The military inspired Tough Mudder Challenges: Sea to Space kicked off on Tuesday, November 10th, a day that marks the 245th birthday of the US Marines. This is my fifth Tough Mudder Challenge and one I feel most significantly connected with to date as it gives us the opportunity to honor our military veterans. Week 1 was especially unique as it included Veterans Day, a date with historical significance that coincides with the end of World War I. These 21 days indeed allow us to show gratitude and reflect on the strength and fortitude our veterans demonstrate through military inspired obstacles. I took Week 1 challenges on in earnest, inspired by the resilience and grit demonstrated by our military veterans.
Going into the first round of obstacles, I decided to kick it up a notch and push myself to complete all of the week 1 activities, plus take a chunk out of the 21-day obstacles. The challenges included knot tying, running 15 miles on an inclined treadmill to make headway on my mileage and elevation goals.
Afraid Knot was the first activity we wanted to complete during Week 1. The rules were simple. Tie a few nautical knots with hands submerged in cold water. My fellow mudder (and partner) “leveled-up” with me by filling the kitchen sink with freezing ice water. In case nobody has told you — cold water hurts. Your hands lose dexterity very quickly in ice water! The colder your hands get, the cruddier your dexterity becomes, and the faster you attempt to tie – hands were flailing underwater. My partner and I took turns giving each other encouragement/razzing each other throughout the challenge.
I started the obstacles out this week with Battle Buddies. Since I’m still working remotely at my dining room table, I went ahead and made my girl Sadie (my loyal 13 year old miniature pincher beagle) my battle buddy for 12 hours. It wasn’t overly challenging to keep her within three meters as she is constantly by my side, following me everywhere. However, I got a lot of sideways doggy glances when I followed her back, walking outside with her while she went to sniff the bushes. It was great because it got me away from my computer, got me outside taking breaks throughout the day, something that I do not do enough once I sit down and become focused with work. It was a great start to the week and took some of the monotony out of working remotely.
The second obstacle I took on was grab and drag, wherein we had to replicate a classic military move, the weighted sleigh pull, by dragging something that was at least 35 lbs 245 feet in one direction. My partner and I inspected our house and settled on dragging a giant beam, a piece of our backyard obstacle course we had laying in the side yard. We noisily dragged this giant beam through the back alley, likely making our neighbors wonder what the heck all the racket is! It was fun, but very windy and cold!
Then we took it inside to the living room and tuned in to #RXercise with Coach Mud. It was a Tabata inspired HIIT workout that started us out with the classic warmup Coach gives before running a Tough Mudder. Thanks, Coach for the supple hips! After the warmup we jumped into completing tons of pushups, sit ups, and what felt like an infinity of jump lunges. It was brutal and left us quite sore!
Last but not least, and certainly my partner’s favorite, was field hygiene. Hot showers are hard to come by during Military training and multitasking is key. So for this obstacle we had to wash ourselves fully clothed in a cold shower. Well, being a little extra I took it to the next level – having my partner spray me with the hose in the backyard while I lathered up. As you can imagine, the water was FREEZING cold, made even colder by the 41 degree temps and it was also windy as heck! My partner happily sprayed me down with the hose while I attempted to lather up and rinse off.
This month’s challenges have kicked off with an awesome week! I’m stoked to see what the next couple of weeks have in store for us and to continue honoring our military from Sea to Space!