You may have seen that a few weeks ago via my instagram that I participated in Tough Mudder. Honestly, I have never been more terrified in my life. I was so unsure if I was capable of such a huge task, being only 6 months post partum and not having any extra training at all for the day.
It all started with an invitation from Biozet Attack, the official laundry partner of Tough Mudder (who;s products are awesome, by the way! Worked a treat on my clothes post-event). Which makes sense, considering how muddy Tough Mudder really is. They were such a great team to work with! They had the complete set-up for laundry recovery for the day, as well as a wash bay to rid yourself of all that MUD! The crew were handing out free boxes of product too, so you left a little cleaner and ready to tackle your laundry. They had thought of it all!
They also asked me to bring some friends who wanted to participate along side me (they could probably sense my fear…) and so I invited Harriette, Alesha and Sarah. Thankfully, they all actually came so we were all in it together, bonded by fearful regret and commitment.
Basically, there had been none of this for me (or any of us!), whoops! I was given two weeks notice for the event, but I had been training twice a week with a PT for about three months prior and had run 3km once about one month before (wow, huge). I also forgot my shoes on the day, and arrived in my havaianas. Nailed it.
Mentally, I knew it wasn’t something that was unattainable for me, as these events can’t be too difficult or impossible, as we were all mostly just averagely fit people who were entering. I was not going to be in tight competition for the fittest on the day, that was for sure. I knew I needed more of a positive headspace and a ‘can-do’ attitude as opposed to physical strength or fitness, so mentally I was just prepared to give anything a shot.
I was so nervous! As we were approaching the start line amongst a hundred or so others, it dawned on me how nervous I really was. Our Biozet Attack team was about 30 strong, but the other girls and guys in our team were DEFINITELY stronger, faster and fitter looking than us.. Luckily, the presenter at the start of the race was hilarious and knew how to put us at ease. He reminded us it was not a race, but an achievement to finish, and I was finally starting to look forward to getting to that mud.
There were many obstacles on the course but in between was a lot of running space.. and there were a lot of hills (I hate hills!)! The first obstacle was a simple net, that we had to lift above our heads and it was a perfect ice breaker for the day. First challenge, completed (we didn’t die, yay!). Tick! It wasn’t long before we reached that delicious mud, and it was on. Hands, knees, face, hair, legs, arms, chest – you name it, it was covered.
It was fairly cold and the feeling of it soaking through my shoes was just delightful, but it was an achievement standing at the end surrounded by all your muddy friends, and just relishing in the moment together and letting go of all the haste of holding back. It was here that our team really started to work together and bond, which was swell because we certainly needed it for the next few obstacles!
A steep hill climb saw us head over to high walls and reach our first food and water station (I was so hungry, I forgot my breakfast and my shoes.. you see? So prepared..) so the food was a highlight. Another few hills saw us also complete a log carry and our second mud crawl for the day. Then, it was time to wash off on my favourite obstacle, ‘The Block Ness Monster.’
Basically, it was a big rolling rectangular cube in the water where you had to hold onto the box to lift yourself over, while your team rotated the box to assist. Once at the top, you were to turn and pull the box in the same direction to help your team over too. And then repeat on the following box, whilst remaining afloat.. teamwork made the dreamwork here, as we were all still very excited and keen to get it done together. And it worked!
Our final mud challenge was next – the mud mile 2.0. It certainly lived up to its name! Surprisingly, this was an obstacle that required help from your team, as the water was so deep and the mud was very slippery (obvious, right?). This was by far the slowest obstacle as it took so much time and effort to carefully get over each hurdle, and then help out a few others around you also. We actually lost Alesha here, as she was too busy helping everyone out over the hills, bless!
And then of course there were more painful hills (my legs were BURNING), a bit more mud, some piggy backing, a muddy slide, some more water and mud, and my other favourite, Everest 2.0 (a warped wall). I was quite happy I made this one first go, but you will see on my forearms how committed I was. Those scratches were raw from the sand against the ramp as we were pulled over the top. So much sting but such n amazing feeling to get to the top and then help others over too. SO much fun.
You can see the full list of obstacles here.
This was bitter sweet as we prepared for the final obstacle. You first had to launch yourself up a slippery incline and then be helped by your team to make the final stages over the ramps. The finale was a huge water slide into the final water pool to cool off. What an achievement! We then collected our finishers tee’s and headbands and cooled down with a complimentary beer.. well, I collected mine and payed it forward to the biggest guy in my team who helped us over those walls in the early part of the event, and he certainly enjoyed it for me.
WHAT I LEARNED
I absolutely loved the experience, and paid for it physically or about a week after the event. It was so much fun! The obstacles aren’t tricky as such, they just require you to have a go and give anything a try. Plus, it was great to have my girls there with me too. Friends make it so much more fun (although I do recommend having a big burly man on your team to lift you over those walls!). Would I enter again net year? You betcha! Thank you Biozet Attack for having me – I can’t wait for the next one!
You can read more about Biozet Attack here and Tough Mudder here.