If you’ve ever run a Tough Mudder, you know its credo is recited before each race. My favorite line from that inspirational speech goes a little something like, “I don’t whine. Kids whine.”
It seems like many members of the OCR community hasn't participated in a Tough Mudder yet, or they’ve completely forgotten about the anti-whining ideology. Since the 2017 race season is coming to a close, and Spartan Race put on one of the most intense Beasts in the country at Big Bear, I’ve heard and witnessed a tremendous invasion of complaints on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, forums, etc. about the difficulty of some courses and obstacles as of late.
Now don't get me wrong. The SoCal Beast was a soul crusher. The weather, dust, and elevation gains were enough for many to physically not be able to complete the course. But in all honesty, do you really want to line up for an exciting physical challenge and have it be a walk in the park? It's a race. It's a challenge.
For a zero-to-small fee, we can go for that walk on the street, hike in our local wooded areas, pick up some weights at the gym or fill up a bag with sand and carry it around the house, but we choose to pay a pretty hefty price to put ourselves through an adventure not normally available when you walk your dog. Do you want a simple hike over a flat, paved road? Should heavy carries be exchanged for lighter loads? If you voluntarily register for something as intense as OCR, why not just take the beating and walk away with your medal with pride? If you were forced to take a DNF, can you take whatever lesson you learned, whether it was regarding strength, health, nutrition or overall preparedness, and turn it into a medal at the next race?
Why are some looking to compare the difficulty of races before signing up?
What are you expecting from these challenges?
If you have to ask, “Which course is harder?” or “Can we split penalties?” or “What if we just want to skip that?” what is that saying about your determination?
Look back at any time a new obstacle is introduced. For example Twister. It's innovative, challenging, and gave competitors a completely new way of utilizing grip strength and coordination. I participated in the 2017 Lake Elsinore Super/Sprint when this obstacle debuted and it shut down a lot of participants. But now, it's a staple in Spartan Race and you know you're excited to take it on every time you sign up.
Of course, everyone is fighting their own battle, but when people complain about things being too hard, it questions intentions. There are multiple levels of difficulty within the OCR community, each offering a varying degree of excitement for individuals. Whether you enjoy running through inflatables, rolling through thick mud, wearing crazy costumes, scrambling up mountains or carrying absurd weights for distance, there is an event for you. Don’t complain about the difficulty when you’re at an event, or even worse, finished. You know what you’re getting into, and most of the time, when you reach out of your comfort zone, you won’t find any flat surfaces, safety harnesses, foam pits or hot cocoa.
Appreciate the challenge provided and learn to overcome! This is our sport, team. Let's help it grow in a positive way. Let it better us mentally, physically and spiritually. Don't complain about how you didn't like the difficult elevation gains, or how much your hands hurt because the new obstacle ripped off a callus. Take these as motivation to do better and then DO BETTER!
Believe me – when you finish that tough course, or ring the bell at that obstacle that's been destroying your hands, cross the finish line and receive that medal, you'll look back and think about how crazy you were to doubt yourself.
Don’t forget, Mud Run Guide offers discount codes to events around the country!
I'll see you on the course in 2018!
Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and official policies of Mud Run Guide LLC, or their staff. The comments posted on this Website are solely the opinions of the posters.