Her fingertips were brushing against our own.
She was so close. I could see the tears in her eyes. And then we counted. Three of us. Five of us. I don’t know. I just know others joined me.
“On the count of three, give it everything you’ve got.” I told her. She nodded. We got ready to dislocate our own shoulders if that is what it would have taken to get to her.
“One!” She tensed up. “Two!” She pressed her legs into a leaping position as best she could.
We lunged forward.
David braced himself against the wall, struggling to keep the human ladder in place.
And she jumped.
Right. Into. Our. Hands.
We latched onto her and began pulling her. Up, up, up. Finally, with one more burst of energy from a group who thought they had none left, she passed the plane and collapsed forward onto the top of Everest.
“You did it, you did it, you did it,” I told her as I rubbed her back. She lay face down for some time, exhausted. Crying. “You did it.” I couldn’t stop saying it.
“I did it,” she finally squeaked. “I did it.”
We were almost done with Tough Mudder at that point. We had one obstacle left, and even now, I can honestly say that my biggest regret of the entire event was that I got so caught up in finishing, that I didn’t stay and make sure that the woman got down again. I didn’t invite her to finish with our team. I never even got her name. We had so much excitement, and so much adrenaline going, that I don’t think any of us stopped long enough to do that.
SO… If you are out there, my dear Everest conqueror, please message me. I want to hear your story. I want to experience what happened through your eyes.
After that, our remaining team scurried down and met the others. The final obstacle was a couple hundred feet away. We walked, many of us arm in arm, to the one last obstacle which was also very high on many people’s fear lists. “Electroshock.”
Electroshock is a thirty foot sprint through hanging electrical wires over stacks of hay, which Mudders must pass through to get to the Tough Mudder finish line. 10,000 volts run through those wires, and though they aren’t all firing all of the time, they are all firing some of the time. If you’re lucky, you don’t get zapped at all. If you’re unlucky… well…
Don’t be unlucky.
At that point we were simply… depleted. We were done. We were dirty. We were tired. My last several miles were walked on top of severely blistered feet. Kenny’s legs were hamburger (we would later find out he broke one rib and cracked another) on one of the walls.
I looked over at Kenny as our teammates began barreling through the hanging wires. People were jumping and yelling in surprise every time electricity knocked ‘em sideways. “ As pairs or as singles, we watched our teammates pass through and run across the finish line.
I looked at Kenny. “Together?” I said. I didn’t care what his reply would have been. Kenny and I had been partners from the beginning. I would not cross that finish line without Kenny by my side.
“Let’s do it,” he said. And it was suddenly our turn to run. So we ran. Straight into the thick of it.
Now, it behooves me to repeat something I said in an earlier post. There are times when being big, and tall, and broad is an advantage in Tough Mudders. And there are times when it is a serious disadvantage. This was one of those times.
I kept side by side with Kenny, all the way through. I never saw what he was doing to get there. I was too busy being zapped from every friggin’ angle you could imagine. I later found out Kenny got zapped four times. Other members of our team made it through with one, or two, or even zero jolts.
I was the lucky winner who got no fewer than ten mighty pops from those live wires, though I think it was more like twelve. Every time one knocked me sideways, another wire was hitting me back. I cannot tell you with eloquent words how much I hated that last thirty feet.
And then, just when I thought I was free of the wires…
Another one got me from behind.