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Weekend Warriors and Tough Mudders

tough mudder

By: Sarah Herndon

I love a good bucket list! Mine includes some things you might have on yours – travel, skydiving, run a marathon, eat a chocolate covered cricket, WAIT, WHAT?! Summertime is a great time to check off some of your bucket list items. It’s why ‘Complete a TOUGH MUDDER’ was on my list and I crossed it off this summer.

If you’ve never seen a Tough Mudder, picture this: thousands of people running and rolling through gallons of mud, helping each other climb over slippery walls, crawling under barbed wire through muddy water… It sounds messy and it is! C’mon, some of the obstacle names are called ‘Kiss of Mud’, ‘Blockness Monster’ and ‘Everest 2.0.’  I didn’t even do 1.0! But this Tough Mudder was honestly one of the most fun competitions I’ve ever been a part of.

A Tough Mudder ranges from a 5 to 14-mile course with several obstacles along the way. There’s a visible military component to the race as proceeds of these competitions support the Wounded Warrior Project. Many of the obstacles mimic military boot camp drills and organizers pride themselves on emphasizing teamwork.  You’re not racing against a clock or even another person because guaranteed, you’ll need them to help pull you out of a mud pit or give you a boost over a wall.

I ran this one with 3 other people including my husband and younger brother. My vote for the best obstacle was definitely ‘Blockness Monster’. The premise is a pool separated halfway by a long rubber block. The only way to get to the other side of the pool is by going over the block. Working together, some people tread water and rotate the block while others latch on so they can be rolled to the other side of the pool. While my husband and brother preferred different obstacles, we all agreed, this was an amazing experience that took us all out of our comfort zones. We also ran it in honor of my older brother, Andrew, a Navy Lieutenant deployed overseas.

While a Tough Mudder might not be your cup of tea, take advantage of these last few weeks of summer to challenge yourself in some way. I assure you it will give you a sense of accomplishment and at the very least, some unforgettable memories. A muddy exfoliation bath is just an added bonus.

If you are a so-called ‘weekend warrior’ or even if you do physical activity regularly, there are some simple tips to keep in mind to help you prevent injury.

  1. REST: It’s important to give your body a break and a chance to heal itself. Especially for people age 30 and older, it’s important to take a break every other day from activities like running. This allows your joints and muscles to fully recover. You will be able to feel muscle soreness the day after a workout. So make sure you have rest days in your routine. Drink lots of water and eat right so you will have more energy for your next workout or run.
  2.  MIX IT UP, CROSS-TRAIN: Participate in more than one sport or activity. Studies show that people who cross-train tend to have fewer injuries than people who focus on only one activity. So if you are a runner, you’ll benefit from strength training and core work. This will keep your whole body strong and active not just specific muscle groups.
  3. MIND YOUR FORM: Learn proper form from a physical therapist or an athletic trainer. Injuries can happen when you use the incorrect form. Tennis players sometimes develop tennis elbow when they hit the ball incorrectly. When you are at the gym, don’t attempt exercises that you do not know without finding out the correct form. You won’t be able to hit the gym if you are injured so make sure you are using correct form so you can maintain an exercise routine.

If you are dealing with any kind of pain or injury, don’t try to push through it. Call LSTC at 703-450-4300 so we can get you in here for a full evaluation with a physical therapist who can figure out how to get you back to PAIN FREE living!