In October, I set the ambitious goal to overhaul my lifestyle and start making healthy choices. I decided to go big and signed up for the Toronto Tough Mudder in May 2013. I wanted to have a goal that would keep me motivated throughout the year. I was inspired when I went last year to support my friends who ran the course. They too, had made the decision to make their health a priority and their results were inspiring. I was able to see exactly how their motivation paid off and allowed them to accomplish their goals.
The event is a 10-12 mile obstacle course designed by the British Special Forces to tests your speed, stamina and strength. What I liked most about this event, is the emphasis on completing the course and supporting those around you, even if they aren’t on your team. Unlike a standard 5k run or marathon, improving your time and performance is not the overall goal. The goal is to test your abilities, get healthy, have fun, meet new people and enjoy the experience. There is even a BBQ with live music, for participants and spectators at the finish line.
In order to meet the demanding physical requirements for the event, I knew I was going to need support. This is where working with my teammates came in handy. We ran together regularly to help build stamina and took advantage of the outdoors to help with strength training. For example, it was easy to use the monkey bars in the local playground to practice pull-ups and chin-ups. Running up and down an outdoor staircase helped work our gluts and hamstrings. We also incorporated push-ups, squats and crunches helping us create a full body workout. They only items we needed to bring with us were a timer and plenty of water.
Having a goal and a support system has been essential to my success. Not only do I feel better, but I have lost weight and made new friends. The Tough Mudder is now only two months away and I can’t wait to cross that finish line.