise it is time away from my kids. They were all cop outs, I know that now.

As I watched other women fit exercise into their lives it inspired me. If they can do it, why can’t I? My sister walked with neighbors and cut carbs out of her diet long before it was in vogue. So I started lunchtime walks with co-workers. I met an old acquaintance in the base lodge and she told me her secret to a flat belly was 100 sit ups a day. So I started sit ups (still working on the flat belly part.)

When we sat down with the Trek Triathlon ladies to plan the Mount Snow event they dared me to swim in Snow Lake. So I found a team (Stevie on bike and Mary Anne for the run) and began swimming. First in a warm heated pool and then Susan and Denise encouraged me to swim in Snow Lake – the first time was quite a chilling experience!

Recently, a group of local women, competing in the upcoming Tough Mudder event, have been great inspiration to me. They are 10 women strong and call themselves the Dirty Girls. Eight are married, 2 are single and between them they have 12 children and a bunch of dogs. These are young, busy moms who also work full time. If they can find time to train for Tough Mudder, I can surely pick up my game.

Teanille, mom of two, loves the Amazing Race but figures with young kids, now is not the best time to apply for the show. So when she saw that Tough Mudder was coming to MS, she wanted the challenge. Teanille, like many of the other Dirty Girls is a caregiver at Mount Snow's childcare center and has pulled together the Dirty Girls team.

I heard the Dirty Girls were all headed up the mountain on snowshoes so I caught up with them for a few pics.

The following week, I decided that I would have to strap on my own snowshoes if I wanted to really understand why they were doing Mudder. We headed out on Grand Central and up OMT. Damn does that trail seem steep when you are going up. They talked the whole way up about all kinds of stuff like book club, husbands and kids, reminiscing about styles from their high school years and a lot of talk about Mudder and what they should wear. I listend for the most part because I was out of breath and just trying to make it to the next rest stop. Luckily, they do take breaks and wait for everyone to catch up before moving on. And this will be their approach for the event – they plan to all finish together.

When I asked the Dirty Girls why they are doing it, most said for the challenge and to get in shape. Some have told me that their kids are excited for them. I’ve been very interested to find out how they can juggle their jobs, their families and working out. Most of these women are active to begin with but they have “forced” themselves to find the time. Sarah runs at night, even in the dark with a headlamp. Dee has to get up earlier or stay up later to work on strengthening at home and uses get togethers, like snowshoeing, for the cardio. Some use DVDs at home, like Erin uses the Jillian Michaels Ultimate Shred and Melissa uses the Insanity Workout. A lot of the women are also ramping up their upper body and core strenghtening. Tish even uses the dreaded chore of getting wood for her workout. In a nutshell, they have all had to find what works best given their busy lives.

As they hike, they talk a lot about the different course obstacles and it is clear that the water and the monkey bars are causing the most anxiety and Deidre says she is not looking forward to getting electrocuted!

Almost all of the Dirty Girls are pretty good eaters and are trying to set good examples for their kids. But they all admit to guilty pleasures like chocoalte, bread, pizza and of course, beer.

On April 10th I went down to PA to check out the Tough Mudder underway at Bear Creek. They had 5,000 participants and what I saw exceeded my expectations. If you get the chance to watch the Mount Snow event, you will not be disappointed. It is so much fun to hike around the course and stop at each obstacle to watch, laugh, cheer and feel the pain for these amazing athletes. If you are not into hiking, there are plenty of obstacles in the base area to see. I took these pictures to give you a preview.

Only a few more weeks till Tough Mudder comes to Mount Snow. The Dirty Girls are ready. They will do well with the challenging vertical and I think they have mentally prepared themselves for the obstacles, even the water. I have enjoyed writing this blog because I have been able to spend a litle time with this great group of women. I love how supportive they are of each other and I think on event day that support is going to be a big part of their success.

For me, athletic discipline has come slowly. I’m getting there and finally making time for myself knowing that it will make me a better person for my family, friends and staff. You should know that most of my inspiration comes from one high-spirited, blonde. When she looks at me with those brown eyes, I can’t resist. Let’s go girl – time to run!

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