The Recruiter's Soapbox

Tough Mudder 2

Team Building To The Extreme : Barton Mills Does Tough Mudder

Last weekend, the BMR team participated in our first ever event… and we took no half measures!  No indeed; we rocked up at Glenworth Valley on Saturday to take part in our very first endurance event – Tough Mudder: 18KMs of mud, obstacles and fear. Needless to say we were somewhat apprehensive.

According to some very reliable sources, we took part in what is being hailed as one of the toughest events to date in the series. After 48 hours of rain, the entire course was a mud bath. What was predicted to take us 3 hours to complete, in fact took us over 5!  This event proved to be everything that it had claimed to be; not just a challenge around strength, fitness and endurance but a mental battle.

The day started on a high.  Waiting to cross the start line the MC got our group of 100 “Mudders” to all get down on one knee to take the “Tough Mudder Pledge”

“I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge. 

I put team work and camaraderie before my time

I do not whine….. kids whine.

I will help my fellow Mudders complete the course. 

I will overcome all fears.”

He also acknowledged the “elephant in the room”, this was the event that quite frankly “none of us had trained for!”  How accurate, we all burst out laughing, the camaraderie had begun and we had not even started running yet.  We were going to nail this………..

5 hours later we crossed the finish line having been electrocuted, dived into a pool of ice, waded through dozens and dozens of waist and neck deep cesspits, swum through thick mud, come face to face with a snake, climbed unclimbable vertical walls, crawled through pitch black tunnels of mud, climbed through ravines, carried colleagues on our backs, swung like monkeys and ultimately fallen repeatedly into pools of stinking, muddy water.  We were broken, shattered, mentally drained but we had done it… Did I mention the mud?

Not selling this idea to you?  Well, it was AMAZING!!!!!!!  Already a tight knit group the team is closer than ever having gone through this together and we learnt a lot about each other:

I’ll take myself as a starting point.  I went into this event feeling that I was in a good position.  Possibly one of the stronger and fitter members of the team.  I felt pretty confident that I was going to be fundamental to our success.  What did I find out?  Physically I was OK, but mentally I was all over the place.  Put to the test, my fears came to the surface, I retreated, I became a follower not a leader. To be fair however, my Gen X grit and determination did come through in the end.  Ultimately, I hate to fail and after falling dramatically off one of the obstacles and spectacularly smashing my legs up at the 10KM mark, I kept going breaking through the pain barrier to finish.  #blackandblue

Mark Hatnean – What a fantastic individual this guy is.  Everyone’s respect for Mark went up just a tad more that weekend.  The strongest and fittest of our group, he could have made it around this course far quicker without us but he was there motivating us, making us laugh, physically pushing us through the course.  A genuinely lovely bloke.  #ourpinhead

Liat Gould – Liat is tough.  Liat had trained.  Liat had the monkey bars in the bag.  Nothing had prepared Liat for quite how much mud there was.  Liat knows how to work a situation to her advantage.  Liat made this course look easy – of course she had us all working hard on her behalf to make it look easy for her!!!  #missmanipulator

Rebecca Blackman – My hat goes off to Bec.  Going into the event I had worried for her. She had not run at all for a month with a stress fracture in her foot, I thought strength might have been an issue, and god forbid she messed up her hair!  Wow did she put me to shame.  I have never seen such an example of mental toughness and positivity outweighing anything else.  Rebecca overcame all of her fears, she completed every single obstacle, kept laughing for 5 hours straight and crossed that finish line with a smile on her face.  Kudos.  #suprisepackage

Also a big shout out to Jen Burke #lostchild and Ivan Micallef #crackedribs from Talent Web Recruitment and to the 3 boys who helped to drag us round the course – our honorary team members – making up the rest of “Alpha 10” (you know who you are!)

Why should you do this?  I am still trying to work out why paying for the pleasure of someone breaking me physically and mentally was so AMAZING but I understand why people go back and do it time and time again. Forget psych tests; if you want to bring a group together, if you want to see how you and your colleagues perform under extreme pressure, if you want to test resilience and true team work … you have to do this!


TOUGH MUDDER – see you next year!