Nikki's Journey to the Tough Mudder.
The Toronto event is the weekend of August 18th-19th.Guess who's doing it? *drum roll please*
This girl, right here. *points to myself*
What is the "Tough Mudder" you ask? Well, on their website it's described as:
"Probably the toughest event on the planet."That is a pretty bold statement, so let's take a quick peek at some of the obstacles in this event:
- Arctic Enema (not what you're thinking... Though I'm sure it feels just as uncomfortable!)
- Berlin Walls
- Boa Constrictor (on your belly, soldier!)
- Cliff Hanger
- Dirty Ballerina (no, you don't have to wear ballet shoes...)
- Electric Eel (yes. In water.)
- Electroshock Therapy (you read correctly.)
- Everest (climb it.)
- Fire Walker (!!!!!!!!)
- Funky Monkey (this is not as cute as it sounds people!)
- Twinkle Toes (I repeat: NOT as cute as it sounds!)
- P90X - About 1 week ago, I introduced the full videos back into my workout routine. Legs & Back - DAMN it's a good workout. Ab Ripper X - I didn't miss it, I hate it, but it's the best I've ever had. I will be using P90X back on the standard schedule again as a main part of my routine; however, I will be taking a majority of the workout lists (such as the Shoulder-bi-tri workout) to the gym with me instead of doing it at home. Nothing has ever worked my body like P90X, and there's a good chance that these workouts will stay with me for a long, long time.
- The Gym - In addition to P90X, I have my specific rotation of equipment/exercises that I use at the gym: rowing, back extensions, hip abductor/adductor, triceps, lat pull downs, hitting the punching bag for 45 minutes, etc.
- Yoga - I've had an on again/off again relationship with yoga for many years... In the past, I've gotten to the point of flexibility where I can place my ankles behind my head and resemble something that's similar to a pretzel. I've also been at the point where no matter how hard I try, I just can't touch my toes if my legs are straight. Since re-introducing yoga into my routine on a more regular basis (I try to do yoga at least 4 times per week), I have seen a major increase in my flexibility. Also, doing yoga at the end of my workout has given me this amazing calming feeling to accompany that endorphin-high. I've also found that yoga helps with muscle pain, which is something that really hinders my motivation to keep workout out. "Oh, my achy muscles... I'll just take an extra rest day..." Finally, the best part of adding yoga into my routine - it teaches you how to breathe through anything! You really put your mind in a different place when you focus during yoga, and that's something that will help anyone doing this event, or anything else for that matter...
- Cycling - I've found that cycling is addictive. There's this wonderful rush that I get when I go on a ride. My longest ride so far was from my home in Toronto to Oakville, and then back home. The total ride was 50 km. I was sunburned like you wouldn't believe (I'm fine now), and I was exhausted because I've never gone that far before, but it was amazing! I was on cloud 9 for a few days afterwards. A few days ago, I did another 40 km ride across Toronto, which also gave me that same happy feeling. I try to get in between 60 km - 100 km per week now that the weather is better. The best part about it is that it teaches endurance, in my opinion.
- Training Circuits - On the Tough Mudder website, they actually provide 3 different levels of training circuits. Starting this week, I will be adding these into my workouts. The three types are: Mudderling Bootcamp, Maybe Mudder Bootcamp, and the Tough Mudder Bootcamp. I plan on starting with the "Mudderling Bootcamp" for at least 2 weeks just to get the hang of it. If I find it to easy (haha), I will shorten it to 1 week. The "Maybe Mudder Boodcamp" I will do for a few weeks, and then move on to the "Tough Mudder Bootcamp". These are all functional workouts, and apparently prepare you really well for the obstacles in the event.
- Diet - I've had a pretty healthy diet for about 6 months now. Prior to that, I've always tried to adopt the "clean eating" principle (thank you Tosca Reno). Being vegan, oddly enough, I've had MORE energy and stamina in my workouts than I've ever had in my life as an omnivore. The only issue I've faced is that I've never been a person who eats large quantities, so increasing calories is a big deal for me. I have no problem doing it, because I do enjoy eating, but it's the mental aspect for me. (Long story: Having dealt with eating disorders in my past, it's a lot to overcome when you acknowledge that you're eating way more calories than you have in the past. Also, a big thing is that when you're training and building muscle (and losing fat), you don't necessarily lose weight. In most cases, you even gain weight. (To put this in perspective, I'm 5'8" and have maintained a body weight of about 125 lbs - 130 lbs for a year or so...) As I've been training, even in the past 2 weeks, seeing my weight go from 125 lbs up to 128 lbs, I catch myself getting scared that I will go over my desired maximum weight of 130 lbs. Even though I know I'm not overweight (not even close to being overweight actually - and that it's muscle gain, not fat), acceptance of any gains is still an obstacle to overcome. Luckily, I've found so many strong and healthy women to look up to and be inspired by. A lot has changed in the past few years, and I've learnt that it's better to be "healthy & fit" than it is to be "stick thin".)