My name is Ali Yeo. I am doing the Tough Mudder this May bank holiday weekend. It is completely outside my comfort zone. I like 5km fun runs, some dips in the park, a swim. This is big. Half marathon in hilly Henley with 20 obstacles thrown in including electrocution, mud, freezing ice baths, walls to scale. You cannot do this alone. It takes a team.
So how do you train? The most important part of training is making sure you pace yourself. Depending on your age and fitness level, you might need a physio MOT. They can pick up little things that are stressing your joints and muscles which will niggle and over time create bigger niggles and possibly more serious injury. Ignore them at your peril. I have an old ACL knee ligament injury and need to wear really good supportive trainers. I do extra single leg squats and sumos to help me strengthen that knee. I am building up my cardiovascular system so I have the stamina to get all the way around the course. I get my colleagues to watch me whilst I do lat pull downs and chin ups so my technique does not damage my puny shoulders. Which by the way is how I get over 20 foot walls! (with some help from my friends too)
But why am I putting myself through what some regard as torture?
Last year my friend, Katie Harvey, lost her battle with cancer. She left two beautiful daughters and a wonderful husband behind. She endured years of chemotherapy, trials and treatments in the hopes of buying enough time for some clever scientist to invent the cure for her cancer. She never complained. She always smiled. Katie was a brilliant fundraiser as well as the youngest ever hole in one aged 13 (Guinness world record holder I believe)!
Before and throughout her illness she campaigned for Ickle Pickles, a charity that supported her family when she delivered her firstborn prematurely. Ickle Pickles is a charity that raises funds for Neonatal units that do not have enough equipment to help premature babies to survive by providing equipment for them. On her deathbed, she made her husband Ben promise to raise funds (quite a lot of funds £250,000 to be exact) for the two charities that had helped their and many other families – Ickle Pickles and Trinity Hospice in Clapham.
So I wondered how to help Ben. And then it came to me. Katie was one Tough Mother. And there it was. A plan hatching. The Tough Mudder. We have a team now, a group of very mixed ability friends. The training begins in earnest this week. I let you know how I get on! As one friend said, how hard can it be, we haven’t got cancer….
I’ll let you know how we get on training. In the meantime – please support our team by clicking here.