On a cold Sunday morning in January this year I sat in my Kitchen and decided to compose an email inviting all of our clients and anyone they knew who might be interested to take part in a 12 mile obstacle course involving jumping in ice (Arctic Enema), wriggling through tunnels (Boa Constrictor), Monkey bars over cold water (Funky Monkey) and crawling under barbed wire whilst getting electrocuted! (electric Eel). I had no idea how many people would want to join Karl and I on this challenge known as Tough Mudder but over the next few weeks we had assembled over 20 names on a list for our first training session at Trailfinders sports club.
We had Just over 5 months to prepare and the levels of the team members varied. We had an age range from nineteen to late forties with 12 chaps and 8 ladies. As not everybody was local we decided to run one session a month and advise individuals who were not training with us in between these sessions on what they needed to work on. Our first session involved jumping over and swinging on everything in the playground in Pitshanger Park and jumping in ice filled paddling pools back at the club. One thing was clear to me after our first session, this was always going to be about getting the team around the course on the 9th June and we needed to install that team ethic into everybody. For our next session we handed out cards getting the Tough Mudder message across:
I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge
I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time
I do not whine, kids whine
I help my fellow mudders complete the course
I overcome all fears
It was late February now and after our second training session I could see that with 13 weeks to go we were too focused on jumping in cold water and climbing under and over obstacles. You have still got to run 12 miles on the day and our team needed to do more running before we saw them all again in a months time.
To be continued ……