The Tough Mudder Challenge 2022 – why?

Karin Carruthers from Scream Blue Murder shares her story of tackling Tough Mudder earlier this year.

I completed Tough Mudder for the first time in 2021 – so why again this year? Actually, I didn’t believe I had finished it the first time round!! The event had been fun, held in August when the weather was pleasant and warm. We laughed as we went round, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

So, based on my previous years’ experience, then it can’t be that bad. However, the 2022 event was held in April. It was cold, and the wind was biting. So instead of a team of six or seven, we were down to just four. On the other hand, maybe I had lulled myself into a false sense of security.

I also considered Tough Mudder good training preparation for my next physical challenge, climbing Kilimanjaro later in October. It is definitely training with adversity; Tough Mudder pushes you beyond your limits. However, it is not about speed but camaraderie. You have to work as a team as, without others, it is challenging to successfully navigate the obstacles. At Scream Blue Murder, we genuinely believe that obstacles create resilience – mental or physical, in business or personally. How we pilot ourselves through them is how we triumph, and the book I’ve recently read called The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday shares how to turn adversity into an advantage.

The training

The 15km course contains 30 obstacles. Some test your balance and swimming skills, while others your upper body and climbing techniques, so during my training, I participated in upper and lower body HIIT and various PT sessions. I had prepared well; however, having Covid just two weeks before the event, I now realise my energy levels were not as high as when I had completed it the previous year.

My teammates (Andrew, Kat and Leanne) and I travelled together, stopping at the motorway services to top up on calories. Then, we registered at The Village, watching the professionals start and waiting for our mid-morning starting slot. It’s not just about the elite, though. Tough Mudder is for everyone of all ages, shapes, and sizes, even children!

And we’re off!

Warm-up complete and with anticipation building, we began the Tough Mudder chant! The flares were ignited, and off we went! No matter how well you prepare, with all the well-intentioned thoughts to head off slowly – you don’t! After the first fifty yards, I was gasping for breath, desperately trying to get into a rhythm and ignore what everyone else was doing. Eventually, I found ‘my lane’ and started running at a comfortable pace with my own personal space and team members in sight. It’s a bit like running a business; about finding your lane (your niche) and doing what you do best.

After the first obstacle, sniper crawling under barbed wire, I was well and truly covered in mud! Some obstacles present a personal challenge, while others you can only do with a team to help you get ‘up and over.’ For those obstacles, we all worked together, helping each other and those coming next. It’s at times like these you realise your own strength, giving the next team a helping hand so they can gain some momentum.

Tough Mudder is all about mindset – facing your challenges and your fears. Of course, when you have a team with you, you do more – call it peer pressure if you like, but with their support, I achieved a lot more, laughing as I went!

Tough Mudder – My top 3 learnings

  • Teamwork! Teamwork! Teamwork!
    • It’s all about the team – whether physical or mental support and morale; it’s that camaraderie that helps get you to the finish line. Also, remember to take your team with you. It’s all about people at the end of the day; even in business, our internal team, suppliers, and customers – are all supporting us in getting to our end goals.
  • Mindset
    • The fear of doing is worse than the act of doing. So don’t overthink it. Never, never give up and remember the end goal and what you are here to do.
  • Celebrate success!
    • When you have succeeded, you need to celebrate to recognize your achievement, whatever the size of the challenge.

My 3 words on finishing

I was so pleased to get through it – it was a colossal achievement mentally and physically. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, and I wasn’t sure I would complete the distance, but I did. My final three words that described how I felt:

  • ****ing freezing
  • Super chuffed (immense satisfaction!)
  • Exhausted

And my next adventure is coming very soon….

We don’t whisper your story. We Scream Blue Murder.
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