The Arrival…..

Writing

From the Coronavirus to Storm Ciara, it feels like judgement day has well and truly arrived. I helped an old lady cross the road last week, so for that alone I’m sure Jesus will bless me with the golden ticket straight up the squeaky escalator to Heaven and by doing so ensure that the fiery gates of Hell are for sure in my far far distant past.

For everyday of this week my Google newsfeed had bombarded me with biased negative reportings. None moreso than this contagious virus which is sending the whole world into a pandemic panic.

With images like this flooding the feed you can’t help but feel a hot flush of sheer terror radiate through your body:

Capture

Courtesy of Mirror.co.uk

Look at this! The only one without a suit transporting Brits to a quarantine centre in the UK is the driver! Why?

 Because I quote – wearing the suits would ‘pose a greater risk than the risk of contracting the virus itself’ says the Government officials. So in other words – if you put that hazmat suit on you’ll not be able to hold that steering wheel correctly due to the suits restrictive nature and may drive us all off a cliff as a result. So instead of taking us all out, just catch the virus like the rest of us and there may be a  chance that some of us may pull through. It’s all a game of probability really, isn’t it?

So, the coach isn’t looking like the cosiest set up if I’m thinking of heading to the coast anyday this week, and neither is a plane as it seems that Storm Ciara makes landing back from your business trip look like the fastest way to a heart attack. Take a watch of this:

Courtesy of Rehaan Omar

I guess if London really does become like ‘28 weeks later’, or ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ then I’m getting my ass on a kayak and paddling my noodle body to Easter Island. 

I think I’ll be browsing some positive news from now on, maybe ignorance is bliss! Perhaps this – Good News Network

The Gym – Satan’s Second Home

Writing

Not much of the athletic type, the only way you’ll get me running is in the opposite direction from you if you start going into a long-winded spiel about the weather or how you’re deeply madly in love with your cousin twice removed for that matter.

With that being said, I think my wispy body has been in desperate need of a bit of toning up, my mind continuously screaming out for a hit of dopamine, the kind only garnered after you’ve expelled every drop of blood, sweat and tears out of every orifice in thine very body. In other words – exercised.

With the intrinsic pep talk echoing in my ear one evening after I found myself binging my way into a diabetic coma, I decided to finally muster up the courage to face the embarrassment and shame of my noodle arms shaking under the tremendous pressure of a 5 lb dumbbell, (heaven forbid I tried deadlifts). I remember that first night as if it was yesterday (really it was a week ago but who’s counting), entering the gym felt more like entering an amphitheatre full of lions. Men built like bison, muscles bulging through their over-washed teeny weeny v-neck vest tops. I couldn’t place a bet on which would be first to rip, their crop tops or the vein in their thick thick necks from the gargantuan amount of strain which could have only surmounted in weight to easily 102.5 of my very self. A double take at that weight-lifting carry on was enough to have me retreat as any gym newbie does, by scuttling to the corner of the gym and onto a treadmill. From which I’m reaching for the oxygen tank like a chain smoker on death’s door, after all of 10 mins on the thing. I’ve gotten better though in my 5 days of attendance so far. I no longer use the treadmill, I attend the classes, which is the best solution if you’re like me and don’t have a clue how to use any of the gym equipment and don’t feel like losing a limb in the process of trying to use a weight machine only to find out it has a second calling as a modern day guillotine. If you don’t believe me watch the move – Final Destination 3, I’ll say no more on that front.

So far I’ve done yoga, and a spin class, which tallying it up now sounds pretty lame, but considering the most exercise I ever did prior to a week ago was holding the door open for a tailgater in my apartment block, then I’m doing quite well, don’t you think?

Next up is barre and Afrobeats, the dancer truly truly lost within me will be be buzzing for these. I better bring my sweatbands. Wish me luck………….

I’m Done….

Writing

If sweating out of every orifice in your entire being is your cup of tea then you should’ve joined me in my gallivanting across the city of London with what could’ve only been described as the weight of a life-sized 10 year old on my back in the form of a gym bag and a suitcase-come bodybag with actual human weight included! Yes stunting my growth wasn’t just a choice I made in the 30 degree heat over the weekend, it was an experience which almost had me in a vegetative state by midday. Having your skeleton permanently positioned into the shape of the letter ‘C’ I’m sure has its advantages but why did this past weekend have to be my moment of awakening to this?

