Food + Wine

I am a Tough Mudder! (I think)

That’s me, in the middle, as Glenda the Good Witch at the Davidson Halloween Parade last week.  That’s my mom, to my right, as The Wicked Witch, my husband as the reluctant Cowardly Lion, our daughter as Dorothy and next to her is the mastermind of the whole operation- our son, the Wonderful Wizard.  

(He wanted to be a wizard, my daughter wanted to wear her red sparkly shoes and everyone wanted mommy to dress as a princess so…this is what we came up with!!)
I’d never worn a crown before that day. I never considered myself a crown kinda gal. But, I’ll tell you something right now. It. Felt. Amazing. I didn’t wanna take it off. It gave me the worlds worst headache but I wanted to sleep in that thing. 
But don’t let the gown and crown fool you. Yes, I love to dress up. I can make an event out of going to the grocery store- I put on makeup and heels just because I can. I love everything about being a girl. But I’m no priss. I’d like to consider myself pretty damn Tough, actually. As much as I enjoy putting on mascara and a platform heel, I equally enjoy watching the sweat roll down my forehead as I curl a dumbbell. I like being strong. I’m proud of my muscles (it’s funnier if you say it like Popeye.) But I don’t think that needs to conflict with my femininity. For the first time in my life, I can comfortably say that I am in the best shape of my life. I work really hard everyday to feel (and look) strong. And I love it. 
In 4 days, I will be participating in Tough Mudder. It’s a several hour long, 12 mile obstacle course where the obstacles include anything from ice water diving to mud swimming to running through electric wires to log lifting. I’m doing it with my husband and a friend from his office. So, in other words, I’m about to find out if I’m as Tough as I’ve been claiming to be all my life. 
I’m excited. And a little nervous…what if I’m not really all that Tough? What if I cave? What if it turns out I’m more tenderloin than shoulder? More mushy than al dente? More poached than roasted? My whole identity will change. I’ll be a fraud!
But what if I do it and I do it well? What if I’m the Toughest Mudder they’ve ever seen and they have to reconfigure the entire course because I’m the only person to have mastered it with such skill and speed? What if they call me Queen Mudder and I get to wear another crown? 
I’d be OK with that. Because this Mudder, no matter how Tough and how strong, will, now and forever, never turn down a crown. 
This recipe, posted right after I had my daughter, is awesome. It takes a classically very Tough cut of meat, the short rib, and slow-cooks it into submission to create the most amazing and succulent meal. (Perfect for this time of year!) I’m making it tomorrow for our post-Trick or Treat dinner.  I’ll serve it over grits with sour cream stirred in at the last minute and it will be heavenly. 
I may even eat it wearing my crown.
Happy Halloween!! (And wish me luck!) 
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