When was the last time you set an audacious goal for yourself—when you committed yourself to something you weren’t sure you could actually do?
Last month I participated in the Tough Mudder. It’s a 10 mile course with 20 obstacles that include, among other things, lots of crawling, climbing, and jumping into freezing cold water.
It’s designed by British Special Forces and described as “probably the toughest event on the planet.” You have to climb over an eight-foot wall just to get into the starting area, for God’s sake! And not for nothing, the day of our Tough Mudder was over 90 degrees. So, it is a beast. (Check out the video below for a taste.)
I decided to do the Mudder as a way to motivate myself to get back into great shape. And, honestly, to make me feel better about turning 40 next year.
So, I committed myself to this crazy thing—and to doing something I wasn’t sure I could accomplish. I trained like crazy for five months—running, swimming, suspension training, kettlebells, weight lifting. Many early mornings and many late nights at the Y. It took our team just under three hours to complete the course, but we did it. I finished.
A big part of the Tough Mudder is about confronting fears, whether its jumping off a 20-foot high platform into water below, crawling through dark underground tunnels, or running through electroshocks. And that fear can either paralyze us or it can propel us. That is the fundamental lesson of the Tough Mudder.