If you have looked at the website or any of the YouTube videos for Tough Mudder, you know about the Electroshock Therapy obstacle. If you are not sure what I am referring to, here is the website description of the obstacle: “Sprint through a field of live wires – some carrying as much as 10,000 volts of electric shock. Watch out for hay bales and deep mud, or you will face-plant into some electrifying mud. Some Mudders try to stealthily wind their way through the wires without getting shocked, while others barrel forward to get through as quickly as possible. Either way, you are guaranteed to get zapped with as much as 10,000 volts of electricity and it does NOT tickle. This is typically the last obstacle Mudders must overcome before they cross the finish line.”
What is Tough Mudder? It is a 10-12 mile obstacle course race designed by the British Special Forces. The money raised from this event goes to The Wounded Warrior Project. This past weekend I had a team of 9 people that participated and completed this race.
What you will find if you ever decide to do Tough Mudder is that the first question people usually ask is, “How was the Electroshock Therapy?”. That seems to be the one obstacle that makes people think twice about participating. Most people can imagine getting muddy, climbing walls, carrying huge logs up hills, even jumping into ice baths. However the thought of getting shocked seems to be a real sticking point.
My confession? I skipped it. I walked around the obstacle. My excuse? I was physically spent and was just not mentally strong enough to do it. I’m pretty mad at myself for not at least trying it. I completed just about every other obstacle, or at least attempted them. My 4’11” size worked against me on a couple of things, like Everest. At least I can say I made (I think) 5 different attempts at Everest before deciding to go around.
Here is what I did see throughout the course: I saw the rest of my team dig deep mentally and physically and push themselves to complete the course. I saw my teammate Julia’s look of sheer terror when she pulled herself out of the ice bath, followed immediately by the transition to a look of determination. Nothing stopped her. She attempted Electroshock. In fact, she got at least half way through! I saw all of my teammates checking in with each other, helping each other up muddy hills and over 12 foot walls, refusing to leave anyone behind. I saw my husband get shocked and launched into the air, only to land face down in the mud and continue to get zapped! I saw people who didn’t know each other before that day come together to form a really cohesive and supportive team, all in the name of The Wounded Warrior Project.
We got bruised. We got scraped up. We got dirty (understatement). In fact, I’m still trying to get dirt out from under my toenails! However, we have our health. We have the ability to run 11 miles, to jump, to climb, to swim and do so many things that many veterans are not able to do upon returning from combat and serving our country because they sacrifice for us, their bodies and their mental health.