A Bobcat takes the Tough Mudder

Contributing Writer

By Hannah Glasser

photo_courtesy_Hannah-GlasserHannah Glasser

On Sunday I had the pleasure of participating in the Tough Mudder at the Raceway Track in Englishtown, N.J. with members of my uncle’s karate school. The Tough Mudder is a 10-plus mile run that includes an obstacle course, and requires both mental and physical training in order to get through it.

My uncle is a fifth-degree black belt and owns a chain as part of the franchise Tiger Schulmann’s. The members of the karate school and I have been training for the Tough Mudder since May, and competed as members of Team Englewood.

Training for the Tough Mudder had to start even before we had registered or got to the venue. My uncle and aunt had to figure out exactly how we would go about training for the run as well as the 20-plus obstacles.

We began our training by just doing circuit training. The circuit training included push-ups, dips, pull-ups, army-crawling and bag-jumps which included getting over a free-standing bag on the ground. On Saturday mornings, the members of the karate school and I would start off running out of the school and then do sprints up and down a hill three times. We also focused on making sure that we were able to get through all of the running.

The morning of the race finally came and we all made sure that we had the right clothing to ensure that we were completely covered. This included gloves to make sure that we didn’t get splinters from the wooden monkey bars.

The race started and we were ready to make an attempt at every obstacle. The obstacles ranged from easy to grueling and painful. One of my favorite obstacles was called “Walk the Plank.” The challenge was to climb up wooden stairs and then jump off a plank 15-feet into a pool of water. The panic had set in and I was struggling to convince myself to jump off the plank.

I realized the only way to get down was to jump because I couldn’t just turn around and walk back down the wooden steps, so I did it. I jumped 15-feet into cold water. The feeling that I had was overwhelming. I was still panicking over the fact that I had just jumped 15-feet, but I was also so excited that I had overcome my fear.

The last three miles of the race were grueling. Our bodies were soaking wet and we had been covered in mud for four hours. One of the worst obstacles that we had to do was the mud-mile, which felt like it took forever to get through. The challenge of mud mile, which probably had 10 to 12 mud piles, was that you needed to climb up the hill into mud filled water. One of the members of my uncle’s karate school went face first into the watery mud, and was covered in mud from head to toe. Her only discernible features remaining were the whites of her eyes.
It was an exhausting day, and the training took months, but the end result was that Tough Mudder taught us team building, and I will never forget that Team Englewood finished the Tough Mudder together.