I was dared to participate with fellow colleagues in a Mud Run (not so much running but lots of mud.) The childcare staff had bets going whether or not I’d trade my stilettos for duct taped runners (so one doesn’t get sucked into the mud pits). One to never shy away from a challenge I signed myself up with the team.”Sweat & Sparkle”. It was all fun & games until at 9am on the cool August morning I was army crawling through 1 1/2 feet of mud, trying not to let it touch my lips.
As I emerged looking like a weird creature from an old black & white horror movie I felt a sudden liberation. The smoothness of the mud on my skin, the feeling of being strong vs. pretty & positive energy from accomplishing physical challenges with my own cheerleaders touched my inner child.That was an “aha” moment.
- I get why kids like mud.
- I understand that to teach, the best way is to experience it yourself, to appreciate it fully.
This has guided our direction in staff meetings recently where we have incorporated hands on art experiences which allow educators the opportunity to play & manipulate the materials to find & feel the joy from the experience.
5 lessons from the Mud Run
- Take the high road – It’s tempting to go where everyone else is walking, take your time to think where the water trucks drove & left a higher middle rut which is safer. Don’t just follow the crowd, think it through & strategize.
- Pay attention to where you place your feet.- Take one step at a time or an unexpected hole will cause you to fall because you’re looking too far ahead. Be present in the moment with your thoughts to what’s ahead, but intentionally living out each moment.
- Know when to let go of the swing. If you don’t let go you will swing back to where you started or worse awkwardly fall into the water with rope burns and tire bruises. Plan out your timing and don’t be distracted with multi-tasking
- Give in & laugh – When you land in sewage smelling mud just laugh. Have the courage to laugh at yourself and the situation.
- Whisky at 11 am is ok after a mud run. – no lesson just a fact.
The positive vibes felt by the staff who participated spawned a fall campfire party & spooky flashlight mud track walk which was so popular it is requested to be repeated annually. Best lesson of all, life it too short not to have fun & get a little mud on the tires.