Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Encouragement is priceless

I came across the above image on Pinterest today, and it struck a chord with me. We all need someone who knows our dreams, the biggest, scariest dreams, and who believes we can do achieve them. Yes, there are many saying out there about proving the nay-sayers wrong, and that can fuel you to a certain extent, but when it comes down to it, self-doubt is a harsh companion in my head, tagging along with my dreams and possibilities.

This got me thinking about my own dreams, the huge one of being a full-time photographer, traveling around and capturing fabulous memories and lifetimes for people. I do believe I can do it, that God is guiding me on this path of scary, crazy, huge possibilities. At the same time, it is so incredibly easy to panic in the moments leading up to meeting with a client, quoting a price, or handing over the photos from their session.

I'm not really good enough for people to trust me with this.
Who do I think I am, that people would pay good money for my work?
How can I call this work?

It goes on and on.

I am incredibly blessed to have a strong support network of people in my life, people who believe in me, who cheer me on, who remind me of why I am doing this, why I am striving for this shining star above me. Each of them has a different way of believing in me, supporting me, showing me they know I can do it.

Matt, as in so much of his life, is of a quiet, steadfast belief that I am a photographer, whether or not I think I've "earned" the title. He gently laughs at me when I tell him I'm hesitant to introduce myself as such, and simply says, "why?" This solid, unwavering belief in my ability, in what I'm doing, does incredible things for my self-esteem. He doesn't just believe I can do it, it's an accepted fact that I am a photographer, so why I would question that is beyond him.

My mom is a more vocal cheerleader, pointing out the photos she loves, making it a point to tell me how much she loves when I show her raw, unedited shots before I've culled and refined them, and most importantly, praying for me and my family, that God will continue to lead us in His will. She reads my blog (hi Mom!), is on my Facebook, and regularly goes through the KL Photography fan page, "like"-ing just about everything, and encouraging me on there as well. The constant encouragement in my ear, and in public, is a huge morale booster, and is another layer in the foundation of my belief that I must be on the right path.

A good friend, I'll call him K, is the most vocal cheerleader in my life right now. He also has the camera bug, and does a bit of videography as well, and is a good person to geek out with over gear and technical details. We've shot together once, and plan to do so again in 2013. He is a constant buzzing bug in my ear, encouraging me, sharing my excitement over upcoming opportunities, shoots, helping critique shots that aren't quite right and I can't place why that is, and all around being a great photographer friend. Just yesterday I was sharing an upcoming session with him (details to come...) and we had a little moment over Instant Messenger:

K: Kristin... i hope you know.... YOU SO DESERVE THIS! And this... is AMAZINGLY amazing to experience (like me being a 3rd party...) because it just shows that MY FRIEND... Kristin Leamy... is on her way to being something BIG in this industry!
K: Girl...
K: I am SO... SO.. SOOOOOO Proud of you
K: I mean seriously... look at me..
K: I've stopped.. I've stood still...
K: you.. you keep moving forward... be proud of yourself.
K: I've seen you go... shoot... struggle... amaze... create... with a pencil... and now your going to be given crayons... paint... a canvas... you are seriously about to paint the world 
K: its about to get REAL :)
K: kk!!! time to suck up these tears of mine (really lol) .. just know I'm proud =)
For serious, you guys

There are many people who support my dreams, encourage me in the pursuit, and all-around lift me and my family up in life, in prayer, and in everything. Every one of you is dear to me, you make a huge difference, whether you realize it or not. Your offhand comments, gentle encouragement, commiseration with things get frustrating, and more, are all invaluable.

You are invaluable.

Thank you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bossypants, and my legs

This past week, I picked up a few audio-books at the library to enjoy as I drive around town each day. Today I popped in Tina Fey's "Bossypants", which is also narrated by Tina Fey. I love it when an author reads their own work in audio-books or in live readings, it really adds a lovely dimension to the story that can otherwise be lost.

