The importance of pushing yourself…
“Do you want to sign up for Tough Mudder Half this September?”
That was the text I received whilst on holiday this Summer. Usually, I would have said no but for some reason I said yes. Maybe it was the third margarita or I was just feeling extra brave, but it’s a moment that I will forever remember.
Bill Copeland says “When you don’t set goals, you can spend your whole life running up and down and not achieving anything”. When I set my goals each year or as I like to call it a bucket list I feel I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone as well as creating memories. Having goals makes you accountable so you cannot just talk the talk, you are now obligated to act on them.
Tough Mudder has been on my bucket list for three years as a goal of mine but somehow I didn’t have the ‘guts’ to sign up and complete it. My friend had promised me that it was the Half Tough Mudder which meant 5 miles/8k with 13 obstacles and that he wouldn’t leave me in a ditch of mud if I fell. I have done 5K colour runs but something about it being 8k was worrying as I had never ran so far on a road let alone climbing through thick mud. A month after signing up and seeing the money get taken out of my account I started informing friends and family of my race – there was no backing out now!
I started my training with my trainer Jack who has his own gym in Kingston Strive – we would train once a week for an hour and work on cardio as well as strength. I also started to walk from work back to Waterloo train station in order to keep my steps up – every little helps. I am not your typical fit yoga health bunny but when I put my mind to something there is no stopping me. I recommend if you’re going to start training for a race start of small and get into a routine and slowly slowly start increasing the weight or the incline on the treadmill. My trainer put together a workout plan for me to ensure we worked the whole body and analysed obstacles to see what muscles I would need to work on.
As recommend don’t eat too late in the evening before bed as you want to ensure your body has time to digest the food. The meal must be rich in carbohydrates as this will ensure they are stored in your muscle and will reduce the risk of fatigue during the race. Another good piece of advice I have is to go to bed at a decent hour to ensure your body is fully rested. I went to bed at 9pm as I knew the first hour I would spend tossing and turning and over thinking the race.
The morning of the event day was a bit of a blur, I kept thinking there is no time to chicken out – even as I was queuing to register. Once you arrive at the event the atmosphere is unbelievable and what’s most impressive is the effort that goes into reinforcing racers the notion of team work and how we must all help each other out during the course. I had to stop to redo my shoelaces after running through some serious mud and so many racers would stop to ensure I was okay.
I completed the course in 2.5 hours and I was ready to sign up again. The energy at the event is phenomenal and the sense of accomplishment you get when crossing the finish line is such a fantastic feeling it makes all the hard work worth it. Receiving your free head band and t-shirt was amazing (also a proud moment!). Next year am looking at doing another running event such as The Nuts Challenge or Spartan Run.
Still to complete on my bucket list before 2018
- Trick or Treat Run
- Go Karting
- Ride the ArcelorMittal Orbit
- Santa Dash
- Walk the Glass Floor Walkway in Tower Bridge
Goals or Bucket lists help you to strive for something and motivate you to achieve your highest potential. There’s only a few months left till the New Year have you set yourself a goal to complete before the clock strikes midnight or have you started planning your goals for next year?
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas If you are stuck with ideas take a look at the link below.
Written by Nikki Brouwer
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