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Why OCRFit?

Posted by Steve Nyhuis on

     I have been running OCR since 2010 when a friend of mine asked me to join his team that was doing Tough Mudder Wisconsin.  I had no clue what Tough Mudder was, but was intrigued.  I googled it, and the first thing I said was 10 miles??  10,000 volts?? After watching videos on YouTube of people getting electrocuted and falling face first in mud...   Yea... no thanks.

   I hadn't ran a mile since I was in my 20's.  I am more than double that now.  After being called several not so nice names, I agreed to do it.  

   TM Wisconsin 2010 was at Devils Head Ski Resort.  This was not a good sign.  As we pulled in the road to the venue the night before, there was a giant sign that said...  "Sponsored by Aurora Healthcare Urgent Care".  Ummmm.... Crap...  Also not a good sign... Literally...   I avoided the early years hassles of terrible traffic by staying at the venue at the Resort.  I am rooming with a woman that I don't know, by myself, because the rest of the team couldn't make it.  So, yea... lets add to the stress of what is going to happen to me the next day.    So, besides the toilet backing up and the sink overflowing, the night went without incident, and I didn't sleep at all.. 

   I learned some things that first event.   I learned to have everything you are supposed to have BEFORE registration.  I learned that regular running shoes do not work in the mud.  I learned that I LOVE obstacles.  I learned that I love running in mud.  I soon realized that the people that participate in these things are the coolest people I have ever met.   I can run a lot further than I thought I could.   I don't particularly like jumping in a dumpster filled with ice.  (although it did give me a mile or so of pain free running).  And, I very much dislike electricity.  My first electroshock therapy found me taking a wire to the tongue.  I could literally taste the electricity go from my mouth all the way out my feet.  The next thing I remember was that I was crawling.  No idea what direction, but I was crawling. So I just kept going, hoping I was headed in the right direction.  I was, and I stood up and there were a few words said that would make a trucker blush.  I ran across the finish line, was presented an orange 1980's headband, a banana, a glass of water,  then a glass of beer.  I had lost half of my friends, but found them later for pictures where they asked me if I would do it again.  There are more than one of these??   Sign me up!!


Since then I have ran 13 Tough Mudders, 12 Warrior Dashs (4 in one day, where I also qualified for the World Championships).  Probably 25 Spartans placing in the top 15% most times, my highest 5th in my age group, Five Battlefrogs, where I took first in my age group in two,  3rd twice, and 8th.  a couple Savage Races, and a hand full of local mud runs. I participated in the Worlds first OCR Championships in Ohio and finished 10th in my age group, and didn't miss one obstacle in two days.   Although I was not feeling well I also participated in Worlds Toughest Mudder 2014.  I made it 35 miles, and I think I could have gone to 50 if the weather would have cooperated.  I went hypothermic twice, where the second time i spent an hour in the Medical tent.  My body cannot tolerate cold.  I was the kid with the blue lips at the pool shivering, when everyone else was having fun going off the diving board, and trying to drown each other.  

     All of this without really training at all.  I have a health problem that I still haven't figured out yet, and I normally don't have any energy to  do anything but work to pay my bills, and even that has failed over the years.  I wake up every morning feeling like I have the worst hangover ever.  Every day for 8 years. It has worn on me to the point that I had laid in bed wondering how much longer I could take this.  I have been on many different medications, and between whatever is wrong with me and symptoms or withdrawals from the drugs, I have pretty much been a zombie for 3 or 4 years.  Maybe this is the zombie apocalypse everyone is worried about.  An entire section of society walking around with no idea what they are even doing anymore.

      I missed several events over the years, because I was too sick.  I have yet to even train for any event.  So much money wasted, but it had come to the point that OCR was the only thing that made me happy.  But, after a while even that began to become bland.  Until the Michigan Iron Warrior Dash.  16 miles of Warrior Dash.  This would be the farthest I had ran in years.  And OCR on top of it.     I was at about mile 9 when I ran into someone who just started chatting with me.  We had a conversation for a couple miles, and I felt like I was holding him back as I had to stop and walk for a bit.  He said he would walk with me.  "We are in this together brother!!"  

     This was a changing moment for me.  This person has no idea who I am.  This is a timed event, and he could have easily left me in the dust, but he would rather stay with me to make sure I am OK, than go ahead.  He pushed me all the way to the end of the race, and afterwards we had a beer together, and told me about Midwest Vikings.  Midwest Vikings is a running club, where as of today we have almost a thousand  members.  He told me that they run together at events all over the US.  "You never have to run alone again."    His name was Eric Hansen.  Some of you may even know him.  I was at a very low point in my life, and I feel like this group of people saved me. Their motto is "Together we Conquer" and I witnessed first hand how many of our members have conquered their fears, their demons, and their goals as an athlete and a person.  Everyone supports each other and pushes each other  to meet whatever the goals may be. 

     As of today, I still don't know what is wrong with me.  I never know how I will feel from one day to the next.  One week I will be fine, and the next I will be curled in a ball wondering if I am dying.  I created this web store for several reasons.  One of which is what I mentioned earlier.  I sometimes find myself searching all over the internet for the cheapest price on several different things, because I have no money.  I am thinking to myself... How cool would it be to have everything that an OCR athlete wants in one place, and it is the cheapest  as well?  I also have spent a lot of time looking for event pictures, results, local events, etc... and I think.. How cool would it be if all of this information was in the same place too??  Well, I have been on some sites that have one thing or the other, but not all of it.  And the prices are not that good either.  I am pretty decent on the computer, and learn fast, so I decided to do it myself.  Because I can no longer rely on my health to pay my bills, I hope that I can not only help all of you out, I can also use this to help pay my bills, and someday feel "normal" again.   

   I don't mean for this to be a sob story, but I wanted everyone to know that this site is not about some rich person trying to make more money off of all of you.  This site is about what you just read.  I am one of you. I am an OCR athlete (sortof) and  I am not perfect.  I have problems just like everyone else, and I hope that me creating this site can help all of you, because I feel like I owe all of you a debt of gratitude.   The early stages of OCRFit will be difficult, but as I gain steam, it will benefit every single one of you.  OCRFit also has bigger dreams that I can't really talk about here, but hopefully summer 2015 all of you will see where this company wants to go.  I guarantee that you all will love it..  

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