Anyway, she mentioned a turning point in her life when she learned just how many things can be "wrong" on a woman's body. Shortly after, she took stock of herself, parts of her that aren't perfect, and that she wouldn't change. I like this idea, and so decided I would do the same:

  • My freckles - they're mostly only on my arms, and I like them. I didn't always, I just wanted those freckles they talk about in stories, "a dusting across her nose" sort of deal. But, I don't want to look like a character in a book.
  • My pale, pale legs - I will never be tan. Even "flesh toned" hosiery is obviously not MY flesh tone, and  this is something I have come to accept, and embrace. Pale, pasty, nearly glow in the dark skin works surprisingly well with the 40's and 50's styles that I love so much
Not me/my legs, but might as well be. I match the walls, too.

There's probably more, but those two come to mind immediately as things that I have had issues with in my life. I think perspective really does come with age and experience, and frankly, appearance has little to do with anything in life. Yes, it's important to be neat and clean, but frankly, that's about it. I like to feel pretty, but whether you think I'm pretty has no bearing on my life. 

I'd like to say I don't care what others think of me or my actions, but that's simply not true. At the same time, it truly has no bearing on my life, and I care a LOT less now than I did when I was younger. I am looking forward to the freedom of not caring one whit! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A fairy tale

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who never, ever picked up after herself. She dropped anything and everything wherever she felt it necessary, which ended up being anywhere and everywhere. She was young, and her family, naive as they were, felt she was too young to have chores, and generally would pick up after her.

One day, the little girl was asked to clean up a mess on the table after she had eaten a snack.

"but," she replied. "That's Grandma's job, that's not my job!"

Thus ended her era of never having to lift a finger. The family is now considered a bunch of slave drivers, who are ruthless and do horrible things such as request food to be put away, and require her to follow through when she commits to doing something.

Many years later, she appreciated her parents and what they had done for her.

The end.

I imagine "many years" is roughly equal to about 30 or 40 but fairy tales rarely cover that span of time.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I don't forgive you...yet

Thursday night was fairly uneventful, from snuggling with kidlet, to telling her it was time for PJs and she did a  little happy dance and skipped off giggling "hooray!", which is rarely the reaction to PJs/bedtime. After a few minutes of giggling at Disney channel silliness, we popped her in the shower to get the Kid Grime off.

That sentence belies what really happened though. It went more like this:

"Mom, would you help me?"
Me - "No, I'm cleaning up/doing laundry/stuffing my face. Go start your shower."
(It should be noted here that she is perfectly capable of starting, showering, ending and drying off after her shower without assistance.)

"But Mooooooooooooooooooom!! I need help rinsing my hair!" Said while still fully clothed, simply standing in the bathroom. The water's not even on.

Me - "I will help you rinse your hair, but you need to actually START YOUR SHOWER, as I've now asked 4 times."

"But, will you be in here with me? It just makes me feel more comfortable."

Me - "Nope, sorry kiddo. I'll be in there in a minute to rinse your hair. Use your time wisely!" 
Img source: http://prattlenog.com/2010/04/28/productive-procrastination/

This exchange was repeated about 3 times, so by the time the water was actually turned on, and her clothes came off to get in, 10-15 minutes had passed. Seriously, kidlet? You could have been in and out in that time!

After the shower, she went around to all the family members and said her good nights - grandma, grandpa, the cat (who tolerates good nights, but really would prefer that she ignore him as much as he ignores us), and dad. We shuffle into her room, where she takes a flying leap facefirst into the bed, giggling maniacally.

One of these days, I swear, she's going to miss her mark, and it's not going to be funny, but will make for an epic story later in life.

After wrapping her in the vintage sleeping bag my parents handed down to us (seriously, this thing is from the 70's, and is still mostly going strong. I can't believe it's survived this long!), layering a down blanket, and then her favorite quilt, which was Matt's when he was a baby, on the very top, she's finally ready to hear a story and go to sleep.

I settle in read some of her favorite, Doctor Doolittle. Being the big Doctor Who fan that I am, every time he's referenced as "the good Doctor" in this book, I immediately flash to Doctor Who, instead of the doctor they're actually referencing. After reading for a few minutes, I snuggle with kidlet a little, and go to move her wet hair out from under her head to make it a bit more comfortable as she's falling asleep.