 

If I can momentarily pause from speaking in cryptic code (I’ve been watching alot of Sherlock Holmes these passed to days, thanks to my bed-ridden state), and indulge you in as to why I have found myself in such a mess. The reason behind my misfortune was thanks to ‘moving homes’. I move more than nomads. 4 times in 2 years, is that alot? I get bored easily.

 

If you’ve been following any of my perils this past month you will have found yourself on my bandwagon with a one stop tour of poppycock, peasantry and pettiness just as August comes to  close. From living on £30 over two weeks here in the UK’s capital, to despising the whole world and its dog on public transport, you can really tell that I want you to come to this city and have as fulfilling a time as I.

 

So just before I roll out of bed to crawl to the pissy pot in the corner of my darkened cluttered room I thought I’d keep you updated on my ‘goings ons’. 

 

Hope your life isn’t as shite as mine. 

 

 

Keeping Fit (Minus The Gym)

Writing

Not one for the gym, I like to think of alternative methods of keeping myself ‘fit’ (using the term loosely). Below are some ideas if you are like myself and find yourself in the deep dark hinterland of monotony when forcing yourself to run on the local gym’s treadmill, or if you’re just after something different then have a look at the below:

 

  1. Squash

 

If you ever want to get back at that ‘friend’ who never paid you back for the drink you bought them then take them to a tiny squash court. Here you can smack the ball for all your worth, hitting them where the sun don’t shine, all while playing it off as an accident.

red woman girl white

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

 

2.  Dance

You knew I had to put this one in, in my opinion there’s no better way to work up a sweat than by throwing some serious shapes. Whether you book a dance class or a night at the silent disco, either way you’re guaranteed a workout that you don’t even notice that you’re doing!

 

woman standing near group of people

Photo by Matan Segev on Pexels.com

 

  1. Martial Arts

Having experienced the combative world of Taekwondo, I can honestly say that during this time I was the fittest I’ve ever been. Even if you’re not into fighting, the pure technique and skill of the movements in martial arts overall is a bonus you earn ontop of simply keeping fit. From Judo to karate, Muay Thai to Jiu Jitsu .there are so many choices.

 

action adult athletes battle

Photo by Coco Championship on Pexels.com

 

  1. Lacrosse

If you don’t fancy a hunchback from hockey then try this other fun stick wielding game, fast paced and agile makes it enjoyable, plus it’s a team sport so you’ve got socialising as a major plus as well.

 

lacross player battling on the field

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

  1. Zorbing

Yes, it is infact a sport believe it or not, who wouldn’t want to be trapped inside a giant inflatable ball being hurled down a grassy knoll at 100 miles an hour?

ball ball shaped blur bubble

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

We aren’t all made for gyms, and that’s ok, there’s a form of fitness out there for everyone!

Want To Live Longer – Get Yourself Outdoors

Writing

I think I’ve cracked it, Italian folk aren’t the longest living people because of their diet, they spend longest on the planet compared to any other nationality because of their beautiful weather! Who wouldn’t want to stick around and bask in the glorious sunshine?

Whether it’s key to a long life or not, one thing’s for sure, sunlight must be a contributing factor to people’s overall mood and so quality of life, and this must indeed lead back to  life longevity, no?

I ponder over this point as I dip one toe into the pneumonia-inducing waters of the English Channel, while the other remains firmly on the shingled beach of Brighton this bank holiday.  Temperatures soar into the twenties (degrees celsius) as sweltered sweaty bodies lie down soaking up the sunrays like cold-blooded reptiles.

The sun boosts everyone’s mood, there’s just something so comforting about the (picking off your sunburnt peely skin the day after) smell of suncream and the sounds of waves crashing against the seashore. Sunlight is my version of rose-tinted glasses.

 
The Benefits Of A Sunny Day

Vitamin D – Your skin produces vitamin D whenever you are exposed to UVB sunlight rays. Vitamin D helps maintain the health of the bones and teeth, playing an essential role in regulating the amount of phosphate and calcium in  the body in addition to numerous other health regulatory roles.

