Out of My Comfort Zone and Into the Mud

Adventure, Breast cancer, Dirty Girl, Fitness, Linda Farley, mud race, Self-Esteem, Stonewear Designs -



On a beautiful Saturday morning, the first day of fall in fact, I asked myself, “Why am I dragging myself up a 30 foot cargo net, crawling on my hands and knees through an aptly titled mud pit called the PMS (Pretty Muddy Stuff), and bouncing my way up and over an inflatable pyramid?” The answer? I was participating in the second annual Dirty Girl mud run in Byers, Colorado, about 45 minutes east of Denver. Four thousand women participated in this 5K obstacle course that benefits breast cancer research.

Since many of us at Stonewear Designs have personally been affected by breast cancer, we felt it a worthy cause to support. We formed a team and called ourselves “The Dirty Headlights.” Stonewear team members included Angie O’Connell, Director of Finance, Sandy Buchanan, Accounting Assistant, Morgan O’Connell, Fall 2011 catalog model, and myself.

Of course, we wore a combination of Stonewear Designs clothing. The Liberty Capris, Cotton Double Cross Tops, Electra and Momentum Tanks, and the Skipper Skort made all made appearances.

As we approached the starting line we weren’t quite sure what to expect. We were whipped into a frenzy of dancing and shouting, and then released into the great unknown.

Linda Farley getting after it!
Linda Farley getting after it!

Early on, we encountered a 6-foot wall. We assisted each other in scaling it…when it was my turn, the last of our team, I thought, “How am I going to do this on my own?” I looked down from my perch and said, “Can somebody give me a shove?” With a heave ho and a cry of “You can do it!” I got over that wall. Later, I ran into my fellow “Dirty Girl” and thanked her for her support. She said, “Aren’t we all in this together?” Words to live by!

As we trudged through each obstacle you could hear women mumbling, “We have to be at least halfway through this thing by now, right?”

After one particularly tough spot on the course my shoes were so covered in thick, heavy mud that I looked like Frankenstein taking his first steps on ice skates.

With the finish line now in our sights, we prepared for the final test: a knee deep mud-filled pit. In a show of unity (and a great photo opportunity) we locked hands, raised our arms high, and shouted, “We did it!”

The jubilation lasted for a few moments until we were herded into a line for the showers. A volunteer belted, “Ladies, try to clean up as quickly as you can.”  The welcome relief of dousing my mud encrusted body with clean water was overwhelming.  When we finally reached our destination it was a tangle of makeshift plumbing consisting of 20 hoses dangling from spigots.

The water was cold–ice cold–a great motivator to clean up quickly.  As I scrubbed away, teeth chattering, I reflected on what I had just accomplished.

The Stonewear Ladies!
The Stonewear Ladies!

I had spent the last two hours huffing and puffing, getting splinters in my hands, bruising my shins, and the final insult, snagging a hole in the knee of my brand new Liberty Capris.

Ultimately, at the tender age of 52, I laughed hysterically, attempted a failed belly flop, conquered some fears, pushed my body to its limit. and got to play in the mud with some wonderful friends.

We are already planning for Dirty Girl 2013. These are our goals:

1. Increase our team size. If you live in the Denver area and would like to be on our team, please contact me at lfarley@gthi.com.

2. Select a team name

3. Bling out our outfits

By Linda Farley, Dealer Services Manager for Stonewear Designs





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