I put my physical & mental health to the test by completing a Tough Mudder Half! While I still have the bruises to prove it, I’ve never felt more empowered. Even crazier? I did it all without official training, & I’m not alone!
Feeling ambitious, I decided — on a whim — to participate in this year’s Tough Mudder Half on Long Island. And let me just say, this was a BIG deal for me. Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t worked out in six years — I know, shame on me! But I decided to slowly get back in the fitness game in April, and participating in a July Tough Mudder seemed like an exciting challenge. So when Volvic Water approached me about participating in the event, which they helped sponsor, I eagerly said yes. Did I bother to look up any critical information about this muddy obstacle course before the big day? Nope. Did I even know what a Tough Mudder was? Barely. But I went for it anyway, pushing my mind and body harder than I ever could have imagined. The best part is that I stand here today, feeling SO incredibly proud of myself. And you can have that feeling too — I promise!
For those of you who don’t know, a Tough Mudder is not your typical race, it’s an endurance “event.” While a regular Tough Mudder is 10 miles long with 20 obstacle courses, I did a Tough Mudder Half, which is just over five miles and contains 13 obstacle courses. Most of it is very muddy and, if you do it right, you come out of the whole thing more banged and bruised up than when you began — I’m telling you, I STILL have marks up and down my legs! But the beauty of it is the ever-present spirit of camaraderie and teamwork. I completed this muddy challenge alongside my boyfriend and my younger sister, and I wouldn’t have been able to finish it without them or my fellow “Mudders.” So for those of you who think you can’t do it alone, you don’t have to. I had so much help along the way — and from total strangers at that!
On the Tough Mudder website under the “training” tab, it’s recommended that you “train tough” and “work out smart.” I, of course, did none of that. “Training is paramount,” the site reads. “You need a workout routine that prepares you mentally and physically for the the grind, grit and mud ahead.” They also provide workout guides and videos for how you can get in shape to complete a Tough Mudder. Well, not to contradict the program, but training is not necessarily required, and I can confidently tell you that from experience. While, like I said, I had been working out for a few months prior to taking on this challenge, I am by no means a fitness guru. Click here to see pics of celebs working out.
Honestly though, even if you don’t work out at ALL, you can still compete — and finish — a Tough Mudder Half. I know this because that is exactly what my 19-year-old sister did (sorry for putting you on the spot, Sarah)! For one thing, you do not have to run the entire time, or at all. In fact, most people participating in the race were walking at some points, with some walking the entire time. I’m not sure what a regular Tough Mudder is like, but a Half was a lot more light-hearted and easygoing than I had originally thought it’d be. Dare I say, it was even fun!
My advice for future Mudders, even if you’re on the fence about participating, is to go for it. You WILL surprise yourself. If you need to slow down and walk, walk; if you want to skip an obstacle, skip it; if it takes you four hours to finish, so be it — at least you DID it. Trust me, I was terrified at first, but after a warmup of jogging (or walking, your pick) two miles and then crawling in the mud to avoid contact with barbed wire above, I felt like I could conquer anything. By the end, my sister and I had surprised ourselves by not skipping even one obstacle. As the race goes on, you find yourself adopting this fierce I-can-do-anything attitude, so when we were faced with a muddy pit of water and 60-feet of slick, rotating barriers to climb over, I literally said, “Bring it on” — and I meant it.
Volvic Water is all about “finding your inner volcano,” and that’s exactly what the company helped me do by giving me the opportunity to go out of my comfort zone and surprise myself in the process. The only thing an able body needs to complete a Tough Mudder Half, is determination and perseverance. When Sarah couldn’t climb up the recurved top of 15-foot-high Everest 2.0 by herself, she had bigger, stronger, Mudders waiting for her at the top to pull her up. What this experience taught me more than anything is that not only is your body more capable than you think, but so is your mind. Attitude truly is everything. Oh, and did I mention we had a total blast? I can’t wait to do it again!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do YOU think you could complete a Tough Mudder race?