T-Cells – The T-cell is a type of white blood cell which is essential to human immunity. Recent research into the body’s reaction to sunlight has quite literally shed new light on its effect on the body’s immune system in particular. Some studies conducted have highlighted the effect of low levels of blue light (present in the sun rays) exposure on T-Cells. The blue light is believed to trigger the release of hydrogen peroxide by the T- cells, a reaction produced in response to an infection normally. This release of hydrogen peroxide thus leads to the increased mobilisation of the cells throughout the body. Thus an increase in mobilisation would mean the cells could get to sites of infection more quickly.

Mood Booster – The winter blues are no doubt a real thing. And so is SAD – ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’, which links seasonal changes with patterns of depression. With a lack of sunlight resulting in lower serotonin levels, a rise in sunlight thereby boosts serotonin in the body, serotonin is the chemical neurotransmitter that boosts our mood. Sunlight triggers special areas of your eye – the retina to produce serotonin.

Lowers Pollution Levels – Your descendents will thank you as they aren’t left permanently attached to an oxygen tank.Reducing the need to burn fossil fuels should surely be something that brings a smile to our faces? That is, ofcourse, if you feel the planet is worth saving. If you don’t then wake up now! Sunshine is unlimited, fossil fuels are not. Although solar power is not completely waste free, it’s still doing a better job than the waste produced from oil and coal burning.

What more reasons could you need for the sun to put a smile on your face? Get outdoors now! Your T-cells will thank you!

Stress: The Real SERIAL Killer

Writing

According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.

 

The link between mind and body is far deeper than we may have realised. You only have to listen to Ted’s Radio Hour episode entitled ‘Hardwired’ to come to the stark realisation that stress and how we respond to it plays profounding roles on the biology of our bodies, right down to the cellular level. From changing the number of white blood cells  (immunity) in the bloodstream to affecting important DNA systems, the onset of stress can be deemed beneficial in short bouts but staggeringly damaging if prolonged.

 

“People are disturbed not by a thing, but by their perception of a thing.” — Epictetus

 

I write about stress today as I recline on my couch with a cup of tea in my hand, I’m overcome with the sensation of a pain in my lower stomach I soon come to realise is the release of tension I’d been carrying around all day. My shoulders lower, my jaw relaxes. My body deals with stress by tensing up, perhaps yours does too. I doubt anyone enjoys these sensations despite people saying they flirt with fear for the ’kick’. Perhaps they do momentarily but I doubt they want that affair to become full-blown mariage! As my body begins to relax, my mind starts to wonder – why am I so stressed, what effect is this having on me?

 

The Cause

Stress can enter the arena of our lives from a range of areas. From both internal and external sources, be it our own thoughts, the relationships we have with others, and our work environment to name but a few.

With stress mounting from various locations, it begs the question, who’s duty is it to alleviate the stress? Society? Your loved ones? Yourself?

Not pointing fingers but to not tip toe around the point of how stress-inducing the workplace can be. With the study conducted by Mind, the mental health charity, showing that 1 in 3 of us find worklife either quite or very stressful, that workplace stress has lead to an increase in suicidal thoughts. We therefore can’t shy away from the problems with worklife structure.

As much as stress comes down to our own perception of it, our internal coping mechanism, I so too believe that certain (external) facilitators in reducing the levels of stress experienced in our environment should be implemented. Specifically in that of the workplace. Do you think the same?

Another reason I wanted to write this post was to share with you the benefits I felt when my workplace did just that. I work for a TV broadcasting company and to my surprise they arranged for a handful of fortunate individuals to gain a  dose of ‘puppy cuddling’ (paws for life). Chosen by signing up on a first come first serve basis I was so pleased when informed that I’d gotten a place. Losing 30 mins of my time from work meant the company and I both actually benefited. I went back to my desk with a buzz and was alot more productive for the remainder of the day.

 

As you can see below:

 

 

What does your workplace do to reduce stress levels in your life?

And the even bigger question – what do you do personally to reduce the stress in your life?

 

The Struggle Of Trying To Eat Healthily

Writing

I would rather bite  my own tongue OFF than put another rice cracker with low fat margarine IN my mouth. You read that correctly, self-maiming seems like a healthier option as oppose to a life full of flavourless feeding habits.  I’m in no way against people being as healthy as they can be, I’m just somewhat reluctant to believe that I can summon myself to a life of carrot sticks and hummus.

