Why I Race: Overcoming Obstacles in Life Through OCR

For as long as I can remember I always had a hard time fitting in. I was the type that wanted everyone to like me. I tried so hard sometimes to get people to like me that I often ended up pushing them away. I found myself constantly worrying about what others thought of me. I got picked on, probably no more than most kids, but I always took it to heart and seemed to take it a lot harder than most. There were many times I would go home from school and cry alone in my room for hours. I tried really hard to hide this from people and learned really young to smile through the pain. At one point when I was a teenager I tried to discuss some of my feelings with one of my doctors and she basically chalked it up to puberty and told me it was all in my head. This just threw me further and further into a pit of despair and self-destruction. It didn’t get any easier into adult hood either.

My husband and I got married young in January of 2003. I was 20 and he was 22. He was in the Marines and he left for Iraq only a few weeks later. It was at that time that I too decided I was going to sign up for the Marine Corps. Due to an injury I was sent home from boot camp early but my husband was still overseas. This was extremely hard because not only did I feel like a failure for not finishing what I started, but I was so worried about him and what was going on in the Middle East.

Due to issues we both had following his tour we ended up splitting up for a while at the end of 2005, beginning of 2006. I became the absolute worst version of myself I could ever be and started drinking pretty heavily to try and drown it all out. Over time, we found our way back to each other. I started a new career that kept me busy and active. Things were really good for a while and I finally felt like my life was going somewhere again.

Over the next several years life was a constant yo-yo. I would start to feel great and be happy. All of a sudden out of nowhere I would have an anxiety attack, get depressed and downward spiral again. This went on and on for years.

In August 2015 I decided to go volunteer at a local Tough Mudder event to see what it was all about. After that first day volunteering I was hooked. I knew this was something I wanted to get into and that I would need to take my health a lot more serious if I wanted to run it. A few weeks later I started training and training hard.

By the time Spring 2016 rolled around I was ready. I had lost over 30 pounds and gained a lot of muscle. My anxiety and depression seemed to be under control and I felt the best that I have felt in a long time. That first year my husband and I ran 3 Tough Mudders, a Warrior Dash, and a Pumpkin Run.

When 2017 came around I knew this sport was something I wanted to pursue even deeper and run a lot more. We ran several more races that year including a Tough Mudder that even my in-laws joined us for as well. It was also in 2017 that I discovered the community of OCR was so much bigger than I could have ever dreamed and found myself added to a few groups. For the first time ever I truly felt like I fit in. I wanted to push myself further than I ever had.  I absolutely loved training and growing in the sport. After finding out we qualified for it, we both signed up for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada. I can’t even put into words the excitement and joy I felt when we arrived at the venue that chilly October day. Seeing athletes from all over the world including some of the biggest names in the sport was so surreal for me. The following day we both completed the short course. I did not do well at all and failed several obstacles. When I crossed the finish line my hands were torn up and bleeding and my legs were bruised but I could not stop smiling. I was so in love with sport and the way it made me feel. I was finally starting to feel like my life made sense and I could do anything if I wanted it bad enough.

2018 was another roller coaster ride for me. The year started off pretty rocky with both parents battling some health issues and losing my grandmother. I started sinking deeper and deeper back into depression and was letting my anxiety take over my life again. I did not like the person I was becoming at all. It was also putting a huge strain on my personal life as well. Thankfully once the race season started back up and I was able to run again, things started getting back to normal. I experienced a few more losses in the months to follow but tried to keep my focus on the sport I love. I did break down and hit rock bottom at one point but thanks to my wonderful doctor, and the understanding of my loving husband I was able to get my focus back on what mattered most- my marriage, my family, and those I love. I had set my goals so high last year when I decided to go to World’s Toughest Mudder. Due to some brutal conditions during the race, I did not make the goal I had originally set out for. I didn’t even come close. At first I let this get to me but then I quickly realized that I had still done something big. Anyone that completed even 1 lap at that race had something to be proud of. I will hold my high and train that much harder to go back this year with a vengeance. I have some unfinished business with that course and it gives me something to focus on for this year.

This amazing sport of OCR, the people, my teammates, and the whole community has done so much for me. Most people are shocked when they hear about my inner struggles. I’ve done so well at hiding it for so many years. I learned to smile and put on a brave face when inside I was screaming and fighting the urge to break down and cry. If it wasn’t for OCR and the amazing people in it I don’t know where I would be right now. People ask me why I race. People ask me if I’m crazy. Well, I believe that’s exactly why I race. Let’s be honest, aren’t we all a little crazy anyhow? So this is my why. This is my reason. THIS is why I race.

LegendBorne Ambassador Tricia Rogers
Instagram = @MudFun_Rogers