Both of my kids want to do this on literally every trip through the garage.

I get it…Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) isn’t the cheapest hobby.  There is so much stuff you want/need if you want to perform at your best.  Over the course of the last couple of years I’ve amassed quite a collection of OCR related stuff to help maximize my performance on race day.  Much to my surprise some of the stuff I bought for myself is now a big hit with my family.  So to help you out this holiday season, here are OCR things you can buy “for the family”, that are actually gifts for yourself.

1. Atomik Balance Boards: The first OCR training tool that really got my daughter’s attention was the balance boards (read the review by World’s Toughest Mudder Team Champion Wesley “DrRedTights” Kerr here).  We would set them up in a row and practice walking across like lily pads.  As she got older, we set them up in a square and each would stand on one trying to switch spots.  While they offer a kid’s version, I have the adult versions and she loves it.  The hard is a little too challenging for her at age 5, but that’s part of the fun…falling off.   It’s great training for her ballet, gymnastics and helps me with OCR.  Seriously, look at how much fun she is having (video link).

Two pictures taken 24 hours apart. Toughest Mudder UK and Giant's Causeway in Ireland.

2. Race-cation: Here is an annual conversation in my house:

                   Me: “We are going on vacation to England!” (or insert other state/country)

                   My Wife:  “What race is going on?”

Yes, my wife has now caught on, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t enjoy going to Ireland.  You don’t have to go big and go international, after all there are plenty of cool things to see in the USA.  Normally, this is an easy win but with COVID, things have become more complicated.  Instead of flying internationally perhaps just a road trip.  While many races were canceled in 2020, brands like Savage Race, Conquer The Gauntlet and KC Timber Challenge all held three or more races even after March of 2020.  I would bet on them holding more races in 2021 without major cancellations (don’t forget to check out the Mud Run Guide discount page).

Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Randi Lackey's kid's playground (right side of picture) was transformed until an OCR training area for adults (and kids too).

3. Playground/Rig Structure/Rig Grips: Rigs…fun for all ages…or so I keep telling my wife.  A playground in the backyard is great for kids.  However, they will grow out of it eventually.  This is where some planning comes into play.  Buy one large enough to accommodate adding onto the structure to build your own obstacles/rig.  If you don’t have a backyard, you might be able to pass off rig holds on the ceiling as a present for everyone.  You’ll just need to get straps long enough and adjustable so the kids can reach the holds when they want to swing.  I also recommend some easier holds like the ring or the horizontal pipe bomb instead of the UFO.  I highly recommend the horizontal pipe bomb…I mean the model for that product just really sells it 😉

Kids walking on the treadmill (yes, I'm standing directly behind them so they don't fall off).

4. Treadmill: This is a little expensive and a bit of a harder sell.  A treadmill is a gift for the whole family providing at home workout equipment for everyone from a high schooler to a grandparent.  I have a 5-year-old and a 1.5-year-old, who love this too.  Every time we walk into the garage, my 1.5-year-old asks to go on the treadmill.  Yes, he loses interest after a minute of walking, but he wants to go on it at every day.  In fact, he will literally cry if I go into the garage without him.

Easily my most popular OCR related tool, the Compex Fixx.

5. Compex Fixx Massage Gun: I saved the most popular for last.  I picked up a Compex Fixx 1.0 massage gun earlier this year (read the review here).  Much to my surprise my family uses it as much or more than I do.  Whenever I try massaging sore muscles, my kids and wife line up and lay on the floor for back massages.  Honestly, I’m considering getting a second one so they will leave me alone when I’m trying to recover

Even the little guy like the Compex Fixx (of note, its barely touching him).  My daughter can be seen waiting for her turn.

6. dryrobe: Here is something my family loves.  Watching me run multi-laps OCR in the cold and/or rain….yeah, not so much.  That's why we have dryrobes.  The dryrobe will keep you warm before you run and then you can pass it off to your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/kid/parent once you start running.  It is a win for everyone!

Not going to need the dryrobe for the next 24 hours, so it goes to my pit crew to keep them warm.

This is just what I came up with.  Ask around and you’ll find some other great products “for your family”.  While it is hard to claim a new pair of Squirrel’s Nut Butter, VJ Shoes or MudGear socks are for the whole family, things like BleggMits could pass as a gift for the family as your kids play in the snow, go for walks in cold weather or have to scrape off ice from their windshield.  If your kids play sports, options like MudGear SeatShield or MudGear Shower Toga could pass as functional gifts.  Sure, they may not be excited by your spouse may be happier with a clean car.

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