It has been a couple of months since I finished the Tough Mudder NorCal 2011 event in Squaw Valley, CA near Lake Tahoe. I’ve had some time to think about that day, the obstacles that I faced, and the overall experience. All in all, it went very well. I had a great time and, to be honest, it wasn’t that hard for me. That’s a good thing. That means that my training worked and preparation paid off. That doesn’t mean that it was easy. By no means was it easy! It was definitely a test of your strength, endurance, teamwork, and your willpower to continue despite fatigue, hunger, pain, and extreme discomfort. For example, I don’t think there is any way to really be ready to enjoy the icy cold water of the Chernobyl Jacuzzi and the Underwater Tunnels obstacles, unless you’re a member of the Polar Bear Club and get off on that type of thing. I hate being cold, so I was careful about the gear I chose to wear that day (Read more about my Head-to-Toe Gear here).
I can’t tell you how many times I hear or read; “I want his/her body!” or “How do I get that body?”. The focus is entirely on their physical appearance and they just want to hear how to achieve that “look“. Well, I have a shocking revelation for you. You don’t get that body by focusing on how you look or how much you weigh. That body is the byproduct of focusing on something else entirely: Your Performance. Take a look at the people below and tell me what they all have in common.
Strength training using Olympic-style weightlifting was something I avoided until just a few months ago. For the last 30 years, I have primarily done bodyweight training (e.g., push-ups) and some lighter lifting with dumbbells (e.g., bicep curls). That’s about it. But, when I joined my CrossFit gym a little over 5 months ago, weightlifting was a core component of the training. I dreaded it at first. But, now I have come to realize how much the increases in strength have improved my overall fitness, my cardio performance (e.g., long trail runs), and the muscle tone of my body. It is worth the investment of your time and energy.