Last year, I did something way out of my comfort zone. Against my better judgment, I signed up for an endurance event called Tough Mudder. Designed by British Special Forces to test mental as well as physical strength, participants attempt 10-12 mile long military-style obstacle courses. The event I competed in was in Lake Tahoe at about 7,000 feet altitude which made the adventure that much more exciting.
Having just come off the holidays with a couple of extra pounds, I reluctantly agreed to join in the fun. The event was to occur in 7 months and had that amount of time to get into the best physical and mental shape of my life. I found myself researching online about the event and what training regimes would work best. I was amazed at how much information was out there not to mention the conflicting information about what to expect and how to prepare. It seemed like there were differing opinions on everything, even the type of clothes to wear. I became overwhelmed by the information and the next thing I knew a full month had gone by without starting any training whatsoever.
There were so many things to consider, and I didn’t know where to start. There are a couple of obstacles that involve live electrical wires that zap you and dumpsters filled with ice water where you fully emerge until you reach the other end. How do you prepare for that? This was all so foreign to me, and I felt like I needed to get a better handle on everything before I started training. Yet again, my brain told me, you’d better do a little more research on this. Then life happens and another full month had gone by without really doing a THING.
My good friend who convinced me to sign up asked me what I was doing to prepare for the event. I told him that I’ve been researching about the event and trying to figure out how to start training. It was then that I felt as though he was reaching through the phone to ring my neck. He said “don’t just stand there, do something!” It was just then that I realized I was getting in my own way. Competing in the event didn’t mean I needed to become an expert in the event. My knowledge about the event or different training methods would do me absolutely no good unless I actually did something. I needed to take action and that day put on the running shoes and hit the pavement.
A few months later, I competed in the event and am glad to say, successfully finished without any major injuries. It was a great experience and my success wasn’t due to my extensive research into the subject matter. Letting go of my irrational need to know everything there is to know, before taking action was the key.