Obstacle Mud Runner - issue 16

Hi, I’m Sam, I work full time as a Cardiac Physiologist, I’m a mum of 2 and this is my story so far. I never thought I’d ever be able to do anything as I was overweight. I used to get frustrated because I was slow so what was the point? I’d watch in awe at the women in my age group giving their everything and seeing the very ladies who inspire me up on the podium. I had resigned myself to mainly volunteering and accepted that was probably my place in OCR. I didn’t want to embarrass myself out on course. The very real fact and a harsh realisation was - the only thing stopping me was me! I know that’s such a cliché, but it wasn’t until May 2019 when I had my ‘lightbulb’ moment that it actually sunk in. Something in my mindset changed and I suddenly realised I wasn’t prepared to NOT at least TRY. I knew that if I REALLY wanted change then I had to stop making excuses and work hard for it. Someone mentioned in conversation that I should do Europe’s Toughest Mudder. I laughed out loud – I could possibly do two 5-mile laps if I was lucky! But, as it was pointed out, what does it matter to anyone if I did only do two laps? It was recommended that if I thought I could achieve 2 laps then I should aim for 3. I committed and signed up. Eek!! I started training and booked other events to help me prepare and I committed to going to the gym. Each event I took part in helped me to grow that bit more in confidence. Time was ticking by, I had lost four stone, started running full race weekends and focused on getting past my fears – and obstacles. I fully realise I could not have done any of it without some brilliantly supportive people around me. I now know there is no shame in asking for help on obstacles, or asking for advice on technique, nutrition, or kit. With each race I grew and pushed myself more and more. At ETM, I smashed my aim of 15 miles, covering 25 miles in total – a HUGE achievement for me. I reflected on each of my experiences to help me identify my weaknesses, so I knew what I needed to work on. I joined a running club and asked people for advice on obstacle technique. I reaslised I was staying within my comfort zone instead of pushing to see what I could achieve. At the end of the 2021 season, I entered the Spartan Trifecta weekend in Wales to really see how much my training had progressed. Instead of walking the course... I ran! It was an incredible weekend and I’m proud of how much I have achieved. My winter will now consist of continued training and setting some goals for next year. I suppose the moral of this story is… If you want something, you need to believe in yourself and make it happen. Easier said than done – so my approach was to choose a goal, break it down, ask for help and slowly build up. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t because you can. You CAN achieve if you believe. AND if I can, then you can. My aim one day is to be on the start line alongside the very women that have inspired me. This may take some time, but I hope my experience might just inspire someone else to give this sport a try. This is my journey, I’m 45 years old and this is just the beginning! This is me Do you ever wish you could do something but don’t think you will ever be good enough? That was me. For years I used to dream about being fit enough to actually be able to run an obstacle course race. But it was always just that... a dream. 23 RACE : INSIGHT