For those of y’all that have followed my blog for a while, you know about my Warrior Dash debacle (which got me published in Obstacle Racing Magazine!). I let myself get Jedi mind-tricked into participating in Tough Mudder. What is Tough Mudder, you ask? It’s a hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all-around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. The Georgia course was around 10 miles and contained about 22 obstacles.
You’d have thought I’d have learned my lesson last year, right? Nope. See, Delusional Nikki thought she had enough time to train & prepare for this event since she registered a YEAR in advance. Why am I talking about myself in the 3rd person? That’s what delusional folks do, ok? Anyway, the months start ticking by and Delusional Nikki keeps eating Reese Cups & watching Scandal…like Olivia & Fitz were going to do this race with her. Next thing Delusional Nikki knows, 11 months have passed and it’s 2 weeks before the event. Sigh. So, at this point, Sane Nikki shows up and is like, “girl, stop. you know you can’t do this. save yourself.” Sane Nikki sends an email to her Tough Mudder team that basically said, “Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky & Mike…you’ll have to count me out.” (shout out to my New Edition fans!). But, the team knew Sane Nikki was weak & not making good decisions since Scandal was on a 3 week hiatus. So, she gets Jedi mind-tricked again with an email from the team captain saying, “It won’t be that bad! We haven’t trained either.” [Um, sidenote…they are lying liars who lie because clearly, they had trained. While I’m asking folks for rosary beads & prayers at obstacle 3, they are doing the electric slide through Obstacle 748.]
So, I suck it up and decide to go. A couple of days before the event, Tough Mudder sent an email with logistical details (parking, etc) and a video of one of the obstacles, Arctic Enema. As soon as I watched the clip, I was like, “NOPE!” That looked like a whole bunch of crazy that I couldn’t be a part of. My strategy was to skip the obstacles that looked dangerous/difficult. Don’t judge me. I’m coming out of a Reese Cups coma.
After driving a couple of hours we arrive at the race site. We passed several obstacles on our way to park. My first thought was “TURN THIS CAR AROUND NOW!” But, I kept focused and started mentally hyping myself up…then we walk over to the starting area. Um, how come I didn’t know you had to complete an obstacle to even START the freaking race?
Jesus take the wheel! iCan’t. But, my teammates were like,”LET’S DO THIS!!!” and I got caught up. We climbed the wall, listened to the Tough Mudder inspirational guy (no, I don’t remember his name and I’m too lazy to go find it out), and finished it off by singing the Star Spangled Banner. Then, we officially start the race.
The first obstacle was “Kiss of Mud”. In the beginning, I thought it would be fine. Because I’m still under mind-control. What I didn’t count on was that the course would be extra muddy due to the week of rain we had before the race. After running 1/4 of a mile, we come up to the first obstacle and have to crawl under the wire. Seems pretty simple right? WRONG! It felt like there was cracked glass & empty syringes lying on the ground. Seriously.
But, it wasn’t too bad (compared to the obstacles coming up). After getting through Obstacle 1, we run through some more mud. Now, we are still in what I will call the “regular” area…or as I started to think of it, “my safe zone”. The early obstacles were close to the parking lot so you could keep running to your car if things got too “tough”. But, I was lulled into a sense of “badassness” by the early obstacles. Obstacle 2 looked like it would be difficult (I have the upper body strength of a mosquito so climbing up & over stuff is a challenge…might have helped if I had actually trained but hey, I ain’t about to judge myself, k?). Turns out, Obstacle #2 (Bale Bonds) wasn’t that hard once you got into the swing of it. At this point, I’m like, “WHAT? DO YOU SEE ME? I’M AWESOME!” I should’ve known it was too good to last.
After that obstacle, the course takes you into the woods. Seriously…there is no trail. Just some red ribbon that they attached to the trees earlier that week. Good luck with that! The mud combined with no actual trail proved to be the toughest “obstacle”. And one that I wasn’t really ready for. It was difficult to keep upright because it was so slick. Trail shoes wouldn’t have made a difference because the mud cakes the soles until it was like you were running on ice. Folks loved it though…screaming WOOHOO as they slipped & slid all the way to Grandma’s house.
Once we come out of the woods, we are at Obstacle 3 “Arctic Enema”. Now, I had already seen the video (provided below) and my initial reaction was…
AW, HECKS NAW! Nuh uh. Keep that. But when I actually arrived at the obstacle, I was feeling solid…the previous obstacles had me feeling like I could do this! Even when a couple of spectators told me that a man had went unconscious in the pool about 10 minutes before me, I was like, “So what? He’s weak!”
So, my crazy self jumps into the dumpster filled with 80 pounds of ice & water…and I can’t quite tell you what happened next. I remember having to swim down to the bottom so I could go under the partition to get to the other side to exit…then, as I surfaced, I think I saw Jesus sitting on the side of the dumpster reaching His hand out to me saying, “What kind of fool are you?” My response? “I don’t know, Jesus…but I’m pretty sure it’s the biggest kind of fool there is.” After getting out of the dumpster, my body locks up and I just stand there for a minute. No idea what was going on.
Then, it’s back to the woods. I hate the woods, y’all. Nothing good happens there! Next obstacle was hauling some wood around. Lord Jesus…WHY DID I SIGN UP FOR THIS AND NOT TRAIN? Luckily, my teammates carried the log and I pretended that I was helping to carry it but that was all for appearances.
Then we get to the next obstacle, “Boa Constrictor”…the pictures make this look so easy. Like all you have to do is crawl through a tube. I should’ve known that was too easy. You have just enough room to crawl into the tube…on your stomach. The only people who can crawl through on their needs are “little people” and toddlers. Half way into the tube, I got stuck. Sigh. After scooting as much as I could, they lowered a guy down to pull me the rest of the way out. Which I noticed was pretty common.
After that obstacle…I was done. I pulled a back muscle in the tube and hadn’t been able to catch my breath since Arctic Enema. So, I tapped out and wished my team good luck. Which ended up being the smartest decision I made. I never was able to breathe properly until I went to the doctor a couple of days later and had to be put on an inhaler because my lung capacity was at 60%. All in all, I completed 3.5 miles of the course so I just say I did a 5K 🙂 I want credit for this, y’all.
To prove I’m not making this up (well, my review may be slightly embellished), see the 3 minute video below.
First, where was the cutie at the beginning of the video when I was doing this race??? Did you see those arms & that chest? *grabbing smelling salts* If I had raced with him, I might have found a bit more inspiration 🙂 Second, y’all saw those obstacles right? And folks were smiling! Like the Tough Mudder folks had laced the mud pits with a meth, bath salts, crack cocktail! No, ma’am/sir.
I stuck around to watch a couple of other obstacles. Overall, I’d say Tough Mudder really is a race for those who actually train (not like the 5K mud races where you can fake your way through it). The obstacles & course are very difficult. The week after the Georgia TM, Tough Mudder had an event in West Virginia where a man died during the “Walk the Plank” obstacle. While this isn’t the norm, it does emphasize that you should be careful. I have never quit in the middle of a race…but I do not regret quitting this one. And, it was my own fault for not being prepared. I will say this…the great thing about this race is the spirit of camaraderie and other “mudders” helping their comrades along the way. They have a “no man left behind” mindset (of course, I was like, “leave me, y’all). If you have survived Tough Mudder…my hat is off to you as you are better than me 🙂
Interested in what the rest of the obstacles were?