I want to start by saying I never thought I’d do a Tough Mudder. I was pretty late to the game. The rest of the team must have completed around 25 between them at this time.
It all started when I went back up north to Leeds to complete my final year at University, which meant for the time being, Tom and I were doing long distance. As he was a Tough Mudder addict by this time, most of my weekends were spent visiting which actually meant I became the chief Tough Mudder spectator, cheering from the sidelines.
It quickly dawned on me that I would probably get to spend more time with him if I actually ran with him? Pushing away the flashback to our only ever joint run previously, lasting 53 seconds before I quit and resorted to walking the remaining route whilst Tom looked more than disappointed, I signed up for Tough Mudder London West 2016.
This was my first mistake, as only days after my High School friends persuaded me to book in the half for the weekend after. Why didn’t I do the half first? Why didn’t I actually train? why did I wear white, cotton running trousers? Such a noob.
I remember coming up to the 2 mile sign post, I looked over to one of our running buddies and boasted “this is the furthest I have ever run, and its not actually that hard”. Not only moment later, the knee pain happened.
Arctic Enema was up next, you climb to the top, slide down, into an ice bath where you have to duck under Tyre’s (still in the ice bath) before you can get out. It sounded bad, but no where near as bad as what it actually was. I remember coming up from under the ice in total panic, I couldn’t breath, had brain freeze and started to freak out. Some people have a love-hate relationship with Arctic Enema and fast forward 16 TM events I still dread this obstacle. Its not love-hate it’s just hate.
<insert the shocking photo which clearly shows my pain>
Somewhere along the way I pulled my legs (of course I did), which made running pretty much impossible so I hobbled the remaining miles and had to be pulled up most of the other obstacles like Pyramid scheme and Everest.
Finally, the end was near. Only 1 obstacle left- Electroshock Therapy. The rest of the team turned left to do “Kong”, the new finisher obstacle for Legionnaires at the time and I was left to do Electro.
Feeling tired, aching, my leg crying at the pain, I ran/crept through following someone in front of me. they hit the floor and I froze, not wanting to move as I didn’t want to get hit. I was stuck in the middle of all of the wires. At this point, I didn’t have much choice but to talk myself into jumping over the hay bale into the remaining wires.
It all went very quickly, in a moment I went from creeping through the wires to been on the floor, getting shocked by the 10,000 volts of electricity and laying on the floor (like a flapping fish out of water) getting repeatedly shocked. It. Was. Terrible.
<insert another photo, luckily of me not on the floor but looking petrified>
I remember being reunited with the rest of the team after they completed Kong, collecting my headband and then bursting into tears. The electricity from the final obstacle seemed to have made the pain in my leg 10x worse.
Although this post has been predominately about my failures, pain and lack of fitness I made a promise to myself that this wouldn’t be my last Tough Mudder, I couldn’t let this experience define me. So I trained up, got the right kit and slowly but surely found my love of OCR.