Maybe I’m just not imaginative enough with my food choices, perhaps there are a million and one ways to make avocado and toast the reason you get up in the morning, but to me a fry up will forever be the way to my heart (quite literally)! I wouldn’t say I’m overly unhealthy, I indulge in the odd weekend takeaway, I have a biscuit with my cuppa, so where’s the harm in that?

Perhaps my downfall isn’t that I’m eating badly, it’s that I’m not eating enough of the good stuff. I wrote a post yesterday about how I feel tired alot and a big role to play in this is  mental well being, I also want to touch on a physical contributing factor to utter exhaustion – the nutritional value of our foods, or shall I say the lack of. It’s one thing eating enough but we also need to make sure we are getting enough nutrients.  That’s right a plate full of fried chicken, mash potatoes and gravy may actually lead us down a path of osteoporosis before we’re 30 if we’re not careful! So with that being said, where the f*ck can I get these damn nutrients from?!

5 of the most nutritious foods according to science at present (in no rank order, ain’t nobody got time for that):

  1. Salmon

All man may be created equally, but sadly the same cannot be said for all fish. When it comes to healthy oils salmon’s your knight in shining scales. With a dense packing of omega-3 fatty acids, you’ll be solving those crossword puzzles in seconds thanks to the beneficial effects these fatty acids have on brain functionality. Plus others here

  1. Garlic

I don’t care how pungent people find this clove, I f*cking love this stuff. So much so that I eat it raw each morning so that I get more personal space on public transport when commuting to work each morning. (joke). Truth be told, it packs a stench and alot of other mighty benefits also: studies have suggested that the smelly spice helps lower the risk heart disease and some cancers due to its sulphurous compounds. Coined the term ‘Russian Penicillin’, it’s antibacterial properties also help fend off skin conditions too. I’m a fan through and through.

  1. Potatoes

I’m not talking about chips, or mash made with 4 sticks of butter. I’m talking about the humble old potato with the SKINS ON (fibre for digestion and controlling blood glucose levels)! Packed with enough vitamin C to send off scurvy in a heartbeat, you can bet your bottom dollar that making a spud a staple on your plate and in your heart will serve you a world of good in the long run. They contain almost every nutrient you need, from magnesium and potassium to manganese and copper. These tuber treats are basically tasty periodic tables if you ask me.

  1. Seaweed

It’s about time a green veg made an appearance on my list but I’m not going for the predictable Kale or broccoli, which ofocurse are highly nutritious. Instead the weed of the sea gets a healthy high five from me. One of its notable beneficial compounds is its high levels of iodine. You may ask why is iodine important for the body?  Iodine is important for the body in making thyroid hormones. Our thyroid gland plays a major role in regulating many body functions through hormone release including metabolism, digestion and brain development. Specifically, for brain and bone development during pregnancy.

  1. Dark Chocolate

This list seems more bearable than I had anticipated, and no better way to top it off than with the topic of conversation being –  chocolate. But note, white or milk won’t give you the same effect as dark. This is because dark chocolate contains a higher concentration of cocoa solids than it’s milkier cousins (which contain milk solids in addition to cocoa solids thus diluting their concentrations down per bar). It’s in this original cocoa where all the nutrition is stored. One being ‘flavonoids’, very beneficial antioxidants to the body, they are naturally occurring plant pigments and can also help promote blood vessel flexibility thus improving overall cardiovascular functionality.  Your heart loves dark chocolate even if you may not.

Do you eat enough of the 5 above, or even any? I definitely don’t eat enough. But it’s never too late to change that. Hope you enjoy a balanced healthy lifestyle, because you deserve it.

bed cute dog female why am I so tired?

Why Do I Feel So Exhausted?

Writing

At the ripe old age of 23, it’s safe to say that fatigue should be a common occurrence, right? Wrong! Then why is it the norm for me to walk around like a zombie and  to fight to keep my eyes open by noon? Lots of us feel tired alot of the time but we’re no marathon runners so what’s the reason behind it?

Well, according to the NHS, psychological causes of tiredness are much more common than physical causes. Examples of which are stress, trauma, depression and anxiety.

