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What a Gang of Tough Mudders!

CALM supporter, Daniel Donaghy, and a group of brave mates took on the might of the  Tough Mudder extreme endurance race to fundraise for us.  Raising over £2,000, it was an extraordinary achievement by all involved.  Here’s how it went down:

Since February 2012, I have been a supporter of CALM. Having been introduced to them by unfortunate circumstances following the suicide of a dear friend, I have since engaged on numerous fundraising campaigns and event to raise awareness and funds for CALM. Being a natural fitness fanatic, I find it hard to keep asking for fundraising for 10k races when considering I do these leisurely!

The answer to this: find the toughest event that the UK has to offer, The Tough Mudder. It certainly lived up to its name!

An email was fired around to my friends and colleagues back in February, with a relatively encouraging response. From that point we had ourselves a team of thirteen aspiring Mudders, ready to embark upon the long and gruelling fitness challenge ahead. Our team consisted of a range of individuals, from body builders and ex-navy personnel to some that sacrificing a weekend / evening for training is simply unheard of! We all went about our training in different ways, some more intensive than others but nothing could have prepared us for the torments that awaited.

The Tough Mudder is renowned for its testing of your mental grit, stamina, strength and resistance to pain. The obstacles ranged from climbing 13ft walls with only a boost up (resulting in numerous people getting knee-butted in the face and falling off high walls), to submersion in ice water, to electrocution to being used as a human ladder. I can safely say that not one of my team emerged without cuts all across their elbows and legs, as well as acute bruising and trauma.

Of the hardest obstacles were without a shadow of a doubt the electrocution and ice baths. Submerging your head and body in water that is approximately 2 / 3 degrees is not fun at the best of times. Shock takes hold of your system, your airways and breathing capacity constricts massively, panic is induced. We have never sprinted so fast on getting out of the bath to dry and dry off. Needless to say, all resemblance of manhood had well and truly dissipated! Fair credit to the women of our team, the ice baths was enough to reduce them to tears but yet they persevered.

The second or perhaps joint first was the electrocutions. It is hard not to notice when you have been hit by a 10,000v electrical tendon. Rather cleverly by the TM crew, the finish line and bar where we were to be greeted by a cold pint was obscured by just short of one hundred electrical tendons. Each with the sole, malicious intent of discharging its payload through your body. It was enough to bring us to our knees, I have never felt anything like that and my participation in a following TM relies on whether I can get over that trauma again! On discharge, your body spasms due to intense muscle contraction, all motor skill is halted for a split second until you regain your senses to try and escape the treacherous obstacle. Never again…?!

Looking back at the camaraderie and team building, the unfathomable heights of some of the walls and the pain endured, we are all thoroughly happy that we completed it and for such a noble cause. The commitment to the running and to the taking on of every obstacle was a truly difficult thing to do, everything it said it would test was tested. I am very proud of my team, particularly Chelsea Smith, Helena Taylor and Alex Herbertson who managed to give the boys a run for their money in determination. A photo is attached of the majority of our team, with the exception of Chelsea Smith and Helena Taylor, and of course Adam Whittaker who was still kindly donating his body to being trampled on by those he did not know!

Next time I am faced with the hot water running out in the shower, a splash from a puddle having been driven over by a car or a slight jolt of static; I shall feel no fear. OOH RAH!

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