Meet the Mudder (part 3)
The third member of Team CCWC that will be competing in the World’s Toughest Mudder is Jeremiah Olson, a.k.a. “Dirty Grits”. Jeremiah and I go back to our college days as floor mates. At the time, we had similar hair cuts, and people would often get us confused. That doesn’t happen any more, because as you can see in the photo above, he has hair and I (Aaron Waggoner) do not. Now, let’s get to know Jeremiah a little better!
“My name is Jeremiah Olson. I’m 35 years old, a husband and a father of 4 kids age 2 through 9. I’m the worship pastor at Grace Community Church in Goshen, IN.
I grew up in a Christian home, and with the best understanding I had at the time, trusted Jesus as my Savior when I was 4 years old. My faith grew as my understanding did for the next 11 years. At age 15 I began a short-lived season of rebellion. It ended abruptly one night in an unexpected moment of clarity, and I chose to follow God with my whole heart and abandon everything else that would lead me away from Him. That choice was a springboard into a whole new level of adventure with God; one that has led me down the path of finding my calling, my bride, and my purpose as a husband, father, and leader in a local church.
Physical fitness had not been a big part of my life either as a kid or as a young adult. When I was approaching my 30th birthday, I decided I wanted to live the next 30 years more “on-purpose” than I had lived the first 30. I made that statement by running my first half-marathon on my 30th birthday. Since then, physical fitness has been a constant priority for both me and my wife, keeping us out of the doctor’s office, in the gym and on the road, and down on the floor being active with our kids.
Two years ago, when I was first invited to do a Tough Mudder race (by my Pastor as a staff team-building experience), I took a look at some YouTube videos to see what it was like. After looking at a few obstacles, I thought to myself, “I’m not sure I could actually do this”. When I realized that I wasn’t strong enough for the challenge that was set before me, that bothered me. I knew then that I HAD to do it. So I spent the next few months training, and then all of us pastors on staff went out and had a great experience conquering our first Tough Mudder. Since then I’ve run two more- one with the men from the small group I lead, and one with the guys who are currently my teammates. In this most recent Mudder, my teammates and I approached it with the goal of seeing if we could finish in the top 5% and qualify for the World’s Toughest Mudder. At that time I had no thought of actually doing the World’s Toughest Mudder, because events like that are only for crazy people. I mean, who would voluntarily sign up for a 24-hour endurance challenge in the cold weather of a New Jersey November? “Not me”, I thought.
We did really well as a team and did qualify for the World’s Toughest Mudder. Thus began conversations I never thought I’d have. What if we actually did this thing? Once again I heard myself say, “I’m not sure I could actually do this”, and once again I knew I had to try. We made plans together as a team to spend the next year in intense, concentrated training, running marathons and increasing our endurance over periods of 8, 12,and 18 hour workouts. We committed to doing the event, and now there’s no turning back. I’ve come to believe that the body will do what it’s been trained to do. If you train it to give up when things get hard, then that’s what it’ll do when race day comes. But if you train it to go farther, harder, and longer each time, then you can expect it to work hard for you when it counts. Each team member brings various skills to the table. I’m a strategist. Not every victory comes by brute force alone. There’s a lot to this challenge that requires good planning; like our nutrition, gear selection, training style, and more. When we’re using our brains AND our brawn, we’ll really be at our best.
The road to an extreme event like this is paved with aches and pains. Having Community Chiropractic as a partner in this journey is priceless. When you’re putting really high demands on your body, you need your body to work for you, not against you. Frequent chiropractic treatments have helped me deal with injuries and get past them. Because of Community Chiropractic, I’m in a place where I’m able to bring my best to each challenge. I expect I’ll keep seeing the benefits- all the way to the finish line.”