No matter what your fitness level is, everyone is qualified to jump in on some Tough Mudder action. There are many factors that can make the journey to the finish line easier, such as training and good gear. One of the biggest factors, however, is coming in with a strong, efficient team.
If you wanted to, you could definitely do Tough Mudder alone, but the majority of OCR buffs agree that being part of a team makes the experience one of a kind and full of fun. There’s a great sense of camaraderie in having a common goal and working together to reach it – and that’s really what every participant should keep in mind.
What makes a Tough Mudder team great?
Before anything else, members of a good Tough Mudder team know and share one goal. They know that teamwork and cooperation are the key to achieving that goal. Team members should apply this every step of the way, not just at the event itself. Unified training sets a good, firm foundation for the actual race, for two reasons. The first is that come race day, everyone’s body has been somewhat conditioned for the physical challenges ahead. The second, training together gives you the chance to see each other in action. It allows you to analyze how each member moves and in what way you can best help them.
Committed to the cause
Whether you want to cross the finish line together to cap off a fun team activity, or to get some prize money for yourselves, there is so much power in remembering that you’re in it together.
This is especially important at times when the physical exhaustion gets a bit overwhelming, or when team members feel discouraged by a tricky obstacle. You can’t show up with a half-hearted attitude or shaky confidence. It might get tough and painful at times, but don’t let that discourage you.
When you’re tired, hot, sweaty, covered in mud, and still a long way from the end of the race, it can be hard to be appreciative. It might take a conscious effort, but be sure to express your gratitude to your teammates. There will be moments when another team member’s boost up is what will help you make it to the next level. In times like those, don’t forget a simple “Thank you”. It’ll mean a lot.
Good at communicating
Communication is a part of everyday life that we tend to take for granted. Communicating all the time does not automatically make us good communicators, but it’s a step in the right direction. From coming together and making plans to join Tough Mudder, to strategizing and training, it’s always better to be open with each other. Don’t be shy about questions and concerns that you might have. At the same time, keep in mind that communicating is both talking and listening to your team. It’s a two-way street.
Even if you follow all the suggestions above to a tee, you might still falter on some obstacles. It’s just a fact of life that no one can be amazing at everything, and it’s no different on an obstacle course. When this happens during a race, don’t waste time pointing fingers or feeling bad. In the words of Eric Botsford, “Tough Mudder is as much a team-building exercise as it is an obstacle course. If […] everyone has a mental breakdown at some point…laugh about it, talk about it and grow from it.” Whatever little or big slip-ups your team has, take what lessons you can from the mistakes, and go right back to having fun.
Coming together and winning together
Teamwork is so much more than just throwing together a group of people. In fact, that’s only the first step. It’s a process of making your goals clear and putting in the time and effort to get to know each member. Use that familiarity to beat every obstacle your team faces. And this process isn’t a one-time thing. It has to constantly churn for the solidarity to be solidified. When that happens, trust that it will carry you all the way to the end and beyond future challenges.