Unfortunately, as kids are wont to do, she moved unexpectedly as I moved my hand to do so, and I ended up poking her directly in the eye with an outstretched finger.

Img source: http://www.banklawyersblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c652b53ef0120a7f4ac0d970b-popup

Poor thing! It would have been a Three Stooges type scene, except it was a direct hit, and of course hurt like the dickens. I apologized over and over, gave her lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles. Poor thing, she valiantly tried not to cry, but I could tell it was hurting her pretty badly. Once she felt she could open her eye again, I held up the nightlight we were using to see if I'd actually cut her or anything. Thankfully no broken skin was to be seen, but goodness, her poor eye!

I apologized many more times before she fell asleep, but I noticed something. Not once did she say "it's ok", which is her typical response.

This makes me VERY proud. Automatic forgiveness is not always going to come, and we've talked about how you can accept someone's apology without the "it's ok" dismissal that kind of downplays what happened to warrant the apology. I'm certain she will eventually forgive me, but I understand that it might take a bit, because I managed to really hurt her.

Img Source: http://terabrite.tv/im-so-sorry-about-the-massive-amount-of-posts-please-forgive-us/

We'll talk more about the incident as her eye feels better, and see how she's processing it. Just because someone says they're sorry, doesn't mean you are required to forgive them straight away. God gives us the grace of forgiveness, and in our brokenness, it can take time for us to see our way to forgiving others. God also gives us patience, and I'm glad to be patient in this case, because I don't want her spouting empty words. When she decides to forgive me, I want it to be her decision, not because it's what she feels pressured to say.

How do you deal with the "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you" scenarios in your life? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Anything Can Happen!

It's Anything Can Happen Thursday!

Bonus points if you know where I got that idea :)

The things I mentioned that are stressing me out are still hanging on, but I'm taking action to see if I remove the stress factors from my life. While I'm still having to deal with it, and it's still an issue, I don't feel powerless or helpless. God will help me through this, no matter what happens He will be with me. I have to repeat this to myself rather often, it's very easy to look sight of that fact in the situation.

In happier news, things are looking fabulous with KL Photography! I've booked a shoot in a few weeks, and I'm shooting a series I'm calling Women of Strength, featuring the fierce ladies of Portland, OR. The first installment can be seen here, but here's a little taste as well :)


Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Mashup

Incredible sunrise on my way to work a week ago
I experimented a little in the kitchen. Top wedge is the eggplant, which was mostly ok. I definitely need a recipe next time.
GORGEOUS shoes I scored at Salvation Army, nearly new, $8. 
The flower that caused the trouble written about here
Inspirational quote I have next to my desk at work. It's positioned so that I see it when I enter or leave my desk (it's on the wall) and it has to do with everything in life, not just running. I will be better than I was yesterday at being patient. I will be better than I was yesterday about making healthy choices. Each little step adds up to the journey.
Gorgeous, intriguing burned out building where I was able to shoot with a few friends for a new photography series that I'll release soon.
My look for a shoot in which I was a -model- rather than a photographer. Someone gave me an ax. Oh dear.
My wall of accomplishments. These are my 2012 races, and I will be framing them soon. I haven't decided how I'm going to set it up yet, so they're still just on my wall. Regardless, I feel a surge of pride every time I look at the display :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Plant an egg, what do you get?

Things are incredibly stressful right now. I can't write about them online, but prayers would be most welcomed. I'm afraid I'm not very chatty right now, hence the quiet blog.

However, I did experiment with cooking eggplant last night. "Experiment" in this case means "sliced and cooked on the stove-top without any research or recipe"...so I hope it turned out. It's in the office fridge right now.

What are your favorite eggplant recipes?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Knight In Shining Armor Has A Beard

This past weekend, Matt and I went on a little trip up North, to see our beloved Timbers play against the Seattle Sounders for the Cascadia Cup. If you're not familiar, the Cascadia Cup is a regional award, competed for between Vancouver BC, Seattle WA, and Portland OR soccer teams.

