They say that the human body is capable of so much when pushed to the limits… After yesterday and my sessions with @GymguyMark, I would definitely say that I would agree .. and then some!
I started my morning feeling excited, nervous,scared, and anxious because I was about to do Tough Mudder for the very first time. I had loads of support from friends and family but when the day came and knowing that I really could have put in a lot more training at home, I started to doubt myself and my abilities.
It’s one thing for me to do 5k’s and 10k’s, go to the gym etc but this was an event like no other. One that I wasn’t going to let self doubt take over and stop me from doing because there was too much at stake. I’m talking about the charity that I was raising funds for, one which supports survivors of rape and sexual assault, who are a life line and a god send for women. This of course, is the Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre which I am proud to have been a volunteer for. The work that the women of this centre do from paid to volunteer staff, is utterly amazing and words will never justify the commitment and selflessness that they carry out every day in order to support the survivors.
With that in mind, I got up , put my trainers and running gear on, ate a healthy breakfast and we set off for 9:30am. On arrival,I got out to register whilst the husband parked the car,and with help from other participants attached my number, painted my face and took in the atmosphere whilst looking at those who had just completed the event as it was done in stages.
You could feel the excitement and fear in the air! So many people raising money for a cause or testing their physical fitness, I was so proud to be there! I was also wanting to start asap!
The time came, our final call for all starting at 12pm which was the last group of the day. We started warming up and they pulled a woman from the crowd as well as having folk from the organisation .. at that point I felt kind of knackered and a little bit of the old self doubt creeped in but I saw a few other people express the same opinion and I didn’t feel so bad!
We started making our way after that, to the “START” location. There was a very encouraging talk about how it wasn’t a race and its about teamwork , and by team its meant everyone taking part. We said our Tough Mudder “Pledge”, which is ;
“I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.
I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.
I do not whine – kids whine.
I help my fellow mudders complete the course.
I overcome all fears.”
Now, having completed this, I can say that each and every participant that I was lucky enough to have come into contact with, stuck to this agenda.
The first example of this was when one guy helped me over the first hurdle, a girl saying “well done” on my second and being adopted by two people which I was lucky enough to do the duration of the course with.
I have never laughed so much (apart from in my sessions with @GymGuy Mark), when doing exercise to the point where I thought I was going to wet myself. Sorry for the too much information. However when you are knee deep in mud and crawling on your stomach whilst another person loses their shoe, things do get pretty silly!
I think myself and the other two people that I was with, went through many different types of emotions on our 11.7 miles through the terrain and obstacles. It made me do a bit of soul searching and thinking.. from being proud of myself to feeling ” why do people think that I’m doing something major”? I think its a natural thing to do though and I started thinking about how much we can push ourselves and how good exercise can be for our mental state as much as our physical.
So much so that I walked the the school run twice today and clocked just under 4 miles in sweltering heat! hahha! In all honesty, I did it because I felt that I wanted to exercise despite a few aches and pains and I didn’t want to seize up especially as I knew that the second day after completing it, can be worse pain wise.
So back to the event, and here I will give a list of obstacles which were facing us…1. kiss of mud 2. bale bonds 3.creek crusade 4.glory blades 5.just the tip 6.soggy bottom 7.creek crusade 8. arctic enema 9.sewer rat 10.walk the plank 11.boa constrictor 12. creek crusade 13.mud mile 14. balls to the wall 15. electric eel 16.hero carry 17. hangin tough 18. cage crawl 19.hero walls 20. natural haha 21.quagmire 22. island hopping 23. everest 24. electroshock therapy
My fav’s were , creek crusade, arctic enema, island hopping, sewer rat and walk the plank – despite nearly chickening out on that one but due to the encouragement of others, I did it! Also, I like to swim in Loch Lomond and I really didn’t think that arctic enema would be that bad but I have never in my life been speechless or having difficulty catching my breath until that experience! I guess the ice had a lot to do with it!
I did miss out “Everest” and another one where you had to haul ass over a huge wooden wall. I just haven’t got the upper body strength and I would have lost more energy if I tried and I didn’t think it was bad to bypass the ones which I knew were almost impossible for me- although I have set myself a goal to complete ALL, next year!
When I was nearing the finish line, I saw the husband and the kids and I was so happy that they were able to be there for me and to see me cross the finish line. I wanted my kids (well the eldest as the smallest is 16months), to feel the energy and for them to see how much exercise can be fun and enjoyable, the sense of achievement and team work involved which goes along with it. I think my eldest did because she turned to me and told me that she was PROUD of her Mamma for doing this. For me, that made it worth doing .. to hear those words is utterly amazing and brought tears to my eyes.
I was also sent many messages of congratulations and support from very good friends which were appreciated especially from my best friend Lisa Cooke in Canada who completed her first half marathon in Niagara Falls a few weeks ago and was an inspiration throughout this, my personal trainer Mark who listens to me complain about how hard things are yet doesn’t let me give up, and friends such as Mhairi and her husband David – who incidentally completed this and went on to do a nightshift thereafter, Frances who thinks I’m mad, and Cheryl who told me about this event in the beginning and created an animal . Although it felt like it was someone else that they were talking about with their kind words, all of this made it worth doing.
I realize I have waffled on a bit now but it truly was one of the best days of my life. Despite the pain , I would do it all again in a heartbeat!
Here are some pics from the event!
Here is my “mini Mudder in training!