So this is actually an old blog from 2013 but I love what it shares; that team spirit, determination, drive and that support network we all need. A few of us from this team and a couple more went back and completed Tough Mudder the following year too. I certainly had a fun time once again and was encouraged by the fact that I had survived the year before!
What drives you to do well, better? What makes you feel alive? What makes you want to achieve more? Where do you want to be? How will you feel when you get there? What challenges/goals do you set yourself? Who drives you? What scares you the most? How do you conquer those fears? How do you feel when you have faced your fears and won? How do you feel when you have reached your goals? And do you continue to re-assess them?
Most of us, by the time we have reached our goals, have almost forgotten how hard we thought it would be to get there and have moved on to new challenges and set ourselves new goals; often forgetting how much we have achieved already. And every journey is an individual journey; no one else’s, just yours. It may look similar to someone else’s but it’s most definitely not. You do the best you can and you keep moving forward, however slowly that may be. You may be fortunate enough to be surrounded by like minded people who want you to do well and help you along the way. Without these people your journey might be a tougher one; make sure you have a great support network and don’t get held back by those that don’t understand your drive and determination to be a better version of your current great self!
No one else can make these changes but you; the support available to you is there if you wish to use it, you just need to reach out and grab it and make it work for you.
In March 2013, talking about Goal setting, I asked one of my clients what she would like to achieve going forward. She went away to think and came back with “I’d quite like to do Tough Mudder”. And so began not just her journey, or my journey but that of the rest of the 9 strong Team we had.
I suggested to Lorraine that we do it together and opened it up to my other clients, then other PT’s and their clients, and finally to other gym members. And here begins the Journey…
So, firstly, meet the team: (L-R) Mick Joyce, Kim Tomlin (me), Richard Mummery, Daz Taafe, Kate Bramhall, Rebecca Mackenzie, Lorraine Rhodes (initiator!), Chris Kitson and Chris Trott.
Each and every one of us was on a personal journey and each and every one of us had our own fears and drivers. As this photo is being taken we are all equal; no one is better than another; we were all dealing with our own apprehensions, barriers and fears.
Over 8 weeks, leading up to the first Yorkshire Tough Mudder, we met at least once a week to train together, working hard but most importantly getting to know each other and working as a team; learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses (which aren’t really weaknesses just different levels of strength!). Tough Mudder doesn’t just test those that are physically strong, it tests many aspects such as your mental strength and resolve, agility, determination, team work, camaraderie.
I lead the team training, putting all of us through our paces, taking us through tough circuits, taking us outside, to climb, balance, run, bear crawl, push, pull, carry, drag, jump, swing, roll; you name it we did it! And the crossover was there on the day to see.
Preparation is key but no one can really plan entirely for what is ahead; there were a few minor niggles/injuries during training and I certainly hadn’t planned on getting the most stinking cold the Tuesday before! But most of it would be in our head, the things we didn’t say to each other, or the time where we reached out or didn’t need to because someone else was there to help, already knowing.
For those that have completed Tough Mudder, once or more, then respect to you all. Ice baths, heights, enclosed spaces, murky muddy freezing water, electric shocks are not everyday occurrences to deal with and most of us will avoid them if afraid; so to face them and deal with them knowing you are surrounded by others doing the same is extremely liberating. Knowing you have done it will give you the strength to do it again and again if needs be. That first step is always the hardest and most frightening and the most liberating.
Here are a few words from some of the team expressing their journey and how they felt and what they achieved. Inspirational words for anyone who doesn’t think they can. Both Lorraine and Richard are clients of mine and I am very proud of what they achieved; as I am of the whole team.
“To cut a long story short Kim asked me at the beginning of the year if I fancied a challenge of some kind or if I had any goals – I chose tough mudder! As soon as I signed up I felt excited, nervous and a bit sick all at the same time.
Kim has been brilliant organising training and preparing the sessions so they were tailor made to suit the obstacles we came across on the day. The margarine lids in training seemed crackers at the time but all made sense on the day!
I loved every minute of tough mudder, the anticipation of each obstacle was quite nerve racking but once I’d got through it I was so pleased and felt like an excited kid it was a great feeling, I have problems with my knees and it drives me mad sometimes cos simple things like jumping across streams and going down hill really took its toll. Although every single time I had to make a jump or needed a help in hand there was one there when I looked forward, I couldn’t have wished for a nicer a group of people around me on the day.
