Saturday August 11, 2012, 9:00am.
1 week before Tough Mudder. I couldn’t imagine a better way to train for it than to do an actual obstacle course workout as practice. All week I was down with a bit of a cold so didn’t really train as much as I liked to. I was working until 12am on Friday night so by the time I got home and prepared everything for the O Course, it was 2am. Going on only 6 hours of sleep, today I decided to just fight through it and just do the O Course because I know a part of me will regret it if I didn’t.
The O Course is Canada’s first and only obstacle course designed by former US Marine Drill Instructor Tony ‘A’ designed to test ones strength, stamina, endurance, and willpower – and what an incredible and tough workout it was! I’m so glad I got to experience it! On top of that, it was an extremely motivating environment to be in. Just seeing all the fit bodies there makes you want to work even harder and is probably a testament to the effectiveness of these workouts. It’s fun and forces you to challenge your entire body in different ways than conventional workouts do.
The day began with over 200 of us gathering inside ‘The Dome’ at the Docks. Each of us grabbed ourselves a 4×4 piece of wood to use throughout our warmup which consisted of a 45minute drill session of squatting, lunging, planks, push ups, static holds, presses, and plyometric jumps as Tony A yelled out orders through the megaphone. It was almost like being in the military.
After that we all went outside with our piece of wood in hand as we ran down to the beach and into the water for more drills that included the likes of sit ups, jump squats and such. On top of all that, we also had dark clouds and rain to add to the boot camp/military feel of it all! I really enjoyed the water segment of our warmup.
The running was a bit of a killer for me, only because running is not a forte of mine (yet). I paced myself and alternated between running and walking. As our run concluded, we made our way back to the base, dropped off our 4×4, and proceeded with the obstacle course portion.
The obstacle course consisted of various things like scaling a 7-8 foot wall (which i made it over on the first try!), crawling through mud, sledgehammer strikes, farmer walks, dragging a cement block in the sand, tire tossing, and carrying and pulling various heavy objects across the wet sand.
The most mentally and physically draining obstacle for me had to be the one where we had to wear this heavy back pack that’s probably somewhere between 30-40lbs on our back while crawling through wet sand. Unfortunate for me, the backpack kept slipping off my back so I was forced to just drag the bag along as I crawled from one end to the next. That was grueling and probably a rough simulation of what it’s like to crawl through trenches. I left this obstacle with a few scratches on my back and a slight cut on my knee.
“If you still look clean and pretty at the end of it, you’re not doing it right.”
This had to be one of the best tests of endurance, willpower, mental, and physical strength I’ve had! It felt incredible to complete it. I finished the obstacle course in about 3 hours and literally felt and looked 5lbs lighter afterwards! I’d totally do it again!! In fact, I plan to do it exactly 1 week after Tough Mudder on Saturday August 25!
With an O Course workout under my belt I now feel a lot more confident about taking on Tough Mudder next Saturday, even though it is triple the distance at 10 miles!! The feelings of fear and loathing are gone so Bring it on!!!
** The O Course runs every Saturday all year round for $30/session at 9am at the Docks (176 Cherry Street). To sign yourself up go here: http://www.the-ocourse.com/