I had heard of Tough Mudder before, but I can’t say it is something I would have given much thought to in the past. To be perfectly honest, in the past, I was far too consumed by paranoia and self-pity to even consider the idea that Tough Mudder was something I could complete or that it was something that I would actually enjoy doing! When I was still actively using drugs and had not yet found recovery, there was absolutely no chance that it was something I would have done.
Tough Mudder is a brilliant team building event. It is exhilarating and fun. It tests your physical and mental abilities. It is about twelve miles long with about twenty obstacles along the way. Some of the obstacles included electrocution, others jumping into ice cold water and then there were the ones where you had to climb and have the strength to get over them – as well as helping others to get around the course!
I was actually pretty excited when I was asked if I wanted to take part with eleven others from Calderdale in Recovery. Through taking part in few activities since coming into recovery I am (slowly but surely!) learning to overcome any anxieties that I may have around them and just get involved! I am yet to regret it and usually end up really enjoying myself!
The whole day was funny from the minute we got on the mini bus. Jo doing her usual live feeds and Chris putting his heart in soul into singing along to a Vanessa May song!
There are quite a few moments that stood out. It was nice that I was able to help some of the others get around some of the obstacles and it was lovely how grateful they were for my help. There were also moments when I needed help myself – and I was surrounded by fantastic people to support me, all of whom just wanted to make sure that we all made it round. I felt part of a great team; it was a real bonding experience.
At one point, we reached a section called ‘mud mile’ – where you had to clamber over big mounds of mud and through water. They were blasting out ‘Gangham Style’ through the speakers. I turned around to see Jo and Sam dancing away (whilst all the other people around us were looking pretty serious and drained at this point). Next Kev started dancing and I couldn’t help but join in. Every time we got to the top of one the mounds we stopped and danced. I think everyone else thought we were mad – but it was a right laugh. Looking back at the video of this makes me smile and it’ll definitely be a happy memory that stays with me!
I also had loads of fun play fighting in the mud with Jay and Sy. They might take any opportunity to take the mickey – which is usually funny – but I knew that if I needed support at any point doing the obstacles they would be there to help me if they could.
At the end of the day and even still now looking back on it I feel quite proud of myself. I was absolutely shattered at the end of it – but in a good way, like I had achieved something!
If anyone was thinking about getting involved with any of the Calderdale in Recovery activities but were unsure I would encourage them to do it;
Don’t hesitate – life is for living innit!