They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I'm guessing a video is a lot more.
So before telling you about the electrocutions, mud, suffocating ice-pool etc etc. Here is the video of my Tough Mudder experience...
Having always wanted to complete a Tough Mudder, I was over the moon when I had an invite to be on a team put together by Trek bar. It possibly wasn't the best timing as I was recovering from an ankle injury but I think submerging myself in ice perhaps assisted the healing!
As I met the team and we all put our thoughts forward about the obstacle that was scaring us the most, I seemed to be alone in worrying about the ARCTIC ENEMA. Everyone else was far more terrified of the electric shocks. Maybe I had more to worry about than I first thought. Being a hot weather lover, nothing scares me more than dunking myself deep into ice water!
We were very lucky that the weather was warm. It had been pretty freezing leading up to this particular weekend. By the time we got around to 'ice hell' at about 3km in, we had warmed up through the running and rolling around in mud. Thankfully there was no queue leading up to hell. I was able to climb straight up to the slide and get it over with. I slid down the complete darkness into the pool of ice which was conveniently filled up to my nipples. As I landed in the pool the ground was slippy and I struggled to get to my feet. When I finally popped my head out, I couldn't speak. Apparently I had to duck down again to go under a beam of wood that crossed the pool. I couldn't breathe. The man at the side of the pool was telling me to go but I couldn't take a breathe to go under. It seemed like I was stuck there forever. Nobody else could go down the slides till I moved. How much pressure did I feel! I eventually mustered an apology to this man and managed to grab a small breathe. Under I went again, and I also lost my footing again. In a mad panic I managed to push my head out of the icy water. I had about two meters to wade through more ice before my escape. Once I got out of hell and finally managed a full breath, I screamed. I'm not sure how other people react to this but it was all I could do. I can guarantee you now, I would have to be paid a lot of money to do that again!!!
After that experience, nothing could ever be as bad. I think we had about three or four more water obstacle interspersed with mud-based obstacles. We ran a whole 11 miles but it really never felt like it as we spent so much time laughing and covering ourselves in mud.
The most feared, it would appear, was left time last. The electric shocks! Imagine walking through a room full of cobwebs from top to bottom, but they are electrically charged cobwebs. Well, thats how the Tough Mudder finished. As I began to walk through I had my Go Pro in my hand but as the first shock got me, it was flung out of my grasp and swung from my wrist. I think I was pretty lucky that I only got one major shock and a few little ones. Some people were thrown to the floor.
The best bit came as we passed the finish line... the final obstacle... drink a bottle of cider!!
Thank you Team Trek!!!
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Well, WOOF WOOF, this trail runner has mastered a new trick!! Riding the giant grasshopper!
I've learned that balance is not one of my strengths. And, getting to grips with riding the Elliptigo was not immediately easy as is it has been for other people that had a go. My mum managed to turn a tight corner within seconds of getting on and my brother looked like he WAS the grasshopper. I'm a bit slower, but if I can do it, anyone can!
My first few sessions out on Simon (the Elliptigo) were all about taking my time and getting the feel of standing up while moving on wheels. You definitely feel more exposed compared to being on a bicycle. And there is no time to completely relax as you always need to be balancing and holding in your core muscles.
At my first road junction I discovered a problem. I couldn't balance and hold on with one hand to indicate. Eeeeeks! As I train more on the 'Go' my core is getting stronger and I can actually show people where I'm moving in the road.
Gliding down hills and feeling the breeze against your whole body is an awesome feeling of exhilaration. But the best thing about riding on the Elliptigo is watching the reactions on other peoples faces as I pass them. People are gobsmacked and then break out into a huge smile.
My first ride was about 5km on day one, and after a week of increasing the distance and adding in the trailer occasionally, I managed to do a full day with all my kit by the end of the week. From zero, to a 75km adventure in one week, is a pretty cool achievement. And, I LOVE IT! It's so much fun.
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