How we can help to potentially relieve these:

Stress

  • Exercise – this sounds almost counter intuitive in trying to alleviate the feeling of tiredness. But it is a proven theory that exercise does indeed help lower stress levels in the body.
  • Sleep – another obvious one considering we are talking about tiredness! But studies have shown less sleep = more irritability which as a result increases the chances of a more stressful situation arising for you.

Trauma

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – an interactive psychotherapy technique , the therapist asks the patient to relive the traumatic experience while directing their eye movements. The validity of this therapy is still undergoing testing.
  • Support Groups – It may be difficult for people who have not experienced a traumatic event to truly understand how someone who has feels. This is where support groups offer a chance for people to get things off their chest and find emotional support in sharing the fact that they have all gone through a traumatic experience and thus can learn from each other,
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – this treatment aims to change how you think and act. It is a practical form of therapy, Read more about it here.

Depression

  • Exercise – according to the NHS, exercise can lower your risk of depression by 30%. Releasing endorphins and improving overall body confidence as the body becomes fitter.
  • Keep Social – when you’re feeling low, it’s easy to want to lock yourself in your room. This is exactly what you don’t want to do, instead going out with friends or family will keep moods from dropping and helps build relationships so that you can have someone to talk to if you’re feeling down at times.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – as mentioned above, it can be used as a treatment for a range of needs.

Anxiety

  • Breathing Exercises – anxiety can lead to a build up of tension and shortness of breath which can result in panic attacks. Trying to control our breathing (abdominal vs chest) is a common way to reduce tension and maintain control when we feel anxious. See here.
  • Yoga and posture – Harvard findings here

**Wikihow has some good tips here.

Ofcourse exhaustion could just be down to physical demands, be it from your job, your exercise regime or the burden of life (bit deep)! These are obvious things that make you tired but I think it’s important for us all to take time to reflect on our own mental well-being, for if looked after properly, I’m pretty sure all of our lives would be vastly improved beyond simply alleviating the feeling of tiredness.

How Important Is Your Health?

Writing

The answers is yes, if you don’t have a screw loose, but if this is the answer then why do so many of us struggle to keep the gym routine in check, or even have one to begin with?

How often should you really go to the gym?

It’s  a shame to say it but yes, I skip leg day! And every other day that involves strenuous exercise! Although the truth must be told, when I’m in the mood to willingly work up a sweat I do ask myself the same questions -‘ how often do I need to go’ and ‘at what time of the day is best?’

Let’s have science pull their weight on this one:

How often do I need to go?

The obvious response here would be to say ‘how fit do you want to be?’ But there’s more to it than that, studies have shown that it takes approximately 2 weeks of inactivity to start to lose your cardio fitness and 3 weeks to start losing muscle strength.

So with all this inactivity making your Summer body fade in a heartbeat, what really is the minimum amount of exercise us lazy sods can get away with to still maintain that body of a Greek God? Well, the general consensus seems to be at approx 2 – 3 days a week. With 41 per cent of Britons aged 40-60 failing to walk for even ten minutes a month according to the independent even this seems like a stretch! The report also states that training 3 times a week is a good aim to have when your goal is to stay fit and healthy, and not necessarily to become Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

What time of the day is best to workout?

There’s this idea that working out in the morning on an empty stomach will boost energy levels and promote weight loss, others believe an evening session will be more beneficial at it gives time for your body to naturally warm up throughout the day and so be ready for the routine come evening.

Once I heard about these two theories it made me even more torn on which is best to choose. This video below gives alot of great variables and actually mentions how muscle growth is slightly increased on a consistent evening workout as oppose to that during  the morning.

But I think the best answer is the following – “the best time to work out is the time you’re most likely to work out.” The words of Chris Jordan, an exercise physiologist who created the Johnson & Johnson 7 minute workout

And to add to that – doing any sort of activity being low, moderate or high is still better than doing none, if not for physical health then mental health in my opinion.

An Apple A Day…….

Writing

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away then give me the whole goddamn fruit bowl for my experience with the medical industry was anything but pleasant.  Carrying on from this! Let me explain:

(GP practice door) Knock, Knock. Who’s there?

An absolute imbecile that’s who! There’s no room for politeness here. It’s eyesight we are dealing with!

