What a crazy fun European road trip we just virtually embarked on! This month we took on the Tough Mudder European Road Trip Challenge and walked, ran, biked, paddled, and climbed our way across La Grande Boucle and up Mt. Vesuvius. I learned that floor wipers tend to have a slithering effect unless you’re holding on to something, that holy heck – eight keepy-uppies are HARD (mad respect for all you soccer players), and that spaghetti is in fact still delicious.
Tough Mudder really upped the ante this month with their challenges. For the Gladiator challenge, we had to do 300 push-ups, 300 floor wipers, 300 glute raises, and 300 seconds of planking. I could definitely feel my strength building in my shoulders and core throughout the month and am ending the challenge four pounds lighter. We also got to participate in some of the classic obstacles and it all felt very nostalgic.
My favorite obstacle this month was Kiss of Mud. On course this obstacle is an army crawl through mud under barbed wire. You have to stay low to the ground to avoid snagging a piece of clothing or hair. I’ve managed to do both throughout the years (thanks fellow mudders for untangling me!). For this challenge, we had to do 40 ft of an army crawl and get as muddy as possible. Our mudder team set up a giant tarp in the backyard and covered it in soil from digging post holes for our backyard obstacle course slack line (we have an OCR problem). Our kids got involved and were super stoked to be amongst adults just as enthused about mud pies as them. Then…we got the hose out, made a huge mud pit, and got to it! We crawled through, banging up our knees and elbows along the way. Some of us penguin slid, which I don’t recommend because it resulted in small cuts and bruises. All in all, we got super muddy and had a BLAST.
Another favorite was “It’s Called Football”. We balled up our Tough Mudder headbands and felt super confident that as a team, we would be easily able to conquer eight keepy uppies – that’s eight bounces off our feet without letting it touch the ground. Sounds easy, right? WRONG! It took forever, the head band fell apart, it ended up over the fence, almost into the neighbors yard, only accomplishing two or three keepy uppies at a time. We humbly got out the volleyball and found success with that.
Finally, we had the happy coincidence of celebrating our son’s 7th birthday during the challenge. We were able to take advantage of a bounce house slip and slide for the Greece Lightning Challenge, a fun water slide challenge. We almost tipped over the bounce house itself. Worth it.
It’s been a blast and we are super excited for the upcoming Marvel Challenge. Crossing us Tough Mudder nerds with the Marvel Universe is going to turn October into a blast of spontaneous adventures. We’ve assembled our team and are ready. See you all in the mud!
Katherine Nicholas is a professional geologist who lives with her family in Denver, Colorado. She has been running Tough Mudder since 2016 and has 11 under her belt through traveling the US and Canada. On the weekends you can find her hiking the mountains in Colorado with her fellow Mudder partner and six-year-old kiddo. You can find her on Instagram @geologistkat.