Imagine a pit a hundred metres long, of deep, thick and sticky mud with an uneven bottom. This ‘Mud Mile’ Tough Mudder challenge was my favourite, where personal connections are made, slowly traversing the mud pit together. Much laughter, smiles and friendly taunting, all engaged in doing something quite uncomfortable and difficult.
What a challenge of this type does is place groups of people outside their comfort (and often skill) zone. The Mudder is advertised and trumpeted as, ‘Not a race, but a challenge.’ Very clever. Join as a team. No timing chips. Get your Tough Mudder orange headband and a beer or can of Solo at the end. Then watch them come together to push, drag, lift, yell at, carry and generally support each other over, under, through all sorts of dirty, cold, muddy, claustrophobic and electric challenges.
The aim is not to hurt yourself, but to do something to extend your comfort zone. This choice builds a buffer against stresses. You build self-awareness, now knowing you can do more than you thought you could. More possibilities open up in your mind. Trusting in the assistance of strangers and your team invites trust and social cohesion. With the benefits of exercise for brain, body and mind thrown in as well.
If your level of fitness is sound I strongly recommend you consider taking up the challenge. Using our Wise Mind, the Tough Mudder is a resilience building activity par excellence. Especially keep your attention focused on increasing your self-awareness of body and breath, and on the earth beneath your muddy shoes.