Mechanicville’s Toughest

Mechanicville’s Toughest

By Ken Day

From left to right: Anthony Laurenzo, Joe Pearl, Chris Gaetano, Johny Miller, Katie Pearl, Nicole Manupella, Kenny Day, Meghan Sgambati, Bob Murphy, Dustin Connors, Andrew Ferrone

A group of eleven Mechanicvillians, myself and Bob included, took off for Mt. Snow, Vermont Friday to tackle “probably the toughest event on the planet”: the Tough Mudder – New England.

For those unfamiliar with the Tough Mudder and what it’s all about, it is a 10 mile obstacle course that winds its way up and down steep ski-sloped terrain. The obstacles range from army crawling in mud and rock for 50 feet or so with barbed wire above your head to running through yellow wires hooked up to car batteries, being shocked with 10,000 volts.

Now you’re probably saying: “Why would you want to do that?” or “What the hell is wrong with you?”

These are common questions that I’ve been trying to answer to friends and family weeks leading up to the event. The problem was I didn’t have a real answer for them. I’ve never done the event before so I couldn’t explain it.

But it is now Thursday of the following week and I have had some time to try and come up with the answer.

We all finished the event that day. We all stuck together as a group and crossed the finish line as one.

There are signs everywhere stating that it is not a race but a challenge. While it is challenging at times that’s usually not what you remember about that day or weekend. You don’t go back home and back to work saying “Wow that was really challenging.”

You tend to remember and point out the little things about that weekend that will stick with you more than just completing the event.

Nearly 7000 people attempted the race that day and I’m sure majority finished. That is because Mudders stick together, work together and help complete strangers get over that 15 foot sloped wall.

Participants all share the same common goal and all have a great positive attitude regardless of how tough and challenging the course gets. That is because they know that someone will have their back when they think they can’t possible push their body any further. There is endless encouragement from participants that pushes you through what you thought you couldn’t.

This atmosphere is what you remember about the Tough Mudder. This is what stands out above all of the obstacles and steep climbs. Words do not do it justice, you need to be part of it to fully understand.

Another thing that stands out in retrospect, at least for me, is that you spend a lot of time with your friends; time you wouldn’t have normally spent together.

I have had a few wild few weeks. I got engaged and I am moving to Burlington, Vermont. I am in the middle of planning a wedding, finishing my current job, starting a new job, packing and moving. I read something recently that said starting a new job, getting married and moving were 3 of the top 5 most stressful things in life.

As strange as it sounds, doing a 10 mile obstacle course up Mt. Snow was a great way to relax and forget about all those things for the weekend. That’s just what happened.

The time I spent with our group of friends this past weekend was fantastic. Things got wild and fun but the pain of laughter by far outweighed the pain of our fatigued and tired muscles.

We all live professional lives that usually take away from spending that kind of time together. We work, eat and sleep. We tend to have rigid and structured schedules where everything is planned for us.

This weekend could not have been anymore perfect. It was spontaneous, exhausting, fun and could not have happened at a better time.

The spontaneous excitement from the weekend consisted of embracing unique local restaurant charm to causing havoc with a young married Mudder couple the night after the event.

The pain caused from the Tough Mudder is temporary. The memories of spending one hell of weekend with friends and fellow Mudders will last forever.

That is why I chose to do the Tough Mudder.

Mechanicville’s Toughest include:
Andrew Ferrone, Meghan Sgambati, Nicole Manupella, Joe Pearl, Katie Pearl, Ant Laurenzo, Chris Gaetano, Johnny Miller, Dustin Connors, Bob Murphy, Kenny Day

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