I do feel really proud of myself, it has given me the confidence booster I needed and every time I think about it I smile and wish I could do it all over again. It was a great day and I am so pleased that Kim put together the team of people we had – you were all amazing and a pleasure to be around. Lorraine xx”
“I started a personal journey 12 months ago! I had become fat’ lazy and overweight. My journey started out slow but soon picked up pace! I never thought, when I started out, that I would take on such an epic challenge as Tough Mudder. Having overcome the fear just for signing up I set my sights firmly on that orange headband and the free pint as you finish!
During the day I was absorbed in the team spirit, not just my team but the bigger Tough Mudder team! We met a girl at various points in the day, she was doing it alone, but not really alone because on Tough Mudder there’s one big team, everyone wants everyone to succeed!
Completing the course is not easy, your body and mind are pushed to the limit! The obstacles are tough and for me I had to get over my fear of the confined spaces with the tunnels but more so my fear of being up high. Jumping from walk the plank was the most trying obstacle. I probably wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for Chris Kitson (fellow team member). I have never jumped from such a height before and it feels even higher when you are up there.
I was plagued with cramp in my calf through the second half of the course but I wasn’t going to let it beat me! As I did the mud mile about 8 miles in I was struggling, cramp was killing my calfs, my hip flexors were aching and tight and my team mates were keeping a faster pace than I could manage. At this point I could have quit, it crossed my mind but only very briefly! As I clambered over those mud mounds and even when I was stuck, ankle deep in soft mud I reminded myself how far I had come! Not only that day but in the last 18 months! The spirit of a true Tough Mudder gets you through! You don’t just give up, you carry on, you finish what you started! It wasn’t easy, I had to dig deep, but I never stopped, when the pace was too fast I didn’t stop I just kept my legs moving, one step at a time.
Conquering Everest was an incredible feat. It’s a huge half pipe with nothing to grip except the top ledge. Others in our team had sprinted up like they did it every day. For me by now my legs had been cramping and I had little left to give! My team were all up at the top, I ran as fast as I could, I really thought I wouldn’t make it. I reached out as high as I could, expecting to fall at any point. These hands grabbed me from either side. I had nothing to grip and it was all on my team now. They heaved and they pulled and THEY got me up! I could not have done it alone.
As we trotted to the finish line I was overcome with emotion, I am not scared to say Tough Mudder nearly made me cry! I had dug so deep during the journey round the course, I had nothing more to give. It pushed me mentally and physically but I never gave in. I walked away with my orange headband and my finish line t shirt, knowing I did it. My team helped me through and I will always remember that! Thanks guys.”
“Tough Mudder for me was more a mental, symbolic point of achievement than it was a physical test. I had worked hard on my strength & fitness prior to joining the team in the gym and Kim’s tailored training was the best preparation we could have had in my opinion, so I was confident I was prepared physically, but to look at and then overcome the obstacles in front of me mirrored the obstacles I’ve faced in my life over the last 3 years, and there were several points during the course on Sunday when I had to take time to myself because I was getting quite moved by the whole experience. The difference on Sunday was that I had people I could rely on, and boy did I take advantage of that. It was a very emotional day for me, I’m sure this didn’t come across because I can be a hard faced cow! When I made it home I showered & sobbed like a puppy, it was a very emotional day for me. Mental strength is very important to me, and I believe that if my mind is right then my body & overall fitness will automatically follow, Sunday reinforced that belief.
I’ll not lie, I felt like King Kong on Monday, I felt so proud of what we achieved and I loved every minute of it, especially the mud slides. Cheers team xx”
“When I heard that Kim was putting together a team for Tough Mudder I joined he group. I had already decided to take part and wanted to raise money for Kirkwood Hospice. The team were happy to support the good cause and set out to raise lots of money!
Kirkwood Hospice is close to my heart, after they cared for my Nan back in 1999. I have completed a few events to raise money for them in the past. I’m extremely happy to have raised so much as a team this time around. The amount of £1,228 totally exceeded my expectations.
Team training sessions with put on by Kim, and taking part with the support of such a great team, helped me to get round the course, overcoming more than one fear! Heights, enclosed spaces, running!….the list goes on! I couldn’t have done it without them; well it wouldn’t have been the same experience and I certainly wouldn’t have raised so much. Thank you everyone.”
Just because I’m a Personal Trainer, didn’t leave me immune to fears such as Arctic Enema and mucky brown cold water to swim in (I hate the cold!!) and certainly not feeling anywhere near 100% left me physically flawed on the day. I couldn’t have done it without the team either.
Whatever you want; go grab it now and BE AMAZING.
Be… Active | Healthy | Inspired