So I wait 45 minutes to be seen. I enter the room and the nurse doesn’t even look at me or says hi (I’m not trying to see superior just looking for manners)  when I walk in. It looked like she was too busy finishing off her crossword. I sit down and the first thing she says is ‘I don’t know if we can help you, you may have to go to A+E’. I didn’t travel the whole way here and wait for 45 minutes to be told to f*ck right off again. So I held my ground and basically said “could you atleast check it” (f*cking look b*tch).

At which point she reached her finger out and starts prodding my eye (like you’d poke a dead jellyfish at the beach with a twig). I told her it was tender and I swear she poked a bit harder (she had no glove on btw or sanitizer).

She then proceeded to do all sorts of tests in completely random parts of my body, knee reflex, blood pressure and heart rate. I kind of get it but you can see how I just wanted her to focus on my eye. Afterall time is of the essence when infection is involved.

She then said “I don’t know what this is, we aren’t eye specialists here, I’ll have to ask my colleague.” Aren’t eye specialists? Aren’t eye specialists? No you aren’t any specialist you’re supposed to be a GENERAL practitioner! Well, she was a nurse. But they’re well trained most of the time, right? So off she goes, probably for a fag break and returns through the door stomping on my foot in the process. My lips tighten. I’m.About.To.Lose.My.Sh*T!!!!!

The colleague arrives and just in the nick of time, I was about to have the nurse sent to A + E……”Amoxicillin, Fexofenadine and chloramphenicol cream” the knowledgeable colleague rhymes off effortlessly. At which point the dumbass nurse didn’t know which way was up or down. Looking like she was having a hot flush or something she fumbles around in her cupboard drawer and pulls out what looks like the ABC guide to bacterium. WTF! My hand is in my heads at this point (in my mind ofcourse). After a few finger licks and scrolls through the book she picks out a lucky little pill for me. Out of fear for not only losing my eye but my life, I had to quickly read over her shoulder to ensure she wasn’t assigning me cyanide or some sh*t like that! After her bit of light reading she returns to planet Earth to quickly rip me off the prescription hot off the printer and I’m hot stepping out the door in a heartbeat.

Will this sh*te work or has she just cost me my eyeball (atleast it’s my weaker eye if so)?

Flip Out

Writing

If you want to sign up for your unexpected yet highly likely dose of concussion and ligament contortion then enjoy a day out at  Flip out.

Where the only thing coming out is your hip from its socket when you take the plunge into the shallowest ‘safety’ pool known to man, woman or child on Earth.

Flip out for those of you that don’t know is a ‘fun for all’  trampoline centre. Fun if you’re 5, a death trap if you’re any older. I had the absolute luxury of attending a while back and I’m still nursing the long term injury of mental trauma from that brutal day.

They have this thing called a ‘ninja obstacle course’ which involved 3 mini obstacles and finished with the grand finale of a concave climbing wall thing. Kind of like this. 3 obstacles, this is going to be a doss about I thought. I ashamedly fell at every hurdle.

Obstacle 1. monkey bars – I f*cked that up my hands were so sweaty from anticipation.

arm biceps fingers hand

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Obstacle 2. Floating boards – basically boards like you see in Ninja Warrior. Only these things were made from the cheap nasty kind of plastic which would slice through you like a hot knife through butter. I tried lurching onto one to the next (there were 3) but decided to retire out of fear of decapitation.

Obstacle 3. Swingy bridge thing – moving rickety planks that made up a bridge. The only thing that came to mind was this movement (not the bod. unfortunately).

man splitting on driftwood

Photo by antas singh on Pexels.com

The warped wall – thank my warped sense of judgement for ever thinking I’d be able to get to the top of that without potential neck break. To be fair all I limped away with was a sore sense of self as I watched on as kids half my size swanned up the wall when with all my might I still couldn’t even reach the ledge.

The trampoline part was fun though!

**I actually really enjoyed the experience, I just enjoy whinging about the aftermath also. No offence intended haha

 

Tough Mudder – Let The Torture Continue

Writing

I’m back, fingers are well and truly rested, unlike my body which is still covered in bruises and scratches from that fateful day. Anyhow, onto the next obstacle, eh?

