For followers of my blog, you may remember that over the past four months I have spoken about my training for Tough Mudder. I’m surrounded by peers who are fitness obsessed or dance fanatics so it’s hard for me to fathom anyone not knowing about Tough Mudder, but for those out there that have no idea what I’m on about, this is what Tough Mudder is:
“Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile (20km) obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, half a million inspiring participants, and more than $2 million dollars raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.”
Above is the video for the Melbourne Tough Mudder event which I took part in on April 1st (hell of a way to start the month, hey?).
I heard about the event and thought I would push myself to do it and managed to get a whole group of girls from my dance school along with me. Now, I’m reasonably fit, but I’m not one to compete in “fun” runs or marathons or anything
boring normal like that. Tough Mudder appealed to me because it wasn’t about competition, you weren’t timed, it didn’t matter how long it took you – it wasn’t a race! Tough Mudder is all about teamwork and pushing your body and your mind to the limit and really testing yourself. That’s why it appealed to me. I’ve never been one to care about competition or winning. Growing up, I always leaned towards more solo sports, which is why I’ve always loved dance. I’m certainly not against teamwork – teamwork is great – I just never cared enough about winning to enjoy competitive sport. Challenging myself? That’s more my style. I don’t need or want to prove anything to anyone else. But I do love the idea of working towards a personal goal and achieving it. Still, in the weeks leading up to the event I started to question what mental state I must have been in to sign up to such an event in the first place.
I drove down to the event early on the morning of April 1st – wondering (read: hoping) if indeed this might have been a big elaborate April fools joke – with my best friend and her parents who were coming along as spectators (oh yes, us crazy particiants were being made a “spectacle” of). The week before I had been fighting of a hella cold while spending equal to the registration fee ($150!!!) on non-cotton, breathable, quick-drying, compression, light-weight gear for this godforsaken event while seriously considering pulling out all together.
Fear of the unknown. Thankfully I was smart enough not to pull out as I can honestly say that participating in Tough Mudder was one of the most rewarding and most fun experiences of my life! The obstacles weren’t as hard or as terrifying as I had made them out to be in my mind and it turned out to be a genuinely fun day as opposed to an arduous four or five hours running/jogging/walking/limping 20km, wading through muddy waist deep water, crawling through mud underneath barbed wire, carrying logs through rivers, crawling through manholes, walking through fire, climbing walls, getting submerged in an ice bath, jumping into lakes and getting electrocuted. Who knew that would be my idea of fun!?
I don’t usually post photos of myself on my blog, but I couldn’t resist giving you a taste of how muddy I got at Tough Mudder (this isn’t the half of it). This is me after I got home covered in dried mud, asking my boyfriend for a hug while limping towards him like Frankenstein (I messed up my knee from all the running and the cramps from the icy water). For some reason he wouldn’t hug me until I came out of the shower an hour later (there was that much mud in my hair).