Anyone that has previously done a Tough Mudder may be familiar with the usual “joke” in the starting pen when the MC says “How many of you are here because your friends made you do it” I firmly raised my hand high. It was relatively last minute when my at the time colleague, mate & now fellow founder of this team asked me if I wanted to do a Tough Mudder with him, of course being young thinking I was invincible and believing I had some level of fitness I accepted and began “training” for the event……. By training, I mean doing nothing different and just turning up on the day like most people do.
So to the night before the event, most people are thinking about what to eat, stretch & when to go to bed to get the optimum level of rest so they wake up ready and in the best possible shape to complete this gruelling event, were we doing this? Of course not, what we were actually doing was deciding if we wanted to cut the sleeves off our ASDA George suits, how long our trousers should be and cutting our hair into Mohawks late into the night (actually meaning, as usual, the early hours into the morning). So again what has seemed to be a ritual for us now the next morning we were up, EARLY. Blurry eyes and pulling on our awesome outfits after some messing around and pulling things together we were off and on the road to pick up the rest of the team and get on the way to my first ever Tough Mudder.
Arriving at the event I remember being nervous, very nervous but having the guys with me all of us looking “unique” and then doing the whole signing in process calmed my nerves & by the time I had pinned on my race number and messed around with the wristbands I was happy posing for numerous pictures.
The rest, you may be disappointed to hear is a bit of a muddy blur as the adrenaline took over and drove me through but I do remember “Going over the top” of the first wall into the starting pen with a lot of gusto thinking well that was OK maybe this won’t be so bad…………
Everything from here on out was a new experience for me as I had never done an organised event like this before. Yes being a country boy I had crawled through mud & shit, been cold, crawled under/through barbed wire and of course touched electric fences as every child does, right? RIGHT? So individually all these obstacles I felt I had the resources in my locker to deal with but pair it with running which this cardio avoiding past self-knew very little about took it to a different level of challenge.
Now this is important I am convinced, 100% will not be moved on this point at all that it was and still to this day is the camaraderie, friendship & community spirit that pushes you to that next level and makes all the pain and discomfort disappear in the heat of “battle”.
The next “iconic” obstacle that left a lasting memory was the dreaded ice bath Arctic Enema, sitting atop of the tube waiting to slide into the freezing muddy water & ice is definitely a check yourself moment. By the point you are sitting there it is too late I thought you just have to go, the volunteer instructs you to go and I just had to take a big breath and slide right in. My breath was ripped out of me, the sheer shock of the temperature change left me gasping and one thought and one thought alone was in my mind “GET OUT NOW” so I threw myself under the tyres and emerged a new man somehow still with a smile on his face that being said this could be because I managed to keep hold of my fashionable bowler hat.
After getting through various obstacles and getting around the majority of the course we came to Everest. Now my story of getting up Everest on this day isn’t what has stuck with me it is that of one of our teammates who showed one of the biggest displays of grit & determination I have ever seen to “Get to the top”. She tried and tried again coming so close each time but unfortunately not quite making it and you could see that each failed attempt was taking its physical toll, I remember thinking & saying to the guys that if I hadn’t made it up on my third attempt I would have had to walk around but this women keep going and going until eventually she pushed herself to her absolute max reached out and grabbed our hands, as soon as we had this I knew we had her and she was making it over.
A short run to the dreaded ElectroShock Therapy awaited and upon arrival the dread filled me, This is the one obstacles that is feared by all so breathing in hard I ran as fast as I could through it. After I spoke about my heroics and how I could have been wounded or even killed in that death trap but in all honestly, my dark secret on this occasion I had escape shock free 🙂
And then we were done exhausted but elated I let out one final deep breath and that was it first Tough Mudder completed, and best of all I had managed to keep my hat the whole way round RESULT. With the event done was this something ticked off the list never to be done again? Fat chance, as you may know or reading our other posts will find out this was to be the start of a huge journey taking us across the country many times and even across the world to Vegas. Ever journey has to start somewhere and this was the start of my biggest and as of yet still uncompleted OCR journey, I would recommend just getting out there and doing it to anyone & everyone.