So I took a vacation last week, and it ended in spectacular style. I completed the Pittsburgh/Ohio Valley Tough Mudder, and it was awesome. I’m looking forward to doing another in the future.
If you’ve never heard of Tough Mudder you must be living under a rock. Basically, it’s a 10 to 12 mile mud covered obstacle course. And when I say mud covered, that’s an egregious understatement. There was so much mud that even the mud was covered with mud. Tough Mudder is not a race. There is no clock. How fast you finish doesn’t matter. That you finish and that you help others finish: that’s what matters. It’s about giving your all and making sure the person next to you does the same. That’s pretty much all you need to know. Here are some photos of the fun things I got to do. A good bit of the course wasn’t accessible to spectators so I only have photos of about half of the obstacles.
All clean and happy, just ready to get out on the course.
Hopping over the wall to get to the starting area.
Kiss of Mud – Crawling through the mud under some barbed wire–always a good time.
Glory Blades – Over some more walls–no big deal.
Walk the Plank – Arrr, matey!
Prairie Dog – Muddy water with randomly dug holes to fall into. Yay!
Arctic Enema – A dumpster full of ice water (literally–ice cubes were floating in the water) with a board in the middle you have to swim under. What’s not to love?
Pyramid Scheme – Use people as a makeshift ladder to climb a slippery, muddy slope. Note: being part of the ladder hurts, sucks, and should be avoided at all costs. Trust me, I have firsthand knowledge.
Pole Dancer – Parallel bars that slope up then down. Cross using hands only. This was one of the easier obstacles on the course in my opinion, but still fun.
Balls to the Wall – Another easy one. Use the rope to climb up the wall and down the other side–standard obstacle course fare. Add another 10 or 15 feet and this would be a badass obstacle.
Everest – I expected this one to be harder, but with good footing and a strong sprint it really wasn’t all that difficult.
Electroshock Therapy – The sign before this one said “I know you’re scared and this will sting like a motherf**ker, but it’s safe. We promise.” They weren’t lying. That last shock almost knocked me flat on my face.
Not so clean anymore, but still happy. Already wanting to get back out there and punish myself some more.
Next time I’ll get an even longer course. They have a special extra bit for Legionnaires (repeat Mudders). I really wanted to do the Fire in your Hole obstacle (a waterslide with fire you go through at the bottom before it launches you into a pool of water), but I was a first timer so I didn’t get to. Next time though, that beast will be conquered. I can promise you that.
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit you as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. ” – Rocky Balboa