(Photo courtesy of Anthony J. Topper)
Andréa Maria Cecil (Follow her on twitter @andreacecil) recently participated in a Tough Mudder race at Bear Creek Mountain Resort near Allentown, Pa. She shared this narrative about her experience with us:
By Andréa Maria Cecil
All I could hear was my own breathing as I ran down the narrow, shady trail lined with small trees and dead leaves.
Beneath my feet were rocks of all sizes — mossy, wet, jagged. Tree roots, rogue branches and mud filled the spaces between, adhering only to the chaos of nature.
I hopped, skipped and jumped along the path, my elbows rising to shoulder-level each time, constantly scanning the ground for my next step.
Suddenly, from behind, I heard a man yell out,
"How are those shoes working out for you?"
I turned my head 90 degrees to the left as I continued running to ensure the question was being directed at me; I gave a thumbs up with my left hand.
Indeed, my pair of Vibram Five Fingers Flows held up impeccably during the Sunday, May 2, inaugural Tough Mudder at Bear Creek Mountain Resort near Allentown, Pennsylvania. The event, billed as "the toughest one day endurance race on the planet," was designed by British special forces. My Flows traveled over gravel, unforgiving rocks and snow; through cold, muddy water; atop rope; on a plank; over 10 foot wooden walls; and dug through their fair share of mud.
I stepped on countless rocks; it hurt. But it was either run over those rocks or walk gingerly, and this wasn't the time for walking. Thus, I surmised my feet would be bruised by the evening as my fellow teammates kept asking, "How are your shoes on the gravel?"
At least I wasn't the guy who was competing barefoot. I was one of at least a half dozen people wearing Vibram Five Fingers; others donned Sprints, KSOs and KSO Treks. I don't know about them, but my VFFs still got a lot of finger pointing — in a place where more than one man was competing in a race while wearing a thong.
(Photos courtesy of Andréa Maria Cecil)
Days later, still no bruises. Although, my feet definitely feel like they got a workout; I put the springs God gave me to the test.
Nine months ago, I wouldn't have considered wearing Five Fingers during a challenge like the Tough Mudder. That's when I was just beginning my journey with "monkey feet."
Now, I can't think of much I wouldn't do in them.
Thanks Andréa, for sharing your tales of adventure!