Due to some cow-turd craziness in my day, I couldn’t get to the next installment of the Tough Mudder series just yet. Instead, I’m gonna share the following blog post about me and my SDLHC co-leader Rick, written by Nyki (which she shared over on her blog). If you’ve been following along, you know that Nyki was on our Mudder team.
Completely aside from Tough Mudder…
For some time I have wanted to write about my life’s biggest mental and emotional struggle that comes from doing what I do for a living and being so much in the public eye the way I am, all while increasingly (and very contently) fading into the background as much as possible almost everywhere I go. Anyway, I’ll write about that later.
Today, I just wanted to share Nyki’s blog. Take from it what you will.
It touched me in a very strange way. She was real about it, and open, and honest, even though she was worried it would hurt Rick’s and my feelings that she originally expected us to be total wankers.
But see, what she didn’t realize is that, at least in my life, I am completely used to people showing up with any one of ten thousand different expectations when they finally meet me for the first time, and that nothing she could have assumed before we met really would have hurt me. I’ve seen and heard it all at this point, it seems.
It was her vulnerability and her humility based on her own assumptions that got me when I read this one.
The two of us butted heads when we first met. For sure. Now I can say we are good friends. Anyways… Here is her post:
Impressions and Assumptions: The Blogger and Captain America
I am a people watcher. There is a steady stream of observations constantly running through my head. Sometimes, it is exhausting to be constantly evaluating every thing that I see and hear.
(Yes, I know you were hoping this would not be about Tough Mudder. Too bad.) I just tricked you by not putting it in the title.
This is the story of how my mind was changed.
When I first stumbled upon The Blogger, I was struck by how he wrote these awesome pieces that seemed so unapologetically real and sincere. He was funny and relatable. As I read more, I realized he was just a normal guy who happened to have enough courage to just put it out there and see what happened. I decided I wanted to watch. I wanted to see how the story unfolded.
So, I joined an online health club he had started. It took me a while to figure out how it all worked, and eventually I joined a gym and started working out. I had something to talk about with these people. Over time, I go to know some of them. It was fun. It was a distraction. It was not REAL. It seemed to fit into my idea of heaven, keeping life compartmentalized and separate.
Then, I “met” Captain America. Here was a confident, insanely supportive man. He got on my nerves. I do not trust people who are that nice. They freak me out. Over time, we developed a playful push and shove. He encouraged my boxing, challenged me to do 100 burpees, and even staged a repeat ice water challenge. He wrote a post about me and how I inspired him. At first, I was embarrassed, and then, for some reason it worked for me. I was excited about getting healthy.
Now, fast forward. These two guys were part of a group of fitty fools who had done a Tough Mudder in Utah. All of these people suddenly became more real. I wanted to do one too. I wanted to do one with them.
I got my chance. There were going to be three “official” group Tough Mudders. I decided to do Mesa. I only had 6 months to prepare. The first three went well. Then, life hit me squarely in the chest, and knocked me so far off the wagon that I was not entirely certain there ever was a wagon. The group interactions were so excited and frantically supportive, and I became a skeptic. These people were weird. Why were they all so nice to each other? Why were we all so excited? What were we thinking?
I managed to convince myself that The Blogger was only doing this to advance his personal agenda. I assumed that is the only reason someone would do all of this. I doubted his sincerity every step of the way. Things felt contrived and staged. Nothing felt natural to me. My own insecurities were painting his actions in an unflattering light. I was afraid to be excited. I was sure this was all going to be some epic prank aimed at the people who were not physically prepared for a Tough Mudder. I had nightmares about the humiliation.