Do You Remember Your First Time?

Why Obstacle Course Racing Is Good For Newbie’s

A few posts back I postulated that the sport was headed to the realm of professionals or at least it seems like we are certainly on the edge of the professional class given the rise in prize money. Plus, I suppose it’s inevitable that the star players will increasingly make their presence known. Then I came across this article from Jodi Morrel and I must say I think she really nailed the essence of the original draw we all had and the ultimate surrender we’ve – dare I say most – have felt when we were finally immersed in mud. And how-a-bout the point of no return, even when we fell down, and the comradeship of the complete strangers we started the course with that reached out to help along the way.

Read This Excerpt From “An obstacle course saved my fitness”

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Have you ever thought about why you exercise? I always had half formed thoughts about losing weight and being able to eat whatever I liked because I exercised. Eye roll, slaps myself on forehead in exasperation. Then I did a Tough Mudder obstacle race and gained a new understanding of what I needed from my fitness.

Three years ago I was 20 kilograms heavier and while I exercised regularly, I didn’t pay much attention to what I ate. A group from my gym were doing the Tough Mudder in Sydney and, on a whim, I joined up. It was, hands down, one of the worst experiences of my entire life. And I spent six months living in Afghanistan right after 9/11.

The Tough Mudder was worse than being a young, western woman living in a Muslim country right after a massive western invasion. I’ll say it again. Tough. Mudder. Was. Worse. I struggled through almost every minute. I kept getting left behind by the group so spent the majority of the race on my own. I fell over too many times to count. And I cried during the mud mile because it was just never going to end.

The really weird thing was, whenever I told anyone about my experience, there was always a massive smile on my face.

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What I remember is that every time I fell over, a stranger helped me up. When I smashed myself on one of the obstacles and winded myself I opened my eyes to see five people crowded around me making sure I was okay. I remember the complete strangers who helped me through obstacles and the strangers I helped through obstacles. I also remember the sense of achievement I had when I actually finished the race because there were a lot of moments when I didn’t think I would. After that first race I vehemently denied any chance that I would ever do another obstacle race of any kind. But when the next one came along all it took was one person inquiring if I was thinking about doing it and I was in.

The thing about obstacle racing is that it’s kind of freeing. You know as soon as you start that you’re going to get wet and muddy. There’s no getting out of it. So you just get messy and it’s fantastic. Obstacle races are hands down the kind of fun you used to have when you were a kid. You get to play in the mud, run around wet and dirty and no one judges or tells you to clean up.

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