The Ultimate Military Obstacle Course
By Claudia Wright
(Before I start- can I just state that there were NO tears! It just sounded good in the title ok.)
Until my personal trainer, James brought it up, I had never heard of Born Survivor. He is always encouraging and pushing me to challenge myself and step outside my comfort zone, so willingly I signed up- WITHOUT checking the obstacle course out first. HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER ONE.
Born Survivor is a 10km obstacle course designed by ex-Royal Marines and includes over 30 EPIC obstacles, similar to those used in actual military training. So yeah, you could say it looked pretty challenging :|
Oh and the mud. But I’ll come to that part later.
With regards to the training, I didn’t actually do anything more than I usually do in the gym (HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER TWO). I generally go about three times a week and do a mixture of spinning, Bodypump, free weights, running and ab circuits. I crammed in two extra 8km runs on the week of the event as a last minute attempt to up my endurance but in hindsight- the only thing that could have made the day slightly easier was if my legs suddenly doubled in length and I had gone for a few extra minutes on the sunbeds beforehand (unflattering photos, if anyone was wondering how this would make a difference to my fitness.)
I was pretty excited to get going if I’m honest – I was in a massive team of people from my gym so I had expectations of a fun day! We arrived and got kitted out with our #bornmuddy tattoos and Born Survivor yellow headbands and started rallying each other up at the start line. After a safety briefing and warm-up with a British Army PTI we were off on our mission! The first couple of obstacles were fine- one included an army-style crawl under barbed wire so I got a little bit dirty but HOLY HELL that was nothing compared to what was coming up…
The picture explains it all – no, you aren’t looking at Stig of the Dump – that is me almost getting swallowed whole by a muddy swamp they call The Somme. I’m not joking- at one point my life was flashing before my eyes and I thought it was the end. I was stuck up to my CHEST in thick mud, and the more I tried to free myself, the further I got stuck. Cut a long story short (well, it was prob about 5 seconds but to me it felt like hours) I had 3 people on each leg trying to pull me out, two random girls pulling my arms and a by from my team pulling my body to try and get me out. Mortifying to say the least, but I lived to tell the tale.
About 7km into the course, I was absolute buzzing to see my parents at the side of the Grenade Killa monkey-bars! Bit embarrassing that they didn’t recognise their own daughter for about 45 seconds (the fact my beautiful blonde hair had turned into one thick brown deadlock might have been the giveaway) but it really gave me the motivation to dig that little bit deeper!!!!…. Just a shame I flopped straight in after the first bar. LOL. My Dad is OBSESSED with taking photos, so he did his best to keep up with me so he could video my journey, my mum lagging behind with the iPad. I had a quick look through her pics in the car after and 99% are of the grass or her shoes, bless her. Probably a good thing as I don’t imagine I’m going to be updating my Facebook profile pic to one of me KO’ed in a bog with mud in my teeth anytime soon, thanks.
Obstacle number 31(!!!!!!) was ‘The Blitz’ – a huge curved wall that you had to run up and grab the top to haul yourself over. It was where the majority of the crowd was, so if you missed and slid back down you may as well have just pretended to be dead to save the embarrassment.
Did I do it first time I hear you ask? OF COURSE I DID! *smug face*
It took just under three hours to complete, but the feeling of standing on that winners podium with the rest of my team made it all so worth it! (And even more worth it when I was tucking in to an absolute FEAST from Domino’s later on that night!) Stepping out of your comfort zone is so rewarding- especially when you are part of such an incredible group of people!
So, the big question- would I do it again? HELL NO. Ok, I’m exaggerating slightly. Even though I am still partially blind, deaf in one ear, covered in bruises and still brushing the dreads out my hair, I probably would! Especially now that I know what I’m letting myself in for (the mud!!!!!!) And luckily for me, the next event is back at Capesthorne Hall on May 13th 2017, so I have plenty of time to recover/forget how tough it was so I can naively sign up again.
Check out more of Claudia’s adventures at www.claudiawright.com