This week’s Dirt in Your Skirt Profile Series highlight Rebecca Crump. Rebecca is a 35-year old Analyst in Richmond, Virginia. When not at work on she can be found out on the course on the weekends. She is prepping to take on the extreme obstacle race – World’s Toughest Mudder this year.
How did you get involved in your sport?
After my divorce a friend suggested that a healthier and more productive way to heal was to run. He was right; however I quickly became bored with the pavement. When I saw an ad for the Tough Mudder, I was hooked. The challenge is what drew me in, but the camaraderie is what has kept me here.
Were you always an athlete?
I’ve been an athlete since I could walk. My mom said that there had always been a softball bat in my hand and I don’t doubt that. I played travel ball, as well as ran cross country through high school. Even if it was an off season, I could be found playing a pickup game of soccer or pitching against the brick wall of the school.
What are some of your athletic achievements?
My biggest achievement was getting my physical fitness badge during basic training (Army) because my Drill Sergeant said I couldn’t. I guess that’s always been my biggest motivator. Say I can’t, and I’ll prove you wrong. Another military related was the Expert Field Medical Badge. I was the first in my unit to get it in 15 years. I was stationed in a Military Police Unit, so there were only a few of us Medics. While not strictly an athletic achievement, there were elements of athleticism and academics mixed. It was my greatest honor to date. Non-military would have to be my first Tough Mudder headband. That’s more because it’s a running joke that it would never happen. I had to back out of my first event because of a knee issue. Then my next two Tough Mudder’s (MD & VA) were cancelled due to weather. I had friends begging me not to come to NJ last year. However, it ended up being a great event.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
My biggest goal this season is the World’s Toughest Mudder. I’ve never thought myself strong enough to compete, which is exactly why I’ve decided this was the year to do it. As I said, tell me I can’t and I’ll prove you wrong. I need to prove myself wrong on this one. I have a wonderful group of friends that have helped to get me fired up and I’m getting ready. I will tackle it head on. While I won’t be the fasted competitor out there, I will be standing at the end of the 24 hours. My goal is to continue slow and steady.
Who is/are your inspiration?
My inspiration… I have so many people that inspire me. My answers change on a daily basis. The two that remain are my children. After my divorce five years ago, we moved out here from Hawaii. I moved them away from all they knew to a place they’d never been. They took it like champs and remained strong. They are my strength and my world. I also look up to our military, past and present, as well as their families. Those men and women have sacrificed so much for a nation that does not always support them. And, they continue to do so every day. I look at our wounded warriors, continuing to smile, continuing to race alongside us. How can I grow weary in a race when they have the strength to keep on fighting?
What is your most proud moment in sport?
My most proud moment was the log carry during the Wintergreen Spartan Super last year. It was downhill and then back uphill. My partner kept asking me to stop to take a break. I did, because you don’t leave a partner behind (but I felt so strong carrying it). As we were going uphill, we were about halfway there and he said “I’ll meet you at the top”. I let go and went. I passed so many people and just kept telling myself “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”. It was a killer of a hill, but an amazing moment to finish and feel the strength when throwing that log down.
What is your most proud moment in life?
The day I bought my house. I think that was my “Oh crap, I’m an adult” moment. I had been married, had two kids and divorced by then. But, buying a house made me age about ten years.
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
Bad races don’t happen. Any day I’m on a course is a good day. Bad training happens, just like a bad day at work, or a bad day in general. I do my best to shake it off and get goofy, silly and laugh it away. My daughter is best at helping with that. She’ll dance with me, snuggle, make silly faces and if all else fails, force me to take her for ice cream.
What is your training routine like?
My training routine varies with the season and my kids’ schedules. I love running trails, absolutely love the beauty of the outdoors. However, if it’s baseball season for the kids, I’ll end up running laps around my neighborhood after they are asleep. Or, if it’s too cold (yes, I’m a wuss sometimes), I’ll end up at the gym on the elliptical for hours. I do about 4-5 days of running/elliptical and or hiking on a good week and about 3-4 days of weight training. My kids are 13 & 7 (son & daughter). We go on hikes at least once a week (3-6 miles), core workouts and local 5ks. I believe it’s important to get them kid’s healthy and excited about fitness at an early age.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
Find local events to dip your toes in the water. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and above all else have fun!! You’ll get bumps and bruises, but they heal and fade. It’s all part of the fun.
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
My favorite pre-race food was a good steak, potato and beer. However that wasn’t working out so well for me. I went to a friend’s birthday dinner before my last Tough Mudder and had a burrito with a lot of water. That was great! Maybe that’s my new go to? Let’s call that part a work in progress. My favorite post race food is definitely a chocolate milkshake. Love ice cream after a race.
When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?
When not training I’m hiking, chasing waterfalls, watching movies, playing at the beach or getting caught up in a marathon game of monopoly.
What is your favorite quote to motivate you?
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” ~ Philippians 4:13
“Perfection is not attainable. But, if you chase perfection, you can catch excellence.” ~ Vince Lombardi
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
My high school cross country coach… “If you are able to smile after competing you haven’t given it your all” He used to get so mad because I smiled after every meet. I still smile after every event, but I remember that advice. If I feel myself smiling, I remind myself to push further.
If you could share some advice to the next generation of athletes, what would it be?
Have fun and smile. 😉
What is/are the races you are most looking forward to this year?
It’s a tie. The Wintergreen Super because I’ll be competing with both my boyfriend and also my good friend. It will be a great experience with both of them on that soul crushing course. WTM is the other. I have an awesome group of friends that will be out on the course, as well as in the pits supporting. The experience will be exciting, overwhelming and one that I will never forget.