For our anniversary we took a trip to the NSW Central Coast. More on that later, but the main objective of the trip was to take part in TOUGHMUDDER
... a 20km long obstacle course- mud, berlin walls, river crossings, electric shocks- just about everything they could throw at us!
SInce it was for our anniversary- 1 year married and 7 years together- we(I) decided we should do it in appropriate fancy dress :D But obviously the course was going to be tough, so we needed something that wouldn't get in the way too much. Both outfits are made out of cheapo technical fabric refashioned from K-Mart sport clothes. 1 vest, 1 black tshirt and 2 white tshirts = $15.
Didn't we look great?! Ok, so my dress looks a little like a nighty, but I quite like the draping I managed to do on the back to make a bit of a bustle instead of a train.
The dress was the vest chopped off short, attached to one of the tshirts chopped of below the sleeves. Plus some lace and flowers from the stash (the flowers were prototypes for the actual wedding!)
The suit was the black t-shirt cut open along the front, with the front panel of the other white shirt carefully sewn in along the seams of the black shirt, so it effectively had two front panels. I sewed down the "lapels" so they wouldn't just flop around too much- one side has an actual buttonhole and the other side has a fabric buttonhole, also a prototype from the big day, and sewed the front closing button on through all the layers to make them stay.
The bow tie is made from the left over fabric scraps and sewn on firmly.
I think he looks quite dapper, all things considered!
Just before the start!
And just after.
Part way through, climbing down to swim a river.
Notice the not-so-white dress!
Then the photos stop... it gets hard to tell who is who when you are this covered in mud!
Most of it wasn't too bad. The spirit of mate-ship was great, so for things like the berlin walls (especially the one that was 4m high) where they way no way in hell most people would be able to get over, there were people to give you a leg over. Or basically throw you over! Some of it was just shear determination, like carrying a log on your shoulder through thigh deep swamp for a kilometer. Easy to start with, horribly hard half way through!
The worst for me was the electric eel. I always knew it was going to be the hardest for me, because I am a strong believer that people and electricity shouldn't mix, but I wanted to try it. It was awful. I was almost in tears just trying to make myself start! Army crawling through the mud in wet clothes under charged wires and regularly getting painful zaps. Halfway through I got a really strong one on my head and freaked, I just wanted to get out of there. But the only real way was to carry on, so I did. While getting zapped some more. I got out the far end and just lay there in a puddle, hyperventilating. Then the Boy picked me up and I burst into tears. After I recovered, I was good to carry on but there was no way I was doing the second electric one!
I loved all the water ones, swimming or wading or jumping off a high platform. They were fun, and cool (it got up to the high 20s), and washed some of the mud off! The monkey bars were hard as they went up hill, not just flat. I was hopeless! And the hills they threw in to wear you out were just plain cruel.
The hardest was the Mud Mile- a series of trenches filled with increasingly viscous mud. They started of OK, but by the end they were so thick that it was really hard to move. Even pulling your self over the top was hard, never mind if you sank in it at all. and by that time (probably about 16-18km in) we were getting pretty tired! My skirt acted as a sail, slowing me down even more. I'll admit we gave up on that one after about 5 of 7 main trenches, in the hope of actually making it to the end of the course.
We made it through to the end though, slowly but surely!
We had lots of people congratulating us on our anniversary, and saying what a great way it was to celebrate. I have to say I agree!
There were a few casualties- our outfits were binned, and our shoes were donated to charity (though I'm not sure who would want them!)
The Boy kept his bow tie. I think he quite liked it. Win!
I managed to fall on the 5m halfpipe, and land on my cheek/temple. I think I was so shocked at almost making it over the top that when my hand slipped out of the hand of the guy who was going to try and help me over and I totally forgot to protect myself.
It gave me an awesome black eye to be proud of, but sadly the swelling trapped some of the nasty mud/water in my ear and I developed *the worst* ear infection within 12 hours. I woke up in the middle of the night in agony, and made the Boy drive us around Sydney in a camper van at 7am on a monday trying to find somewhere to buy drugs to make the pain go away...
I got an emergency appointment with my GP when we were back in Perth that afternoon because blood stained gunk had started pouring out of my ear hole... too much information, you say?!? Yup, but it was really disturbing, on top of the pain.
My heart was saying
"head injury plus fluid in ears = serious"
I knew in my head that it was just a bad infection, but always good to get these things checked!
(I did get it checked straight away, and they couldn't feel any abnormalities and just gave me a cold pack to help with the swelling, but they had lots of people to cover...)
I flew out to Italy not long after, and got some funny looks. Its hard to explain what I did in English, never mind in a language that I can only just order a coffee in!
So... Would I do it again?
Yes, probably. Now the pain has gone away. If only to see how on earth Perth can produce that much mud, considering we only have sand!
Would I recommend it to others?
I think so. To the right others anyway. I can imagine certain friends wanting to do it, but then complaining the whole way around. Thats not how it works! And we saw a few people who were potentially quite seriously hurt, and heard of more later (but also heard they were OK in the end).
But if you read what I just wrote and still like the sound of it, then do it! And get a bigger group than 1 or 2 together, because it definitely looked more fun in a team! And wear something like skins that cover your knees. They don't have to be expensive- mine and the Boys were from K-mart, under the rest of the clothes- but I can't imagine the chaffing from all that mud in a non-synthetic, loose pair of shorts, and both of our knees are scratched to hell.