Obstacle 7: Prepare To Drown

As if crawling through a tunnel the width of a straw wasn’t unbearable enough in the last obstacle, we now had to fully submerge ourselves in murky water and swim under 4 consecutive horizontal pipes. They certainly weren’t conservative with the width of these I can tell you that. Trying to weakly swim under each one felt like an eternity, another millisecond longer and I would’ve needed scuba gear or a lawyer for suing purposes!

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 8: Is Your Log Bigger Than Mine?

It was time to buddy up and start doing a bit of slave labour in the form of hauling a big mighty fallen oak trunk up a hilly field. Working in threes worked well, I was at the back and was substantially shorter than the other two. Result = a log as light as a feather.

~~~walk walk walk about half a mile~~~

Obstacle 9: The Devil’s Beard

A rather cute term for what looks like a fisherman’s net sprawled across the side of the hill. All you had to do was crawl under it to the top, quite a fun little exercise in baking degree heat.

~~~walk walk walk about half a mile~~~

Obstacle 10: The Wall Of No Return

If there was anywhere on the course to croak it at, here was the obstacle you could atleast leave us with your head held high. For this was no match for man, woman nor beast. The wooden wall dominated the mountain top, grown men fell from its neck-breaking heights,  at such an altitude I swear I could hear someone scream they’d just burst an eardrum. It’s safe to say this obstacle had me by my metaphorical balls. No Fosbury Flop was getting me over this beast let me assure you. So deforming someone else’s skull worked the trick as I catapulted my wispy body from the springboard of a rather frustrated looking chap. Who I’m forever grateful too. If you’re reading this now I thank you and would be partially willing to donate to your gofundme hair transplant campaign thanks to my srambling footwork on your head now leaving your once thick luscious locks without an owner.

