If you are thinking about doing Tough Mudder, or some other obstacle course event, it is time to stop thinking about it and do it!
Firstly, I really want to say thank you again to you for your interest, support and encouragement as I trained for, participated in and eventually completed Tough Mudder – becoming the first blind person in the world to do so. I hope that you all felt a part of this world 1st achievement!
This achievement would never have been possible though without the rest of the Almost Fit team – Dirk Venter, Michael Meredith, Paul McGee and Glen Wellham and the support of my wife and family!
Episode 1 of my Tough Mudder Day was a cliff hanger! Well, maybe not so much a cliff hanger as a moderate hill of anticipation.
Had I really just completed the Electric Eel without a watery buzzy jolt of electricity?
Yes, it seems that I had. Thank goodness for that, although I was still very worried about Electroshock Therapy, which I knew was still to come and which was even worse than I was anticipating! But more about voluntarily walking into a curtain of live electrical wires later …
What I wasn’t really allowed to tell you during the weeks leading up to Tough Mudder Sydney is that the Channel Seven Today Tonight team, lead by Bryan Seymour, were interested in my Tough Mudder mission.
The crew were definitely planning on filming the Tough Mudder day itself, but also spent time in the lead up grabbing footage of me training, running and of course interacting with my beautiful family.
All up I’d say they would have ended up with around 10 hours of footage, including a bunch from a GoPro camera strapped to Dirk Venter’s chest. Well, at least it was attached most of the time!
I take my hat off to Bryan and his team who somehow turned all the footage, including a 10 minute interview with Renee and I, into a compelling four minute TV story . I now have a new insight about, and respect for, this form of journalism and story telling!
If you missed it, you can view it online here
Sorry that I have been silent of late. I am a lawyer by day, and nights too come to think of it, specialising in not-for-profit and charity law. Work has been pretty busy in the Tough Mudder aftermath.
I have though, as promised, written the first instalment of my experience of Tough Mudder.
read on to learn about the morning preparations, getting to the Eastern Creek venue, registering and all that stuff, the buz, excitement, atmosphere and hype, the start, obstacle 1 – Bale Bonds and obstical 2 – the dreaded Electric Eal
After 4 hours and 19 minutes of hay bales, iced water, mud walls, underground trenches, electric shock therapy, monkey bars, a half pipe, rocky trails, 10km of major leg cramps and the ingestion of more mud than a childhood worth of mud pies, we completed Tough Mudder Sydney!
A massive thanks to the Almost Fit team of (in no particular order) Dirk Venter, Michael Meredith, Paul McGee and Glen Wellham for being part of the team that helped me become the first blind person in the world to finish Tough Mudder. And I can also report that we completed every single obstacle!
Thanks to you, too, for your encouragement and support. It really means a lot to me and certainly helped me push on when the going got … well … tough!
I will report more in the coming days.
I will also be putting up some more photos shortly, but in the meantime you can head on over to the Blind Power Facebook page to view a small sample of photos over there.
On 12 October 2013, Darren Fittler, a blind man from Sydney Australia, will be participating in Tough Mudder. If he completes the course, Tough Mudder has confirmed that he will be the first blind person in the world to do so.
read this post for the full article about Darren’s opportunity to be the ffirst blind person in the world to complete Tough Mudder
In my experience, getting fit is about 90% routine and only 10% motivation.
And 90% of motivation is about setting realistic goals with the rest being a mixture of willpower and encouragement from others.
One of my recent goals is to complete Tough Mudder and this has definitely motivated me to train more, to run more and to eat better. Except for that little trip to the wine country perhaps!
If you are thinking about getting fitter, then read more about getting motivated
Well, hello world, as they say!
After months of writing and learning, this little blog of mine is ready to rock. WooHoo!!
Now, while there are still a few little bugs and hiccups, I didn’t want to wait any longer, particularly as Tough Mudder is only four weeks away!
That’s right, in 28 days from now I will have run Tough Mudder. Can you believe it?
Today is Father’s Day, at least in Australia.
I took this as a good excuse; one might even say ‘reason’, to take things a little easy. Particularly after what was a rather tough day in the garden yesterday!
And if I can’t slack off on Father’s Day, when can I?!
I do like getting out in the garden. But not being able to see what I am doing does lead to some interesting adventures and read more about gardening without sight and some more Body Talk
One thing I find really helpful when it comes to keeping up my exercise is doing new things or doing familiar things in a different way. You’re probably the same.
Be it running a different course, doing a completely new weight-based exercise or even just mixing up the timing in a familiar exercise, breaking your routine in this way keeps things fresh.
This is another post that doesn’t have much to do with fitness or Tough Mudder directly. It does however, let you know a little more about the Almost Fit website and gives a small insight into how I go about shopping as a blind person.
Today was the day.
After battling with the Tough Mudder website on and off for a number of weeks, I was finally, with help, able to register.
Hi, and welcome to another post.
I have written a few posts now and thought it was a good time to share a little about why I started training and about why I decided to team up with a personal trainer.
There are four main reasons why I teamed up with Dirk Venter for training, two of which are directly related to me not being able to see. The reasons are:
- to make sure I don’t disrupt anyone else’s training
- to get good hands-on instruction on proper technique
- to motivate me to go to training (after all I have already paid the money)
- to be pushed harder than I am likely to push myself.
I don’t like the idea that I can’t just decide to join a gym and go like most other people. There is, as with many aspects of being blind, a need to put in extra planning and thinking and to take extra steps to achieve what might seem to be the simplest of things. This extra work takes extra effort and needs motivation. Which I try hard to maintain, but not always with success.
Independence is very important to me. There is a perception out there that people who are blind are less capable, less efficient, less intelligent and more needy than others. Blindness is also a very frightening and confronting concept to many. No surprise really seeming that we all live in an extremely vision oriented world.
People find it very difficult to comprehend what life might be like if they were required to interact and participate in the world without sight.
It is possible though … of course!
I work hard to maintain my independence for my own sake and to also read more about independence, my leg workout and some Body Talk
Today I embarked on the First run of my Tough Mudder campaign. Just on a treadmill, but you gotta start somewhere right? And even running on a treadmill can be ‘interesting’ when you can’t see what you are doing!
Without constent visual cues of where I am in relation to the treadmill, I need to use other senses – primarily touch, but hearing also comes into the mix.
I first met Dirk Venter about 5 years ago when I decided it was time to stop my slide into a ‘desk-job-slob’. He’s built like a tank and obviously loves his health and fitness career.
He is a very good personal trainer and wouldn’t dream of putting you through a workout that he hasn’t already done and probably done heavier and faster!
I am sure you know that getting fit is more than just lifting weights. This is why Dirk also integrates diet, nutrition and stretching and release into his thinking, planning and advice. Doesn’t mean I always do as I am told though!
Today starts my Tough Mudder quest.
My mission over the next 12 weeks or so is to build up both my strength and my running endurance. This will involve:
- strength training
- cardio/running training
- some proper eating!