Man Proposes to Girlfriend After Tough Mudder Challenge: 'It's All About Overcoming Obstacles'
"It's all about obstacles. You can't give up on each other. At the end of the day, you leave nobody behind and you finish the race," Raul Montes said.
This woman had no idea how rewarding it would feel to complete a Tough Mudder challenge — especially since a proposal from her teammate and boyfriend awaited her at the finish line.
For Raul Montes, a 32-year-old from Arizona, the Tough Mudder obstacle course is the perfect embodiment of the ideal relationship.
"It's all about obstacles," Montes told InsideEdition.com, describing the similarities between the mud run and a romantic relationship. "You can't give up on each other,
"At the end of the day, you leave nobody behind, and you finish the race," Montes said.
Tough Mudder was also how Montes first met the love of his life, Sarah Leyva, a year and a half ago.
"When it came to women, I was just a nervous wreck," he laughed.
Montes said he had already been noticing Leyva around the office, but never got up the courage to chat with her. One day, he and his friend were recruiting for the Tough Mudder the following year, when he noticed Leyva in a run shirt.
"It was my in to talk to her," Montes said. "The nervousness was still there, but at least I had an ice breaker or else I would have never done it."
Within minutes, Montes found out that she's a avid runner. Within months, Montes realized she was his soulmate.
"We had so many similarities — she was like the female version of me," he told InsideEdition.com. "I was just like, 'Wow. She might be the one.'"
Little did the 32-year-old man know, but Tough Mudder almost brought them together years ago, at the first time either of them tackled the challenge.
Montes said Leyva had been flipping through his photos when she coincidently noticed herself in one of the pictures, two years before they met.
"We actually did a Tough Mudder on the same day," he recalled. "Someone snapped the picture of us coming out of the obstacle at the same time."
But, not only was it perfect for their relationship, Tough Mudder held meaning in their individual lives too.
Montes said he signed up for his first challenge to coincide with his first year of sobriety.
For Leyva, Tough Mudder represented the triumph of overcoming her weight issues.
So, when Montes started thinking of proposing a month and a half before this year's Tough Mudder in Arizona, "I couldn't think of a better place."
Even though Raul knew they were about to get down and dirty, he thought they should both look nice for the big question.
He told her that he'd like to dress up as Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber, and Leyva would be his prom date. That way, they would both do the obstacle course in a suit and dress.
"I wanted to play on the dressing up without her knowing why," he said. "I was proposing, I wanted to look nice!"
When they passed the final obstacle, which Leyva nearly bowed out of, Montes grabbed the ring from one of Leyva's friends — who was hanging on to it for him during the challenge — and got down on one knee with their loved ones all around.
Though it was a whole new battle to wrangle the diamond ring on her muddy finger, she said "yes" loving every moment of the surprise proposal.
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