~~walk walk crawl about half a mile weep ~

Obstacle 11: The Playground

Bringing us all back to the swings and roundabouts days, here we were faced with clambering up a meshwork of rope lattices in a rather ungainly manner. It paid off if you have big feet in this one, they’re less likely to fall through the gaps in the lattices and secondly good for kicking off the sloths of the challenge so you could get two feet back on solid ground as quickly as possible. (NB: I do not endorse (intense)  violence)).

~~~weep weep sprint to the Goddamn finish~

Obstacle 12: The End Is Nigh

I could almost smell the sweaty bodied finish line as I tripped into a trench full of murky scummy water, only to baptismally arise to see a non-grip slope which needed more than someone’s head to lunge off  to get to the tippy top of. So what’s the alternative – 2 heads! Thank God my brain was still functioning by this stage of the course and my team managed to form a human pyramid and not a human centipede. And with this we clambered to the top of the ledge with enough time to take in the chaos that had just unfolded!

**P.S. I think I missed one obstacle out, sorry blame the concussion. Look our for pictures in the coming weeks of the event, I’ll be uploading soon!

So I think the moral of the story is if you’d like a few battle scars and a lifetime of trauma jam-packed into 90 minutes then take on Tough Mudder!

Tough Mudder…..

Writing

So…..it happened folks, there I was, kneeled down  on one knobbly knee reciting the rules and regulations of how the organiser will take no such part in my untimely death had I decided to fall off that 10ft wall or drown in those muddy trenches. Oh yes, washing their hands of any liabilities while I got knee deep in sh*te. I don’t blame them, for deadly this course was indeed! Let me tell you why:

Let’s start with the weather conditions. It just so happens we were blessed with sunshine but cursed with the 30 heat it brought with it. When you hear people screeching through megaphones “if you have to quit, quit!” You know it must be BOILING!! Anyway, undeterred by the ‘egg-frying-on-rock’ temperatures I tied my shoe laces up that little bit tighter and set off.

Obstacle 1: Stick Your F*cking Face In Shite

Picture barbed wire knee high, picture manure knee high. Now army crawl through that sh*t like your insignificant life depended on it  for a full minute. I can definitely say that the event lived up to its name from the get go.

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 2: Time To Get Winded

As if scaling a 10ft wall wasn’t challenging enough, let’s add a God almighty slant to that wall. So the it’s  basically falling forward toward you at an angle. This means the wall’s big long ledge is now at a decent head-banging angle. If, like me, you tried to take a run and jump at the thing you were in for a treat. Let’s not forget I’m 5 ft 6 inches/ 167.64 cm, so I’m certainly not going to hurdle this. Learning this the hard way I take a massive lunge toward the forbidden wall of terror with the premise of  basically scalping myself, retreating back concussed I ask for a foot up over. Only to be dropped mid lift and crush my lungs against the ledge. By this stage I started to truly understand why the organisers take no responsibility for injuries sustained to the competitors!.

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 3: Hay Bale Hurdle

One of the more forgiving obstacles and one of which I could infact hurdle over.  3 hay bales, jump over. Bish bash bosh. You’re done. NEXT!

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 4: Piggy Back Ride / Fireman’s Lift

Yes. Finally some respite, some unfortunate fool’s gonna carry me 50 metres. *collar bones cave in. My sister just mounts me like a mutt in season as I’m forced to walk bow legged for what feels like as far as the eye can see.  You can tell this was one of my favourites, right?

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 5: Slippery Slope

A curved 10 metre wall you had to run up and if you were lucky at the top you were greeted by an equally sweaty hand, if unlucky you braced for the burns you’d endure over 80% of your fragile body as you skid back down awkwardly to face the run up all over again.

This obstacle relied heavily on human kindness. So the fact that I fell down the slope more times than I’d like to admit should really set off alarm bells in all of our compassionate minds, no? Just kidding, kindness does exist, I got yanked up the slope like a ragdoll in 5 seconds flat.

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

*By this stage of the fun I could feel a slipped disc and some facial 3rd degree burns setting in. At this point, I had continuously soaked myself with so many cups of water around the course, so much so that I had managed to wash off all of my sunscreen from parts of my body I needed it the most to parts where I need it the least – my eyes!

Obstacle 6: Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Anyone with phobias, you’re truly spoilt for choice with this one, confined spaces and murky water marry together to give you the experience of a lifetime. Crawling on your stomach through ice cold muddy water with the only thing in front being someone’s hairy ass, and only view behind was your very own. Why did I pay for this torture!

And while I let this thought marinade in my mind, I think it’s a good stage to have a little pause.

Have a read tomorrow for a run down on the obstacles which blessed the  second half of the course, there’s a few cheeky ones in there believe me. My fingers are tired typing so see ya then!

Tough Mudder – S.O.S

Writing

For any naive soul out there who doesn’t know what ‘Tough Mudder’ is exactly, I suggest you keep it that way. For it seems to be the hybrid spawn of Satan and someone your mother dearest just isn’t too fond of. In other words – it’s going to be hell. And guess who just signed themselves up for a first class pass straight through its gates!

But before I get too over the top let me take a step back and explain what I’ve let myself in for. Not dissimilar to your casual Sunday walk in the park, I’ve just went ahead and signed myself up for a 5 mile f*cking track around a farm in the middle of nowhere. Inbetween this mammoth jog there just so happens to be 13 obstacles slowing me even further down from the finish line. If names are anything to go by then what would you take from obstacles that go by: ‘birth canal’ , ‘the human pyramid’  and my personal favourite ‘skidmarked’? My ass cheeks are clenching at just the thought of this (because of nerves about the race not because of the last obstacle)! Anyway, because I’m a big wimp, this race type isn’t even as bad as it could’ve got, I should’ve really treated myself and went all out with a 10 mile and 20 obstacle jaunt through pig sh*te. Boy have I missed out.

I’ve physically paid for this moment of insanity months ago and have been to the gym about 10 times max. The race line is nearing with less than 2 weeks to go. So I think the moral of the story is – I’m f*cked.

**I’m secretly really looking forward to the above, just having a friendly rant, Tough Mudder is fast growing in popularity and I can definitely see why. Certainly no spawn of Satan and more like the child of Christ! This event is as godly as they come. I can’t wait to see all of the Adonis’ squatting and lunging in some slippery mud. I just hope there’s room for one more in that tight trench!

A great event for charity and team building, I highly recommend giving it a go or an event similar. You may sprain an Achilles but atleast you’ll feel like Hercules doing so.

**BTW they don’t sponsor me to promote them in any way (but can if they’d really like to).

Other events similar to Tough Mudder include:

 

My kind of Races, pit stops of Red wine and doughnuts:

 

Come on warriors take on Tough Mudder!

silhouette people on beach at sunset

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