As part of my previous 12 WBT I had completing Tough Mudder as my 12 month goal...and it is DONE! I thought I'd share what Tough Mudder was like for a little newbie like myself. Plus, a little surprise on the side!
WARNING!!! This post will be photo heavy!
Penguin Punchers 2013...BEFORE
We were a great team....the Penguin Punchers, made up of friends and my husband's work colleagues. We were fired up and ranged in fitness from regularly doing weights and running to occasionally working out. I must admit, I was pretty nervous.
What I found is that ultimately some level of fitness is required, particularly upper body strength. If you can pull yourself up and over a fence or wall, then you'll be right. The terrain was so rough, it was impossible to run safely.....we saw lots of injuries. That's the other thing....YOU WILL GET HURT! Mostly bruises but there were several broken bones in other competitors and I heard of one poor Mudder being airlifted out with a broken hip......
So as best as I can remember and not necessarily in order here are the obstacles we faced.....
1. ARCTIC ENEMA...First up after a run. Jump into a shipping container filled with crushed ice and water, halfway through, you have to fully submerge to get through it. Literally takes your breath away!
2. BERLIN WALLS....these popped up twice in the course. Climb up and over 2 walls, each approx 10-12 ft high.
3. Kiss of Mud.... Noice.....crawl through the stinkingest mud under barbed wire
4. Underwater tunnel....duckdive under a series of 3 double barrels lashed together. Least it got the mud off!
5. Mud Mile...spoke to soon. Lierally a mile of trudging through mud then climbing over rocky, muddy 6-8ft walls that never seemed to end. And those walls are responsible for my bruised tailbone and inner thighs.
7. Dirty Ballerina....leap over 4 ft muddy trenches in best ballerina style
8. More muddy water to trudge through....slide down and slip in
9. Logs....climb over and crawl under a series of logs to get through
10. Bale bonds....this happened a couple of times in the course too. The first was just 2 huge rolled hay bales high, the second was formed into a pyramid 4 bales high.
11. Walk the plank....Leap off a 5m plank into a dam.
12. Hold your Wood...carry a log by yourself or in a team around a marked course
13. Trench Warfare.....crawl through pitch black underground tunnels
14. Greased Lightning...Slip n Slide! Sounds good but it is HUGE and a few of us were injured here with hidden rocks underneath it.
15. Spiders Web....up and over a cargo net strung between 2 trees.
16. Electric Eel....crawl through muddy water with electric wires hanging over you, giving you random shocks
17. Boa Constrictor....crawl through pipes half filled with water
18. Funky Monkey....monkey bars over ice water. Not straight! They slope up and then down and the rungs slip in their sockets...
19. Ladder.... a big 5m high wooden frame to climb up and over..
20. Everest...this is a HUGE half pipe that you have to run up and hope like hell you can either reach the top to grab hold or someone else can grab you.
21. The final obstacle....ELECTRIC SHOCK THERAPY! Run through a slippery muddy path, littered with small hay bales through electric wires that deliver random shocks.
Now I didn't get off scot free. Dropping down after the last Berlin Wall, about 3 km from the end I rocked back on my ankles and heard a sickening CRACK. Then pain. I couldn't stand but I was NOT going to give up. I rested a few minutes then hobbled the rest of the way. My husband Troy helped support me so I could cross the finish line....
But I DID IT! The resulting injury was not a break thank goodness, but hurt ligaments which has meant 3 weeks off running and other high impact exercise :(
The feeling when you get that beer and headband and sit with your teammates, knowing you've accomplished something difficult, physical and left you exhausted....it's indescribable. Now I feel strong. I feel I can DO anything! I kept up, I climbed like a demon and even injured and in so much pain it took my breath away, I could still find something deep inside me to push through and complete it.
I would never have imagined doing this a year ago, even 6 months ago I was having doubts. And being able to share it with my husband was brilliant.
Penguin Punchers 2013 After.
But what about the surprise?
Well, as part of Tough Mudder which supports Legacy, a charity for war widows and their families, I decided to make it mean something. I set about one week out, just on Facebook, asking for donations to Legacy and I would in return....shave my hair.
Well I raised $735 to date and went from this curly haired Wonder Woman ( with Wonder Kate and Super Tracey)....
to being lovingly shaved by my husband.....
to having a mohawk for Tough Mudder....( which is WAY fun! Mohawks ROCK!)
to completing the shave in it's entirety....
And I loved every single minute of it :)