Updated: May 4
Who would have ever believed that, one day, I would be doing an obstacle race ??? If five years ago, you would have told me I would be doing this type of race, I would have laughed in your face and called you crazy. No, seriously… me ? The girl who hates exercising more than anything, and whose physical education teacher at school would call her mother every year to warn her that I would have to run a predetermined distance or otherwise I would not be able to pass the class. Let me tell you that when I did MUDGIRL in 2017, with my 2 friends, I was really not sure that I was even capable of doing this kind of race. I let myself be talked into it, telling myself that I had never tried it, so I had no way of knowing whether this was true. It was as if this type of event was dedicated to everyone but me, to others, to athletes, to people who were really in shape.
My whole life I have hated exercising. It meant moving, sweating, making an effort, being out of breath, being reminded of how out of shape I was, being sore everywhere to the point that just breathing or bending was a problem.
Between lying on the sofa and doing cardio, the choice was really easy…. I am pretty sure I have set records for time spent watching TV from the comfort of my sofa.
Later on in my life, I hurt my back (3 herniated discs) and it got to the point that the physios sentenced me to the sofa, with strict orders not to engage in certain actions such as jumping, running, bending forward 90 degrees….
Basically, as I understood it, I could not do any exercise and the sofa remained my best option in order to heal and live a so-called « normal » life. No physical activity translated to gaining weight. I was always overweight, but I was at my worst when I was on sick leave because of my back problems.
Once I returned to work (after one and a half years of doing nothing), I got lucky and met some new colleagues who afterwards became very close friends of mine. These strong, extraordinary women took such great care of themselves : they trained, ran marathons, did obstacle courses, did competitions, ate well, all the while drinking a lot of water, working on themselves to feel and look their best ; they did hikes on mountains, loved themselves, etc… It was worlds apart from the sofa and TV.
My friends started telling me that just because I was hurt, it didn’t mean that I had to stop moving and exercising. That nowadays, anyone can do the physical activity of their choice despite their physical restrictions, you just need the right equipment and/or to be able to adapt the activity so that you can do it. So, why not ? Why not me… ?
So, because of this, little by little, I started to move, locking myself away at home so that no one could see me. I was lucky because I had friends that coached me and showed me how to adapt the movements to my restrictions, and who helped me create personal training programs that I could do at home.
At a certain point, I was talked into leaving my house in order to exercise with my friends. Doing this, it became easier for us to see each other despite our crazy schedules. On top of that, we were killing two birds with one stone, since we wanted to work out but also wanted to have a good time with friends (two important things that we wanted to do during our day).
Training more regularly also motivated me to take better care of my diet. Hanging out with people who took care of themselves meant that we ate more home-cooked meals, meals where we could control the ingredients that went into them.
This also led me to seek help from a nutritionist in order to improve my eating habits, to learn to love eating healthier foods, and to learn to eat when I really « needed » to instead of eating to fill something inside of me. It felt as if I was paying for private lessons to invest in myself. Just like others pay for German or Mandarin lessons, I paid for a training coach and a nutritionist. A real turning point in my life, a need to change for the better, to be able to live a better life.
There were many relapses, many times I slipped, many days where I ate poorly and/or I did not work out, but when you are surrounded by people that train and who take care of themselves, you can’t run away from the fact that you are just lying on the sofa, not moving, while the others, they are outside, moving and taking care of themselves. The next day being a new day, we rise again, and we restart. The fact that you are moving more gives you so much energy, allows you to get rid of all the negative energy of the day, allows you to sleep better, to reduce your stress, allows you to let off some steam when you need to, allows you to surpass yourself and also, allows you to be more Zen. I try to remember all of this when I don’t feel like doing my strength training or my cardio for the day.
One day, my friend told me that her boyfriend was organizing an obstacle race and that I should participate, experience this, that it was really fun, that for sure I would be able to participate, and anyways I could go at the speed that I wanted to and I could even walk if I wanted to (I could not run at that time).
So me and two of my friends decided to sign up and try out this obstacle race in the mud that we kept hearing about. Worst-case scenario, even if we were not capable enough to do the race, we would still have had a fun day and plenty of laughs together.
I didn’t really prepare myself (as in, doing special training sessions) to do MUDGIRL. I continued doing my personal training sessions from before. I did not really know what to expect. I went, telling myself that it was my first experience entering this sports world, that it would probably be long given that I wouldn’t run (it would take as long as it needed to take), that there would surely be obstacles I would not be able to do and that I would need to respect my limits in order not to hurt myself.
Today is the day ! A bit restless to experience this athletic novelty, I go ahead and I tackle this mountain that seems so high and so steep. I was shocked to see just how many different types of people there were at this race. Women of all heights, of all sizes, athletic women, non-athletic women, moms with theirs kids, elderly women who did the race with their daughters and granddaughters, work colleagues, etc…
We ended up having so much fun, we could not stop laughing, we got mud everywhere and were completely wet, we pushed each other and encouraged each other to overcome all the obstacles. We wanted to do all the obstacles…As long as we were there, we might as well go all in !!! I was amazed to see that I was actually a lot more in shape than I thought. I was able to complete all the obstacles on the race course, I worked my way up a very steep mountain, and above all, I finished the race and passed the finish line. I was really happy and proud. We had such a wonderful day. We still talk about it whenever we see each other and we even bought our tickets already for next August.
I know that the organisers of this race have this philosophy of pushing the average person to move, no matter what shape they are in. If you are scared of being judged by others regarding the shape you are in or regarding how fit you are, try to ignore this, because at least you are outside doing an obstacle race, you are pushing yourself personally, you are getting out of your comfort zone and you are not lying on your sofa doing nothing with your body. We have to challenge ourselves, otherwise life can be really long and boring.
If I could do it, everyone can do it. If I was able to get off my sofa, you can do it. You just have to get past the infamous state of mind of: I DON’T WANT TO, I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT !!!Think about it, yourself and go for it.
What’s important is that you have fun, and especially to get moving while having fun and being surrounded by people you love.
TO YOU, READER OF OUR BLOG!
Through its blog posts, MUDGIRL wants to inspire and motivate every women to be physically active and to adopt healthy lifestyles! MUDGIRL wants to, through the testimonies of the #PINKARMY, share TRUE stories of triumph. This means that our articles aren't necessarily written by health professionals or experts (you will be notified when it is the case 😉). Everyone can achieves their goals in their own way, at their own pace, and MUDGIRL simply wants to give you as many tools to help you achieve YOUR goals.
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