Sunday was an absolute blast, even though Matt and I didn't get to ride the same buses up to the game (long story, it wasn't a big deal). We didn't win, unfortunately, and between that and very poor security tactics by CenturyLink Stadium staff and event personnel, the ride back to Portland was mostly quiet, frustrated, and filled with more drinking. We were LOUD and happy and excited on the way up, and a fair bit of alcohol was passed around the buses, but most of us just slept and tried to forget the mess we just left in Seattle.

Not our bus, but this was about what it looked like after the match. Source: http://naijatalkative.blogspot.com/2012/08/do-you-sleep-in-bus-while-travelling.html

When we arrived back in Portland, I texted Matt to see about how long till his bus would arrive, as there were a total of 18 buses carrying all of us, and his had been delayed in leaving the stadium. He was about 15 minutes away at that point, so I waited around with a few people from my bus, the empty keg, and a pile of Timbers Army flags. My bus buddy went off to move her car closer, as a friend she was waiting on was riding the same bus as Matt.

I thought, considering the flags and keg were sitting there, that our bus captain would stick around until the last bus came to load the empty stuff onto. This seems logical to everyone I've talked to, but apparently he didn't seem to think that needed to happen, so he left...and now I'm alone with all this stuff, at midnight, in Portland. I don't have a problem being alone at night in the city, but this area was pretty deserted, as most people were exhausted and headed out right away.

Not where I was - Source: http://scatblogging.blogspot.com/2012/03/we-own-night.html

So, I waited for Bus Buddy to get back, and checked in with Matt again to see where he was. He was getting there, but they weren't just down the street or anything yet.

Then, a guy from my bus walked up and started to chat with me. It was immediately obvious he was blind drunk, the man could barely hold his eyes open. I don't typically enjoy drunken company anyway, and I was already a bit uncomfortable because there were so few people around, and none nearby. He was nice, complimentary and it became apparent that he was trying to hit on me, asking about a boyfriend, etc.

When I mentioned that my husband (lots of emphasis when I said it) wouldn't take too kindly to my having a boyfriend, he backed up a bit, but continued to talk to me. He was still nice, but I was uncomfortable, and trying to figure out how to get out of the situation without leaving my camera and stuff alone on the sidewalk behind him.

Just then, the heavens opened, angels sang, a light shone down, and trumpets sounded.

there was no water. Source: http://www.gerhardy.id.au/epiph1_09.htm
A lovely gentleman I know, with an epic beard and a killer sense of humor, named Mo, comes strolling up the sidewalk out of nowhere. He grins at me, says "hey" and comes and puts his head on my shoulder. We are acquainted just enough with each other to banter and joke, and to the drunken eye, we can seem as though we know each other more than we actually do. Mo turns then, and tells Drunk Dude he's my husband. We chat several more minutes, in which Mo throws in we've been hitched for 3 1/2 years, and remember when he told Drunk Dude he had a redheaded wife he was saving a spot in line for?

Best part of this scene? Mo didn't know what we were talking about when he came up, he simply saw how uncomfortable I was and that Drunk Dude wasn't reading body language, and intervened.

Drunk Dude eventually wandered off, Mo stayed with me and hung out, chatting util my Bus Buddy came back and Matt's bus showed up.

We all said good night, big thank yous to Mo and a hug for saving my bacon, and went our separate ways. I see him at Timbers matches on occasion, but obviously Matt and I need to get to know this guy a bit better - he's a good one. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Exhaustion & Grammar

I'm super exhausted lately. It's quite frustrating, because I'm sleeping from 7-9 hours a night, eating regularly and all that. I'm tired down to my bones, I feel like I'm moving through molasses, and my brain is still back in bed. I agreed to help sew patches on a couple of Girl Scout vests for a good friend, and while I have one done now, I have zero motivation to finish the other.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dallaportfolio/

In happier news, I got to see a good friend last night, get a new tattoo (EEE!!! pictures once it's healed), and I get to see another good friend today. Tomorrow is Saturday (hooray!) and Sunday Matt and I are headed up to Flounderville (aka Seattle) for a the big Cascadia cup game of Timbers vs. Flounders. That will be a lot of fun, and we're riding in buses with the Army, so it'll be relaxing, loud and awesome.

