Why We Help

Tough Mudder Help

We’ve all seen the “Lindsay video” by now. You know… the one where the tiny powerhouse with the big heart effortlessly hauls all her competitors over Everest and then goes on to win the Tougher Mudder World Championship.

What got me was that many of the commenters, seemingly deeply involved in the OCR community, had no idea that in all Tough Mudder events, we help each other.

That’s what makes us mudders. 

And I’ve heard more and more competitors talking about how they refuse to buy in. It’s a competitive race right?

Or the rule that if you can do an obstacle solo, you don’t have to help anyone else.

It’s an interesting debate. But I know that even if I can solo Blockness now, I couldn’t before. Or that take the ropes off Everest and I’m useless.

And I also don’t think that matters.

Tough Mudder is so much more than a race – or an event. It always has been. For me it’s a philosophy. A commitment to better myself in body and spirit. A decision that I want to be a part of a community. An understanding that working toward a crazy mental and physical challenge only means anything because of the people I’m out there with.

You can still work toward your goal while lifting others around you up… both literally and figuratively. Case and point, Lindsay.

And the coolest part is that as you get better as an athlete, you get better at muddering. The fitter you get, the easier you are to assist, and the more you can lend a hand over tricky obstacles. It gives a deeper purpose to your training.

But what about elites? If all our goals have value, why let the contenders through?

The same reason you stay to the right on an escalator. If you’re moving at a more relaxed pace, and someone is trying to haul ass up the stairs to get to where they’re going, you step aside. Maybe you’ll even hold the door if you see them coming.

There is almost no better feeling than crushing a lofty goal. But it’s fleeting. Being a good person and living to a higher standard of kindness, brotherhood and compassion brings lasting joy.

Sure it’s kinda cheesy, but it’s true.

It’s not what you do or how successful you are out there on course that matters as a Mudder, it’s who you are.

Emerging from seeds

8 years in the making, the Grit Farm takes shape in an above average sized Vancouver residential lot. The modest frontage blossoms as one enters into the yard. The apple and cherry trees, the magnolias, the day lilies and other bright colours greet visitors in mid summer. The tranquil green of the tree coverage is year-round. The bees buzz their welcome buzzes. Behind the tall cedar hedges and the small house built in the “war zone,” is an array of obstacles that hint at the training once performed by the veterans of old. Balance yourself as you cross the small stumps that emerges from the ground. Walk with care as you pass the birds of prey (it’s okay, they are actually cuddly chickens defending their coupe). Climb the walls, jump high and hang on tight as you swing across the monkey bars. If unsure, check with the kids who have mastered the technique. Take care not to crash and tear down the clematis or knock off the pears, plums and figs before they are ripe. Training is all about control, discipline and respect for the environment. Don’t let the smell of roses distract you; they are there to help you stay calm and relaxed. It’s not about conquering nature, work with it. If you can be half as strong, you are doing well. Don’t trample on the lettuce, carrots, arugula and other greens on the ground; we need to save them for consumption to keep us healthy. Stay sure, calm, determined and focused like the water moving down to gravity. When the going gets turbulent, roar like the rapids and forge on.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton