Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tough Guy

Pulling on holds to holds had to be put aside for once. It was a moment I had to fight on ground level than upwards for once. The time came closer to this day, the pressure raised as a million butterflies were trying to get out my tummy..

Tough Guy is the worlds hardest one day event (marathon) and I had done absolutely zero training.  An 8-mile long ultimate cross-country track with many torture topics on the way. 10,000 volts electric shocks whilst crawling belly flat in a vast pitch-black tunnel cramped between 100 other runners screaming to get out of these tunnels, it even had rat piss mixed in the dirty cold water. Fire jumping, swimming ice cold artic water and under wooden beams is going to freeze your brain like you have had a million ice creams in one go.  Barbwire crawl, balancing wooden planks at 10 meters high and trust me from a climbers point of view you don’t want to fall, as the safety net is miles down, and much more. This is simply Tough Guy.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a member of the tough guy group anymore.

The weekend suddenly arrived and I managed to get some cheap cross-country clothing from Decathalon the day before for hell of a good price.

I drove up from London to Wolverhamption with my dear old Belgium buddy Emlyn who I went to Africa with, driving from Cape Town to Khartoum in 2009, half a marathon in Belgium. Millions of house parties back at university when we were students. I knew him ever so well and I was pretty sure he was going to fail, in fact I guaranteed it. Emlyn’s training for Tough guy had been only beer and fags.
   Emlyn and I stayed at David’s house near the event. David is another old school friend of ours who works for See Hear  and helped organize the filming project.

My views with Emlyn failing grew after his conversation with David.

Emlyn:- “David….. have you got some shorts I can borrow?”
David “yes, but they are swimming trunks, they may be uncomfortable”
Emlyn “good enough……………..ermmm have you got some trainers I can borrow”

We are running under 12 hours time and boozing at David’s crib and Emlyns doesn’t even have the proper clothing. I asked what he would wear if there was no spare? “Some surfing shorts, some skateboarding/trainers I have brought with me” he responded relaxed with his layback attitude and some rum coke in his hand. I was sure he was going to die on the Tough Guy battle field.

There were five of us in total, all deaf and being filmed by BBC ‘s See hear which will be shown on 22nd February 1pm on BBC2.
  We met up early to register on the day with the other two dudes Tom and Graham who had done some training and had all the proper clothing with confident faces.  Tom had done 2 triathlons and was super fit; he was going to come first out of us five. I knew it.

When we arrived, it was freezing at 0 degrees, I had four layers on and was already shivering. I saw the frozen lake we were going to swim across and felt like crying. I was ever so nervous. I needed a wee but the urine was too nervous to come out my body. At least it kept me warm.
   The BBC and the owner (Mr Mouse) had made an agreement for us five to be at the front having to hold a cross each for the first 500 yards. After 100 yards I thought I was going to collapse, but I am no coward or fool and decided to give the challenge my best go.
Did Emlyn fail? Did he have a secret? To find out what really happened, check it out on 22nd February 1pm on BBC2.

P.S thank you enormously to everyone who came to support us five. You were all as hardcore freezing in the cold, running to capture pictures. Thank you all for your support Louise, Seeta, Lisa, Fiona, Deirdre, Fiona, Mija, John and Alberto