In my perusal of the Internet today (amazing that I can surf endlessly, even when I have zero energy) I came across this graphic that sums up my feelings quite well:

Source: http://edhenninger.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/grammar-in-a-graphic/

Monday, October 1, 2012

Confessions of a book abuser

Through a discussion with Matt this weekend, after purchasing a friend's debut book, he told me that he feels I abuse books. He's mentioned his pet peeves regarding this before, but never actually used those words. I honestly felt a bit like I'd been kicked.

I've held for a long time that I am not one of those people who abuse books. Yet I have habits that point toward my being one of those people after all: I dog ear corners to mark my place, I read in the bathtub (since I was a teen, I have never dropped a book in there but the inherent risk is there), and sometimes I lay the book out flat. Matt insists I break spines too, but I don't!

However, this list along with writing in books (agh, never!) are general hallmarks of one who abuses books.

So yes, I used to be a book abuser. 

That is changing, as of yesterday. I've been trying for a long time to stop my habit of folding the corners of pages, and I have no idea when I started this habit. Yesterday I grabbed a used Timbers ticket, and that is my new bookmark. I won't take books in the bathtub with me anymore, just magazines, and I will refrain from laying the book out flat.

I hereby vow to do the following:

  • Use a bookmark, every time
  • Never fold down pages
  • Close the book when I am not reading it
  • No longer take a book to the bath with me
  • Huff book fumes until I'm dizzy

I do respect the written word, I adore the smell of book glue and old libraries, but that respect in my mind hasn't translated into my actions. I know this may not seem very important to some of you, but opening my eyes to this was a punch to the gut. It's quite important to me, as books are a huge part of my life and always have been, and so it's important to me that my habits change.

Starting now, my actions will reflect my love of the written word.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pardon my funky dust

Please pardon the dust around here for a day or two - I'm migrating old blog posts over from another blog, and it might get a little funky while I try to make sure everything is right!

In the meantime, you can...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

10 Things Tuesday

Ten things that are currently on my mind:

1) Alfred Hitchcock Presents is on Netflix!

2) I'm feeling the knitting bug again

3) My partner and I ran last night for the first time after the Warrior Dash, and what a difference a 2 week break makes!

4) I want purple and teal hair

5) I might grow out my bangs, just for kicks

6) These thoughts make me feel shallow

7) Kiddo is ahead in her homework studies which makes me very proud

8) I'm a little hesitant to use my camera because I think my sensor is dying

9) We have WAY too much junk. Sitting here on my bed seeing it all makes me want to just get a dumpster and toss everything.

10) Reading is cool.

Friday, September 21, 2012

50 Things You Never Knew You Needed To Know

1. What is your best friend's Mom's name? Valerie

2. Where is the weirdest place you have a mole? I don't have any moles, actually.

3. Who was the hottest teacher you ever had? I don't recall ever feeling any of my teachers were hot or attractive in any way.

4. Have you ever made out in a movie theater? Yep! Now that it's so ridiculously spendy to see a movie, I don't anymore...because I'm there to see the movie. Boring, but true.

5. What body part do you wash first? My hair, for sure.

6. Do you hover over the toilet in public bathrooms? Nah.

7. What's the strangest talent you have? Scaring people who think they know me well.

8. Do you have an innie or an outtie? My nose is an outtie. Makeup can only camouflage so much.

9. What's your favorite flavored Pringles? it's been years since I had them, but probably Sour Cream and Onion.

10. Have you ever been tied up? Yep, I'm tied up with many things right now, actually.

11. What was the last thing you ever got grounded for? Probably lying. I lied often as a teen, sadly.

12. Do you parallel park or drive around the block? I'll drive around the block, unless I'm downtown because if you see a spot TAKE IT, it won't be there 5 seconds later.

