Tough Mudder – 4th October 2014
Last Saturday trainer Ann Caffrey and I took part in Tough Mudder for the first time.
What I experienced was such a refreshing eye opener that I left with more questions than answers.
For people that have never heard of Tough Mudder, it’s a 12 mile run across wild terrain with 12 various obstacles in your way along with walking through mud, rivers, ponds, uphills and downhills.
Groups or “waves” set off every 20 minutes so pumped up that you feel so part of the whole event. The organisers make sure you are warmed up and have bought into the whole feeling towards it. I must say, at the start if feels like you have a joined a cult, but once the cynical side of me left, I was the one jumping up and down like a 10 year old. You took a knee, read out a mission statement and you swore you would not fail!!
Bang, off we went, surrounded but 100 total strangers but only in name. From then on, whoever was closest you helped and dragged each other along.
It’s not a race. It’s an endurance challenge whereby you help the person nearest to you and don’t leave anyone behind.
The good will feeling towards everyone was unreal. I was blown away by the positivity and energy that the people generated. Young and old, it did not matter. Rich or poor, weak or strong, fit or overweight, equality was the order of the day.
Everyone for 3 hours or so forgot their daily grind. They even survived without their mobile phones. Imagine that. No Facebook or Twitter for 3 solid hours!!
Ann and I jogged, walked, laughed and helped anyone we could because you found out very quickly you will need someone along the way.
Even when I fell 20 meters from the end and chipped my tooth, the help from the crew there was top class. Made me just shrug my shoulders and not worry about it.
It made me ponder though on the way home how positive and energised people can be when they leave all the material weapons behind and just live as free human beings. Free of cynical thoughts, free of stressed situations and using the power of fitness and comradeship to overcome a challenge.
Imagine if we brought some of that back into our normal lives. We would get more things done that are for sure.
Humans are traditionally motivated by self interest but at tough mudder that goes out the window.
Stress plays a huge part of our lives and it can affect us in very different ways. But sometimes we force that stress on ourselves by watching too much television, spending countless hours watching what someone else is doing on face book or by eating foods that make you feel crap.
Take a leaf out of Tough Mudder’s principles. Join a group, help each other out, dump the cynical side that the modern world throws at you, get out and start exercising and feel the human being inside you and not just go through the motions.