Way back in January I was persuaded yet again by Beth to sign up for a new challenge. The challenge in question this time was Tough Mudder.
I had previously heard of this event and thought "Why would you want to do that?" but when the opportunity to participate was real it was kind of hard to resist, who wouldn't want to run about 12 miles and have 20+ muddy, watery, electrifying obstacles to overcome. Me, I'm in, yes I'd like to do that!
So the training began, well kind of. Since signing up and saying "I need to be as fit as I have ever been", I seemed to get injury after injury, nothing major but enough to stop me from doing even my usual routine of keeping fit for a while. Eventually things came together and I was feeling back on top again.
What I wasn't quite prepared for was the fear. This was not a simple case of running or cycling as fast as you can from A to B. This run involved Army assault course obstacles with names like Arctic Enema, Boa Constrictor, Walk the Plank and Electric Eel.
So the obvious thing to do to prepare for such an event is watch endless You Tube clips of people being scared and or failing. It is needless to say that when the actual day came around on Saturday I was a tad on the fearful side.
Our team name was "Tough Tottie" and in total there were about 22 of us, but we broke down into smaller teams on the day. My fabulous team consisted of the amazing Nelson sisters and 2 others.
Our start time was 9.15am and although it was local, Dalkeith Country Park we still had to have an early rise and be there with plenty time to register etc. 6am on a Saturday is early!
Gathering our team at the start, it was fairly obvious that we were all very excited at the prospect of what was ahead but also extremely apprehensive. Although we did have a few things to do before we were allowed to compete. Writing your friends participant number on their forehead in permanent marker was one of them.
Of course not everyone wrote just the number!
Team Tough Tottie.
Before you run the Tough Mudder you have to repeat the Tough Mudder pledge.
It is a great gimmick but it works and we were ready and prepared to help our fellow mudders.
The full squad.
Pledge. Hoo - rah!
Of course being Tough Mudder you had to get over a wall in order to get to the starting pen.
Phew, made it to the start.
And we're off.
My most feared obstacle the Arctic Enema was 2nd but before that we got down and dirty!
Long hair + barbed wire = stuck
One down, 21 to go.
The ice enema was as horrible as I thought it might be, but mind over matter made me do it and as frozen as we all were, we plodded onwards.
As we progressed the more I started to enjoy it, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined it would be. The next big challenge ahead was the Walk the plank, which is a 15ft jump off a platform into water. Both Beth and Lesley have a fear of heights so this was really a big deal.....but they did it and with style, after that there was no stopping us. We absolutely rocked it, although without the help of some strong men at the top of Everest to help haul our girlie asses over the top, we might not have made it.
Island Hopping over the Esk.
Everest. That's me sliding down!
Electroshock Therapy, the last obstacle and yes it hurts.
Run, Mrs Mac.
Not so white vests!
Headband, tee shirt, tin foil wrap and a pint of cider.
We made it! Go Team!!!
It was with relief that we all made it around without any major incidence. We all have bruises, scrapes and sore muscles, but we also have a great sense of achievement and some fun memories.
Would I do it again? Yes I would because I actually quite enjoyed it, but I don't think I will as once you have done it, you've done it. Been there, done that syndrome. Also it was quite an expensive event to enter and although some of your fee went to the Help the Heroes charity, they charged you extra dosh at every turn.
I could not fault the organisation though it all seemed to run like clockwork, and there were safety supervisors at every hazard, which was comforting to say the least. Although I'm not sure the couple getting married in the church at the main grounds entrance gate, were overly happy with the sights, sounds and general chaos surrounding their beautiful day.