13. Have you ever had two dates in one night? Um, no. That sounds like a ton of work, and with my memory, I'd call someone by the wrong name.

14. How many times have you been cussed out? Surprisingly less than someone with my job generally is (fraud detection), but more than I would like.

15. Which shoe do you put on first? Usually the right, I think.

17. Have you ever been to a gay bar? Not that I know of, but I'm certainly not intentionally avoiding one. I just don't do bars in general very often. I'm way too picky about my drinks and company.

18. Girls all I really want is GIRLS!

19. Is there one thing all of your love interests have had in common? they were all boys

20. Did you French kiss before you were 16? Ugh yes...and I wish I hadn't. No one has enough experience in kissing AT ALL at that point. Though, after the first few times, I just said to myself "enough!" and didn't let him anymore. It felt like what I imagined it would be like to kiss an excited dog. Gross.

21. Have you ever been cow-tipping or snipe-hunting? Nope.

22. Who is the last person you usually think about before you fall asleep? Probably Matt or kiddo, unless something's going on with another family member.

23. Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you? Not that I know of. Matt almost sang to me at our wedding, but chickened out. I almost said my vows to him in Russian, but chickened out. Meh, it's even.

24. If you had to choose to not ever wash your bed sheets again or not wash your bath towel ever again, which would you rather not wash? eeewwww. Bath towel...but both are seriously nasty ideas.

25. Have you ever found anything in your parents' bedroom that was questionable? Um no. I don't snoop, so saved myself from that sort of thing.

26. What was your childhood nickname? I never had one, but I wanted one! I tried to assign one for myself, from "Moe" to "K" to everything else I could think of. Self-assigned nicknames don't work, by the way.

27. When is the last time you played the air guitar? When was the last time an epic metal song was on my mix? So, probably yesterday.

28. Have you ever peeked in the opposite sexes locker room? No.

29. What's the weirdest thing you have done while driving? Dramatic music conducting, probably.

30. Have you ever bitten your toenails? EW NO.

31. How do you eat your cookie? With my mouth.

32. When working out at the gym, do you wear a belt? Um, no...

33. Name something you do when you're alone that you wouldn't do in front of others. Talk out loud to myself.

36. How many drinks does it take before you get drunk? It depends on how long since I've eaten. More than 3 hours, about 2 drinks. Eating while drinking, I can hold my alcohol. I can, and have, hold a good tipsy buzz all night until 5am. You know you want to party with me.

37. Have you ever sniffed an animal's butt? Uh, no.

38. How often do you clean out your ears? When they bother me.

39. Do you scrunch or fold your toilet paper? Scrunch, after I fold.

40. About how many times a day do you pick a wedgie? when it happens and I can go somewhere no one can see me do it.

41. Do you have any strange phobias? No, mine are pretty common - mostly spiders and the dark.

42. Have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose? Not that I know of.

43. What is the stupidest thing you've ever done at a bar? Paid a cover charge and then bought an overpriced drink that a frat boy could make better. I'm a snob, remember?

44. Have you ever been dared to do something you totally regretted? No, because while I'm usually game for dares, I also will refuse if it's stupid.  

45. Have you ever called your love interest by an ex's name? uh, no.

46. Have you caught a guy/girl farting while on a date? I didn't have to catch him, he uses it as a mating call.

47. Have you ever played naked Twister? No, but I imagine that would be filled with farts as well.

48. Have you ever been drunk at work? No. Why on earth would I want to be?

49. Have you ever found your date's/lover's brother or sister more attractive? No.

50. Do you want to bring sexy back? Sorry, can't help it. IT'S HERE TO STAY, GUYS. I'm not going anywhere.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Design Inspiration

I've been considering a blog redesign, and I'm thinking some fun lavender and turquoise will be the main colors. I read on a wise designer's blog that making a board on Pinterest to help with the blog design is a good first step. Well, heck, I'm ADDICTED to Pinterest, so obviously I'm going to be doing that. As soon as I read that, I was off to the red P for some inspiration...

