Tough Mudder Challenge

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As I walk up to the Tough Mudder registration desk, my heart is in my throat. I am nervous, excited, intimidated and hesitant all mixed into one. The event does a great job at bringing people together and making them feel comfortable, but they don’t fool me, I know what I’m about to do is going to completely kick my ass.

There are fun games for kids set up, Tough Mudder clothing booths, smoothie bars, and a beer stand. Walking around looking for the rest of my team, I begin to feel a little more at ease. There are hundreds of people all around me preparing to do the same course I’m about to do, so I know I’m not alone.

And then I see the pile of old muddy sneakers from previous Mudders. This is where people donate their shoes because it’s obvious they’re basically ruined. When I see how worn out those shoes are, all from one race, I start to get nervous again.

I’ve seen the videos of previous Tough Mudder Races; I know this is going to be no walk in the park.

-Anonymous

An Experience Like No Other

fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-20-trying-bestTough Mudder just might be one of the toughest, most vigorous events known to man. Everything from physical and mental strength, endurance, teamwork and the will to succeed is tested in this 8-10 mile obstacle course.

Sometimes victory is about finishing first, but sometimes it’s simply being able to finish at all … this is that kind of victory.

The name of the game is to put all of your fears behind you and push yourself to limits you never thought possible. When your body feels like it can’t possibly go any further, your heart picks up the slack. Giving this challenge all you got is all that matters.

It’s more than just finishing

The simple word finishing has never seemed like such an impossible task. Tough Mudder makes the obstacles so difficult, that each and every winded breath come with a question if you can continue on. However at Tough Mudder, continuing is the only option.

fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-24-signed-death-waiverWithin these 8-10 miles is pure exhaustion, there are about 25 obstacles that are sure to leave your hands blistering, muscles burning, and your mind telling you to get out of there, but something else enters your mind.

It’s a voice in side you saying to go for it and to push yourself. Then there’s a hand reaching out to help you over the 12-foot wall. You realize you’re not alone and everyone else is having the same feelings you are, so you keep going.

Training for Mudder

For the hour or two that it takes most people to finish this course, you push your body in ways you never thought you could. It’s important to be prepared for the obstacles in Tough Mudder; so training before hand is a necessary measure that you will need to take.

Running 8-10 miles is not a part of that training. Tough Mudder does not pride itself on being a race; it prides itself on being an adventure. The obstacles are placed within the course in order for participants to take a quick breather and focus more on strength and balance. So running does need to be a part of your training regiment, but sprinting for hours at a time does not.

As seen in the video, balance and strength is a huge part of the Tough Mudder course.

Imagine trying to climb up a wall with only a slippery rope and the cheers from your fellow teammates. The only thing going to get you up that wall is your balance and concentration (if you are interested in following Tough Mudder’s training schedule, click here)

Work is Fun and Fun is Work

fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-28-obstacle-couse-ahead-signThis obstacle course is not for those looking for a relaxing afternoon at the park. It’s for everyone out there who wants to know how far they can push themselves and, well, how tough they are.

But don’t think that this challenge is all work and no play.

First of all, many of the participants wear tutu’s, Santa Clause outfits and shave their head. That may sound a bit crazy to the average person, but Tough Mudders are not average people.

They know how to have fun, just ask the beer booth that welcomes the participants once they finish.

With cameras at every obstacle, there’s never a missed beat of what the Mudders go through, feeling both sorry for them and envious of them.

But Mudders don’t want our pity; they don’t even want our respect- they just want to prove to themselves that they can do it.

Once that goal seems attainable and you can see the finish line, you can finally let out a sign of relief… and then you fall into the mud pit and realize it’s not over yet.

There is no “I” in team Work

At the end of the day, it’s all about team camaraderie, helping each other and encouraging each other. There’s no way you can finish this course alone, you need your team and they need you.

There are points in the obstacles when you can’t physically finish without someone there to push you, whether your leg cramped up, you can’t reach the rope, you are stuck behind a large group, or you simply realize this obstacle course is crazy.

A perfect example is Tough Mudder’s Everest. According to Tough Mudder, Everest is “… a quarter-pipe that you will have to sprint up and elist the help of other Mudders to hurl you over this beastly mountain…”. Take a look at these pictures and imagine trying to get to the top with wet and mud filled sneakers (read this for Everest tips and tricks).

fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-30-mount-everest fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-32-helping-hands fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-33-everest2 fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-33b-older-man-conquers-everest

If you go through this experience with friends, teammates, or random Mudders, you will share a bond with them that you can’t get anywhere else.

This challenge is not about finishing first, it’s about finishing with integrity.

And if that means helping fellow Mudders, then that’s what needs to be done.

There may be a time when you’re on the other end of reaching out for help and you’ll be glad someone took the time to push you to succeed and help you through the under water tunnels.

A Feeling like No Other

fitness2xtreme-images-tough-mudder-40-no-mudder-left-behindOnce you do cross that finish line, an overwhelming feeling comes over you and you just look around in disbelief that you made it.

Literally, that very second you passed that finish line, that exact moment you actually comprehend you did it, is unlike any second in time in the past.

It’s an emotional connection that you have with yourself, just shocked that you were actually able to complete the mid grueling tasks.

Once the initial shock has worn off, you look around at the team of Mudders who were there with you through it all. Because no one wants to look all mushy gushy after a race like that, you simply make eye contact and realize that you couldn’t have done it alone.

And finally, you reach for an ice-cold beer. Cheers to not giving up and cheers to being the kick ass person you are.

Only a very small percentage of people can call themselves Tough Mudders.

If you ever get a chance to take on that title, go for it- and go fearless.

Event Information
 

Name: Tough Mudder
Website: http://www.toughmudder.com
Location(s): Various, International
Owner(s): Will Dean & Guy Livingston (founders)

 

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