To complete a Tough Mudder is to test one’s resilience and mental fortitude just as much as one’s fitness. Mudder Tom Nicholas shares his story and exactly why he first took on Tough Mudder South West in 2015.
“I was never one for sports in school, during my time at university I would gym occasionally, but it never compensated for bad eating habits. In my final year of university, during final exams, my motivation for health and fitness hit the floor, I was finding that I was ordering more and more takeaways. However, I found that even after I finished my exams, when time became more abundant and less excuses, there was no intent on becoming better.
Tackling Tough Mudder South West
I had heard of Tough Mudder through social media previously, but in 2015 I decided to take the step and challenge myself to run Tough Mudder South West. Whilst my teammate that I planned on undertaking the challenge with, dropped out the morning of the event. The question of whether or not I stick with it and push myself, or cave and try again next year became the first obstacle of the race. I took the option to push myself and took the first steps on my Mudder journey. Regardless of how unprepared I was and without the support of my teammate, I very quickly learnt that I wasn’t on my own on the course and I had the best team of all; the Mudder community.
During the 10 mile run, I struggled with practically every obstacle, failed Funky Monkey, never made it up Everest, and even blacked out during Electroshock Therapy. Regardless of the bruises and the pain my body was in the moment I walked, or should I say crawled, through that finish line I was greeted with a muddy hug, a bright orange headband, and my first finisher t-shirt. I realised that this was something I loved and wanted to come back for more and do better.
Tough Mudder Journey Continued
Over the next 2 years I came back to Tough Mudder South West and tackled it with a good friend, having put slightly more effort into training and eating well I felt like I wanted more. In 2018, I took the next step of exploring other venues. I completed the 5k and the half, and even gave the Tougher Mudder a shot. Having experience more mud, community, and comradery, as well as Tough Mudder pledges and headbands, in 2019 I was hungry for even more. I took an even bigger step, I brought a season pass going to almost every event that was put on, tackled Europe’s Toughest Mudder, and even reached my 10th Legionnaire headband.
I have even bigger goals for 2021, this is the year I am going to achieve my 25th legionnaire headband, and have my first crack at World’s Toughest Mudder. Not only has Tough Mudder motivated me to run and train, it also inspired me to branch out. I started running 10k’s and half marathons, and even achieved my first marathon last year. Without Tough Mudder I definitely would not have been able to tackle the 26.2 miles or have even thought about tackling 24 hours of Tough Mudder with the rest of the global Mudder community.
Tough Mudder has taught me so much about training, eating healthy, as well as the togetherness a Tough Mudder brings. During my last Tough Mudder event I completed the assist 100, helping complete strangers on the course, for if it wasn’t for the very same people, I would have significantly struggled during that first Tough Mudder in 2015. I wouldn’t have made the progress between an unfit, unhealthy, unhappy university student to completing a marathon and wanting to take on Tough Mudder on the global stage.
In the year 2021 and 2022 I’ve decided to step even further out of my comfort zone and take on 4 big tasks for charity, the Wales Air Ambulance. This will be climbing Kilimanjaro, a Spartan Ultra, Worlds Toughest Mudder, and finally an Ironman Wales. I would never had dreamed of putting together this series without that first Tough Mudder 6 years ago. What I’m trying to say is, thank you Tough Mudder, I owe it all to the mud.”
Has this story inspired you to take part? Get your Tough Mudder 2021 ticket today.