I’m about to lose my Tough Mudder virginity
Everybody remembers the first time…right?
In early February, my phone rang, it was my friend Dean,
“Hey Malcolm, thinking about putting a team together for Tough Mudder – you in?”
“Umm… What? Tough Mudder? When is it? Where is it? Oh, okay, well, yeah…sure”
I chalked this up as one of these ideas that friends have but never come to fruition.
A few hours later, the phone rang. Dean again.
“Hey Malcolm, I just registered our team – sign up now!”
I signed up.
did not panic tried not to panic even though I wasn’t entirely sure what Tough Mudder actually was. I knew it was some grown-ups obstacle course, known as “Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet” and designed for the British Special Forces.
Anything designed for any “special forces” has to be on the borderline of insanity. Don’t get me completely wrong, as a former rugby player, I still maintain a semi-occasional fitness routine. I can do a respectable amount of pull-ups and bench press my body weight. So apart of me was thinking how Tough can this Mudder really be?
But that whole “special forces” thing scared me, so to prevent a full on anxiety attack, I took the “Tough Mudder: Are You Ready Quiz?” which turned into a great way for me to exaggerate my personal strengths and downplay what scares me (snakes and heights, mostly). I scored 92/100. I was feeling rather confident at this point.
Then I watched the videos. A 10-12 mile course with 20-25 obstacles? Running through electric shocks and fire? Jumping into freezing cold water? Rolling around in the mud? Climbing up ropes? Crawling through dark (and scary) caves? Hmm… I paid for this? And there is a Death Waiver to sign? Just great.
I still had about 4 months to not only train but learn everything about Tough Mudder. The obstacles, the operations, the event, who participates, who doesn’t, what to wear, how to train – I wanted to know it all.
Fortunately for me, there is plenty of information on Tough Mudder, especially on the magical portal that is YouTube. In addition to the thousands of cat videos (which are awesome – my personal favourite), there are tons of videos on Tough Mudder. Everything from event preparation and recaps, training programs, testimonials, race-day nutrition, tips & tricks and much more.
I spent hours watching (and studying) all things Tough Mudder. I focused on the obstacles, from how to beat them, to the names, which ones are easy, which ones provide the biggest challenge, and how many beers are included in the registration fee. I also dumped the semi-occasional from my fitness routine, mixed in some hill sprints, stair runs and did my best to stay away from the beer and wings.
I’d be lying if I was to say I completely cut out the junk food. But for the most part (friend’s birthdays are hard to avoid) I focused on eating healthy, and training hard. Despite busy schedules, my team got together once a week and whether it was in the weight room, or during hill sprints, we pushed each other outside of our comfort zones.
Fast forward a few months and my official start time is 12:20pm this Saturday, June 22nd. With only a few days left until I make the short trip to Whistler, my initial fear has turned into excitement! Between studying the course and all the hours of sweat equity – I know I am ready!!