Should I Skip an Obstacle?

By EROCK | October 8, 2019

 

Tough Mudder obstacles are the biggest and baddest in the business. For nearly 10 years, our Obstacle Design Team has continued to raise the bar and test your will and your courage. So, if you ever feel the natural urge to hesitate before attempting an obstacle, believe me, you are not alone. 

Every weekend and at every wave of Tough Mudder obstacle course events, I make it very clear that there are no penalties for skipping an obstacle. Tough Mudder is designed for you to reach deep into yourself, but absolutely never to a point where you are meant to feel ashamed or punished for not doing something. Tough Mudder is about growth. I have seen it. From the beginning of the run to the finish and from event to eventteamwork, camaraderie, and courage grows.

 

DESIGNED TO CHALLENGE

The obstacles on the Tough Mudder course are all designed to challenge you in different ways: Confined spaces (hello, Cage Crawl), heights (talking about you, Mudderhorn), physical capacity (Funky Monkey at the ready), and, of course, teamwork skills (meet me at Block Ness Monster!). I like to say that there is something for everyone.

Personally, it's Arctic Enema that makes me pause. No matter how many times I've been through this obstacle, there is always a part of me that says “Skip this." It's not so much the dunking of my head under water, but the cold! It's only with the help of my teammates that I put my head down and go for it. I've done over 50+ Tough Mudder courses and every time this one obstacle scares the sh*t out of me. And every time I get through it, I feel so accomplished. I faced a fear and made it. Man, it feels good just thinking about it now as I write this!

That, though, is the perfect reason to talk about why you maybe shouldn’t skip obstacles. Personal accomplishment is a major reason why our Obstacle Design Team does what they do to challenge us on course. The feeling of overcoming a fear, especially when there is teamwork involved, has long lasting effects on your life.

 

POWER OF TEAMWORK

Our Tough Mudder Tribe now numbers over 4 million participants worldwide, and we don't exist because of how muddy the course got us. It's about the personal transformations that happen out there. When we are scared, intimidated, and overwhelmed and yet still make it through obstacles?  It flips a switch in your mind; all the other challenges you may face in your daily life suddenly take on a much lower stress level.

All you need is a little help from your friends. The community here at Tough Mudder is the most supportive group of people I have ever met in my life. I regularly see runners literally sacrificing their bodies on course to ensure that perfect strangers are able to achieve their goals. The sight brings such joy to my heart and highlights one other major point about Tough Mudder obstacles.

 

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

The obstacles may be tough, but they are not impossible. More often than not, the reason why people don't skip obstacles is because they believe they can do it. I will tell you right now, if you want anything on course bad enough, there is no way you will not accomplish it! This fact should light a fire in you to come out, challenge yourself, and grow as a person and as a Tough Mudder.

Be open to new challenges and never feel like you "have" to do anything you are not 100 percent sure about. I'll see you on course, and as always, I'll be the first to lend you my hand, knee, or simply motivation to help you achieve all that you are capable of!

Eric “EROCK” Botsford is the Creative Director of Tough Mudder Bootcamp. As Director of Training, Eric has leveraged his extensive experience as an athlete, athletic trainer, and gym owner to design a completely unique training program that is proven to deliver real world results. The philosophy on training is rooted squarely in the interval training methodology, with a focus on reaping cardiovascular benefits without losing power, speed and strength. This emphasis led to the creation of the complementary fitness pillars: Endurance, Strength, Agility, and Power.