Dirt in your skirt blog

One Year

Posted on June 8, 2012 by Margaret Schlachter


On June 5, 2011, I made a life altering choice. At the time it was not an earth shattering, tsunami decision. I didn’t have a coming to god moment, no this was a simple choice but one which unknowingly to me at the time would completely change my life.


My First blog post, How it all Started. “Here I am today, signed up for World’s Toughest Mudder. Training officially starting June 5, 2011. This blog is to help aid my training by keeping a log of workouts and other races leading up to this 24 hour race.” That’s all it was suppose to be a simple blog to keep me honest and focused to get ready for a 24 hour race. It really feels like I wrote that a lifetime ago. As I sat down to write this blog, I knew it was coming and have been a bit emotional thinking exactly what it means and how deep to go into it. Over the past week I knew it was close and the one year mark was creeping up on me.

A year ago, I was just another twenty something wading my way towards actual adulthood. Many would say I was an adult already with a job that warranted power and decision making, but inside I was still stuck in the limbo that is your twenties. I was no longer just out of college but I am not old enough to have lost the kiddo jokes among colleagues. It doesn’t help I still could easily blend into a college freshman class if you put us in a lineup.

If you had told me all the experiences and people I would meet in the next 365 days, my mind would not be able to comprehend to such extent. So as I sit down, as the excitement of the past weekend is fading, to recount some of the highlights of the last 365 days, I thank each and every person for playing a small part in it.


When I look at the year, I try to find the tipping point. What made the change happen. I know the first thing is I changed my mindset of what can be accomplished. Once I started to breakdown the ideas of what I thought I could do, I realized I the things I really could do. Cryptic yes!

There is one person who had the most profound impact on my life in the last year and that man is Joe Desena. It all stemmed from an email to Joe as a random racer living in the area. Today I am honored to be able to call him a friend and to have gotten to know his family. Joe consistently mentors me with his racing knowledge and I have been listening carefully when he talks. I still remember during our first meeting one of the guys in the office told me, “watch out spending too much time with him, you will get sucked in.” Well here I am sucked in a year later, Thank you Joe. Through Joe I feel the rest of the connections came.

I must thank Jason Jaksetic next, when we first met he was in his final preps for the 2011 Death Race. His racing resume intimidated me to say the least, this former Kona Ironman and elite endurance athlete would become one of my greatest training, sport and life assets over the past year. We helped each other through the good, the bad, and the ugly over the past year. Everything from swim session in lakes and pools, trail runs, to relationship advice and offering a quiet place to sleep when each others homes became too much. Much of the last year I relied on his knowledge as an athlete he shared with me. One of my greatest memories over the past year was having the pleasure of crewing for him at his Double Iron in Virginia. Watching his finish is a memory ingrained in my head. Currently, our racing paths are taking separate directions but in this first year I can’t imagine it without him around. Thank you Jason for everything!

Next up would have to be Carrie Adams, a year ago we were strangers and although life makes it hard to stay as in touch these days she is one of my best friends. It was through the blog she had Brian Ansley write that got me on the obstacle racing map, Spartan Chicked: Dirt in Your Skirt. She is the brain child behind the Spartan Chicked movement and pulled me on board from the beginnings. I can’t imagine life without the Spartan Chicks and Carrie Adams. Over the past year we have shared racing and life stories, many a Skype conversation has been had into the wee hours of the morning. I have loved coming on the radio show and basically just laughing. Thank you Carrie for helping change my life. The weekend of the Spartan Beast was a magical moment in time I treasure and cherish, especially the car ride with Katy and Maurya!

Steve, owner of Green Mountain Rock Climbing and I am lucky to call him my trainer. Steve has spent hours thinking of new workouts for me. He has had an idea for years and though our training he is able to act on them. He has helped with more than just the physical changes in my appearance, our work together has pushed me beyond my limits and he continues to work tirelessly to help me improve. Steve is a quiet man who doesn’t like to boost or brag, but what he does is special and this past weekend I saw the rewards.

Todd Sedlack and Yitzy Sontag, two men that was it not for them I would have never made it as far as I did in World’s Toughest Mudder. These two men stuck with me the whole race, often time hurling me over obstacles. I am forever indebted to them for the gift they gave me at that race. Yitzy, I will forever bring cookies to races for you! Todd, you are the best carpool buddy.

I need to thank the Death Race and Spartan Race for existing. Were is not for them I would not have met one of the most amazing guys in the world. I first met Forest Call at the 2011 Death Race when he was helping his famous obstacle racing brother Hobie Call in his failed quest for $100,000 in 2011. When we met we had a connection and a spark was lit, over the next few months through Spartan Race business our paths would cross. However, it was not until Spartan Race World Championships in December that we (well I really) realized something was there (he knew all along). As we approach this year’s Death Race he will accompany me this time in my race camera in hand, no longer as a stranger but a driving factor in my life. All this thanks to a meeting on a cold rainy weekend at the 2011 Death Race.

My last thanks really are to those who support me, I have support from some great companies which help me to do what I do, Gaspari Nutrition, CW-X Condition Wear, Garuka Bars, Mocean Mate, and Road ID all help me to do what I do each day. My amazing website developers over at WIDSIX, Roope the work you do is amazing and you put up with my craziness! They are the best in the industry for athletes. I thank the Spartan Chicks daily as I day inspiration from each and every one of them. Many have become friends over the past year. My family went from not understanding all this but still supported me and continues to support me today. Finally, it’s about you as the reader, thank you! For those that have been here since the beginning, I can’t believe you are still here. For those that are new, thanks for joining the journey. Without, you the readers support, I would still be writing to air, well maybe my mother as well.


As I look back on the last year I realize not only did a Hurricane leave lasting impressions on my town but my own personal Tsunami came as well, my old life washed away. I barely remember the girl who became a woman over the past year. The water uncovered a whole new me, and I feel a better me in many ways. It uncovered a new path formerly unknown. It opened up my eyes to all the possibilities in life. This blog helped to change my life and has set me off on a new direction in life. Words cannot fully express the changes I have seen over the past year. I think it’s shown in my writing and in the blog.

The next year looks to hold some more big changes both in the blog and life. Hang on life is a ride and it’s getting more and more interesting each day. I cannot begin to predict what the future will hold but one thing is for sure there are a lot of options out there. One thing is for sure I will still rage on the war against cotton while racing!

Over the past year I have tried to hold myself honest, and share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly at times. I have spent nights laughing as I wrote, and others crying. Some days have been good and others exceedingly low. Life is unpredictable, that much I know.

To the next 365 days…