I like the mud. Yes, it is true, I am like a little kid and I am drawn to playing in the mud. Mud is especially attractive when it is part of an obstacle course race or challenge. This continued desire to play in the mud can most likely be traced back to my childhood playing in the woods of Niantic. The stream behind my neighbor’s house was a favorite afternoon spot to hang out. Of course back then I didn’t know the principals of Leave No Trace and we use to try to make little dams in the stream. But hey, we were kids spending hours outside playing in the woods, something we don’t see enough of these days.
As I got older organized sports got in the way of play time out in the woods. Every year though my family and our friends would go up to Waterville Valley,NH in the summer and I would reconnect with nature. I loved being surrounded by the mountains. We would take little hikes and bike around. Nothing overly adventurous though. The slopes of Mt.Tecumseh always seemed to be calling my name. The ski lift didn’t run in the summer so I always wondered what the view would be like from the summit. This went on for years, and years, and years. Finally, after about 20 years of just going in the summer my family and their friends bought a condo.
Now, we are not a skiing family. To put it nicely my mother is athletically challenged. The big question became what will we do in the winter when we go up? I decided to buy snowshoes and give that a chance. It took a few months to convince my father to also get a pair but he gave in and got some for himself. That first December we decided to hike up little Snow’s Mountain,Waterville’s tiny but originally ski mountain. Boy did we think we were hot stuff. Dad loved it so much that he started to research other trails in the area that we could do. That is when he came across the New Hampshire 4000footers. For the rest of the winter we would just get use to hiking around but come spring he wanted to start hiking high. So began our quest to summit all 48 of the NH 4kers. It took us 3.5 years but we finally finished atop Mt.Monroe. Together my dad and I did 46 of the peaks. We each did the Tripyramids as solo hikes, but hopefully we will soon go back and do those together so we can really say we did them all as a team.
In amongst our trips to NH I also started to get into obstacle course racing. I was a hammer and javelin thrower in college so I am not a huge fan of just running. If you put some stuff in my way and let me crawl through mud though, running sounds so much better. I’ve done 4 Tough Mudders, a Warrior Dash, and a Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run. Recently, I have gotten into also doing GORUCK Challenges. For the GORUCKs you need to carry bricks in a ruck for multiple hours at a time. This has lead me to start carrying bricks around on walks, hikes, runs, mowing the lawn, and even shoveling snow during Winter Storm Nemo.
When I am not out hiking or doing a crazy challenge I can be found doing Social Media for Trailblazer and Denali. I love to talk about the events I do and am always open for trying new stuff. I may also have a slight gear buying problem. My closets are filled with outdoor clothes and gear for almost every occasion. To give you an idea, I now own three pairs of snowshoes. Doing the challenges and hiking year round in any weather lets me really test out how stuff will hold up.
If you have any hikes, mud runs, or challenges you think I should try out drop me a line. Also, if you have anything you would like me to blog about please do tell. The best way to reach me is firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Trails!