I was running the Utah Super Spartan Race, an 8+ mile obstacle course nestled in the sweet little mountain town of Heber, UT, filled with rope climbs, walls, and mudpits. As I crawled through about 100 yards of mud under a barbed wire fence, I could see the finish line, just one more obstacle to go, the Stairway to Sparta.
On the other side, the infamous fire pit and my much earned Finisher medal. I began the climb of the 16 foot wall/ladder combination, covered in mud from the barbed wire crawl. I climbed over the top, smiled and waved to my mother at the finish line, who was there capturing photos of our event. My husband, who was running the race with me, asked me if I was OK. "Yes! I'm fine!" I said as I began my climb down the other side.
But, then something tragic happened. I lost my footing, and the combination of the slippery mud, muscle fatigue, and heat exhaustion, I slipped and fell, about 9 feet, onto the rocky terrain below. I landed full force on my right foot. I laid there stunned for a second, not sure what had happened, and the next thing I saw was my husband's worried face as he cradled my head.
I assessed my body. Nothing major was hurting. Head and back were both fine. I moved my extremities. My foot kind of hurt. Sprained, probably. I went to stand up, being a mere 10 feet or so from that sweet, sweet, finish line. A fellow racer stopped to check on me and told me to stay still. He was an EMT. I told him my foot was hurting and he started to examine it while the Spartan race staff summoned the medical team. I just wanted to get up and cross that finish line. My mom blew through the barricades, nothing would stop her from attending to her injured daughter. A small fan club started to gather around me and give me words of encouragement. I ended up being in multiple racers' finish line photos. I was a celebrity, kind of. The girl in this photo is not me. I am the mud covered blob laying on the ground behind her.
The medical team assessed nothing critical, wrapped my foot, and called a cart to take me to the medical tent for aid. My husband told me it was time to cross that finish line, and I agreed. He and a few other racers helped me to my feet. I tried to bear weight on my right foot. It felt like a million shards of glass piercing every part of my foot. Something was not right. It was a really bad sprain, I thought. I hobbled with the support of my husband and an unknown mystery Spartan across the finish line, got my medal and was carted off to the medical tent.
My foot looked like a giant deformed softball. I was given some ice and salted gatorade (yum!) to help with muscle cramps from the heat. In the medical tent, I had a few friends. A girl was getting her finger stitched, another was suffering from heat exhaustion. There was a man with his arm in a sling and on a stretcher, a dislocated shoulder. At least it could be worse. The medical staff didn't have an x-ray machine. They sent me home and recommended that I get that foot looked at.
My husband then drove us over an hour back home down the windy Provo Canyon, caked in mud and happy to be alive. It could have been so much worse. So much worse.