Sometimes it is OK to play in the mud

September 21, 2012 Ryan Schuster

I'm always telling my 7-year-old daughter not to jump in puddles or play in the mud.

Rules are great and as parents we seem to have a lot of them (no eating on the furniture, wash your hands, don't hit your sister). But sometimes we need to relax a little bit, have some fun and act like a kid again.

That's why I decided to run the Viking Challenge mud run last weekend near Fergus Falls with my daughter, my cousin, his wife and their 7-year-old daughter. Here is some TV coverage of the event (including video of a TV reporter being pushed into the mud, awesome).

Viking run th rough the mud challenge

Participants run through the mud (photo courtesy of

It was a blast! Not only did the kids keep up with the adults, alternating running and walking the 3.1-mile course. They also delighted in every opportunity to get as muddy as possible, even rubbing mud on their faces and arms when they felt they weren't getting sufficiently dirty. Fellow runners had to laugh as I successfully urged my daughter to continue running by promising that there would be more chances to get muddy up ahead. A little motivation never hurts.

Author Ryan Schuster after running in the mud

Here is the author after a little run through the mud.

I have run 5Ks before, but never ones that including climbing hay bales, scaling giant rubber tires, wading/swimming through mud pits and scaling slippery hills of mud. By the end we were all covered in mud from head to toe (and grinning from ear to ear).

We spend so much time inside doing sedentary things that sometimes we need to take a break — call it recess for adults. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota thinks that recess should be for people of all ages. That's why we are trying to get North Dakotans to be more active and providing resources for schools to encourage movement into learning.

You don't have to run a marathon or go to the gym to get a little exercise. A walk around the neighborhood or playing with your kids in the backyard will do. Sometimes it's even OK to get a little dirty and act like a kid again.