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What happens when you experience CRUD?

“The CRUD you walk through in life, adversity experienced, gives you strength to endure”
– Me

Day 3 – Atacama Desert Run

As we closed up camp around the fire after 83KM down after two days, one of our friends and Six time veteran shared that Day 3 would be the most challenging. He said you’ll see some terrain you have never experienced before that will mentally wear you down.

As we finished the 2nd checkpoint and the first 20km, we were about to enter a difficult stretch. The race organizer as we passed said you are about to enter 10km of Crud. We asked if it was runable. She laughed and said not really. It’s one of those responses that was unsettling, and vastly under stated.

Little did we know we were not only entering the most difficult stage of the entire race but what the three of us running together would describe as the most difficult stage we had ever run (or would walk) in our combined 10 desert races.

If you would have asked me to dream up the most difficult terrain, I would not have come up with this…crap.

This is just one sample (pictured above) of 10 different types of ground we would cover in the crud.

We experienced a combination of boulders, crusty coral like salt, brittle clay, soft sand, dirt with large holes, ground that may or may not hold your weight and sharp porcupine like bushes. All rolled into one or parts there of AND add the hot desert sun at 8,000 feet.

We were in good spirits going into the stage and slowed down to a crawl in the terrain.

As I was walking through the crud, which took us 2.5 hours, it gave me time to reflect while trying not to twist an ankle or take a spine in the shoe. CRUD was a metaphor for life and I was getting the full experience.

Life can be moving smoothly and when you least expect it you may encounter obstacles. It’s what you learn in the process that helps you grow as an individual.

It’s the CRUD you are able to handle that increases your capacity to endure, your adversity quotient and improves how you experience it next time.

Be thankful for the CRUD!

It’s your spring board to growth.


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