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An inverted wall that you have to get up and over, and unless you a really skilled, you will need to help from you team mates to get you over the wall. Dave managed to make it look easy by jumping, grabbing and by using the same technique as a leg raise, got up and over with no issues. Me on the other hand, did some little pathetic little jump (which was hardly worth it) and needed the additional help. First try, we used the same technique to climb the Operation Blackhawk wall, by squatting and lifting, another attempt, we did the same thing as what we use for practicing my pull ups, with a little lift to reach the top and then I made my own way up and over. It will be interesting to see if I built up some more confidence to jump and grab, if I could get over.
Kiss of Mud 2.0
Tough Mudder would not be the same without throwing in a few mud obstacles, and this also held true for the beta testing, the working how low they should have the barbed wire and of course how muddy the course can be - which is MUDDY, add in a few tyres that you have to work your way over just to make it a little bit harder. You can never expect to stay clean and if you think you can get through a TM course without getting dirty you are truly delusional.
Arctic Enema 2.0
If anyone has completed a Tough Mudder course you would know what the Arctic Enema has in store, and would probably be one of the most feared obstacles. Basically it is a giant bath filled with ICE, as soon as you get in your fingers start to freeze and you can no longer feel your muscles and then you have to attempt to get out. Well they have up the ante on this one to include a caged slide and then a wall in the centre which you have to navigate over. Doing a comparison of the two I thought 1.0 was a little harder where you had to force yourself under the centre wall, the thought of submerging your head in an ICE bath is just not fun. This maybe something they will be updating for full course, however an ICE bath is never fun and to control your muscles afterwards takes some getting used to.
Funky Monkey 2.0
Who loves Monkey Bars? Not me - thats for sure... I have only just figured out how to do them, but add in some slippery surfaces and an incline, I had no hope until hell freezes over. Yep the water was my friend as I placed my hands on the first bar and found that my grip really isn't strong enough to hold on. At least it wasn't just me that couldn't do it, but quite a few (so I didn't feel as bad), Dave just flew through it as easily as anything and then later attempted to do it backwards. Basically Funky Monkey isn't just some bars that you get from one to the other, of course you have this but at an incline, add in a swing bar that you have to transition to and then transition to a bar that you need to traverse along.
Another tunnel that you need to crawl your way through, but of course its not as simple as that, on top of the tunnel is a tarpaulin that is filled with water, again doesn't sound that hard, but I guess everything is easy in theory. Water gets heavy, and when you are being weighed down by it, crawling through a tunnel is actually quite difficult. There is some good news though for all those small people out there, its a little easier if you are smaller. I went through the 'lower' of the two, and if your back is strong enough you can crawl through easily enough if you stay low, and if you move to the side and get a little bit squashed you can then easily make your way through it.
When you approach an obstacle, tactics start to play in your mind on how you will be able to conquer it. This one, did not look that bad, a inclined slope with ropes and you have to traverse across. Yep, its funny how graceful you have it in your head, and then reality hits and it all turns to shit. Add in additional elements such as the ropes being wet, the slope being wet, grip strength (this was not an easy one to conquer). I had the help of some guys letting me use their hands as foot holds, but to do this on your own takes true skill. The rope just slides out from your hand, your feet slide from under you, and there is nowhere to grip onto it. Dave used a different tactic and wrapped the rope around his wrist (which looked kinda painful), but worked for him, and of course he got across - I would say with ease, but I think we all underestimated the difficultly in this one.
Another obstacle that requires a lot of upper body strength, grip strength and some skill. Its these obstacles that you look at, you put a kid too and they would do it easily. Also makes me wish that I did gymnastics as a child. Ask an adult to do it, and we just make it so very complicated. Holding onto a set of rings, you had to make your way across the pegs, at an incline to start with. The challenge for me was 1. Getting on the pegs 2. swinging on the pegs 3. actually moving across the pegs. This is another one that in my head came out so much more graceful than what I made it look. Getting the motion and strength to move from one to the next, there were a combination of elements that you needed to consider, and I don't even think if you were good at the rings/monkey bars that this would have helped, as Dave demonstrated.
A new addition to the Tough Mudder obstacle family, Cry Baby is a a gas filled chamber that is sure to bring you to tears, although during testing it was mainly the inability to see your hands and the logs that you got sandwiched between them that caused the most pain. The first attempt, being a little unsure what it was going to be like I had my eyes closed for the whole things, the second and third attempt with them open. There is the chance of a little claustrophobia as you can't see anything, and I swear the tunnel just keeps going, but that would have something to do with crawling like a snail since you really can't see anything. The feedback that was given does not hold well for future cry baby users, the tears will be coming as this time round just wasn't strong enough.
Hold ur Wood
This had to be one of my favourite obstacles of the day (apart from the mud), you had to carry a log between the two of you and get it through two walls (high and low) without actually touching the wood. The First time was easy enough to get through it, the second time I swear the log was heavier then the first one, it was also slippery with the mud to a little bit harder to hold onto. The only real confusing bit, is what you needed to do for example do you go through the wall too or over it, or go around it. This bit was a little confusing, also with two people it was a challenge with three it was a little to easy and with four probably way to easy, making people go through the hole with the wood would make a little more sense.