The icy tones of these colors are incredible, and are the jumping off point for the new design

As a girl who's in love with all things retro, this font just grabs me

There is so much I love about this picture, the selective pops of color, the patterns, the clean lines.

My design board doesn't have a lot on it right now, but I'm keeping my eyes out. I would definitely like to keep the design clean, but colorful, and fun. That can be a hard balance, and I might end up paying someone to design it for me, we'll see. I'm a photographer, not a designer, and every time I attempt something like this, I'm reminded of that fact! :)

Have you enlisted a professional to make over your blog? Please leave your recommendations in the comments!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

5 Tips for Mud Runs

Psst! Don't forget to book your session for your Fall Discount!

On September 8th, I ran the Warrior Dash with my good friend Lisa. We trained together for the last two months or so, walking and jogging 2-4 miles three times a week. This was my second mud run/obstacle course, and between the two, I learned several things that it would seem no one ever tells you. They tell you to prepare for hills - this is very true. You should be able to climb or clambor over and under things reasonably well - they tell you this too. What they don't tell you?
  • Preparation is key. Don't bother with makeup, get all hair pinned or tied back so it doesn't get in your face, wear longer, tight pants to protect your legs and lady or man bits. Rocks in the crack isn't as sexy and fun as it sounds - trust me.

  • Attitude is everything - you think you can't do it? You probably can't...your brain listens to that evil voice. Tell yourself "I got this!" over and over...especially when you don't think you do. That cramp in your side? Raise your arm in the air and slow down slightly, making sure to breathe - your body can take it! Don't get prissy during the race - dive in, just not head first! Mud is sexy - work it!
Look out, here we come!

  • When everyone is face down in the mud pit, and someone exclaims "I lost my shoe!"...listen to that person. You can't "swim" in mud...keep as much of you out of it as possible, and you'll get through the pit faster than the smartypants that think they need to dive in to get through. It is NOT easier that way. If you lose a shoe, call it a badge of honor along with your scrapes and bruises...and proudly proclaim that you donated to the next wave of runners. Who knows - someone might lose their shoe and gain yours!
That's me in blue. Please notice mine is one of the only heads you can see here - there were at least 30 people in that mud pit with me...and maybe 5 stayed upright.

Forget the people who try to tell you you're not muddy enough at the end. You just endured mass suicide with hundreds of others...screw 'em if they think mud is the indicator of your toughness. Other racers told me this - seriously! We just finished the freaking WARRIOR DASH, who cares what I look like?!
  • You are only competing with yourself. Seriously. If you're having trouble with an obstacle, others will step up to help - pay it forward when you can. We helped each other along the course more than once, and it makes the race that much more fun when strangers band together for each other! In my first mud race, I finished in approximately 80 minutes. Considering it was a 5k, I was a bit disappointed, but there were HUGE hills that I wasn't prepared for. In the Warrior Dash, I was better prepared, but still slower than I'd like:

Blogger is being fussy - if you can't read that, I finished in just under an hour, with an average pace of 18 mins per mile. Considering that pace includes wading through clay mud, a chest deep lake, and other crazy obstacles, I think that's pretty dang good!

  • Have fun the whole way, despite yourself. There are long stretches where people around you will start whining, which can be contagious. "I can't feel my legs!" "My shoe is still in the mud pit!" Wah wah wah. Suck it up dolly, you knew what you were signing up for - they don't hide the crazy involved in these races. You know you like it - so HAVE FUN! Especially when you see a camera, ham it up big time. Trust me, the cheesier you feel, the better the end picture. Exhibit A:

So, even if you don't consider yourself a "runner", if you like the idea of being a bit crazy and a lot dirty for a few hours - go for it!! A good 80% of the people who started the race with me walked the entire route. There's no shame in going slower! Obstacle races/mud runs are a ton of fun, a ton of dirt, a lot of crazy, and worth every step. It is SO satisfying to finish, regardless of your time, and you can't stop smiling and telling everyone who will listen about what you just did.

I wore my Warrior Dash medal and t-shirt the rest of the day after the race. No one asked me about it, sadly.