According to dozens of studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Really? So if a mugger was coming at the average person wielding a knife they’d be thinking Please God just let him slit my gut and use my entrails as a lasso to lead me around the room, let him recreate the scary ear scene from Pulp Fiction, let him skin me alive as I beg for mercy. Anything, anything but please, dear God, don’t let him ask me to recite poetry at his wedding.
Beyond the fear of forgetting the first line of She Walks in Beauty, there’s the Tough Mudder, a form of entertainment that’s so ridiculously dangerous it requires participants to sign a death waiver. It involves completing a 12-mile course trapdoored with 25 military-style obstacles that include 12ft walls to scale, underground mud tunnels to stumble through and various encounters with fire, ice-cold water and 10,000 volts of electricity. The “good” news is it’s coming to the UK for the first time, with events planned for July and November. Yee-ha… not. I would rather cover myself in cat food and be strapped to a dead granny on her piss-ridden sofa and slowly nibbled to death by her pack of tabby cats than take part.
But ssshh don’t mention that to the Tough Mudder organisers, it may give them ideas about adding an extra 26th challenge. Clearly, I don’t want to take part… but I do rather like the idea staying fit and, unbelievably, I already do one of the 16 exercises on the Tough Mudder workout suggested to prepare participants for the gruelling course. It’s the TM Push Up and this is how it goes.
Start out in a regular push-up position with a dumbbell in each hand. As you push your body upwards, rotate your torso at its peak height and bring your right hand up behind you so that your arms form a vertical line. Lower the weight and return to the push-up position. Repeat raising your left hand.
I use my own dumbbells… which are pink. I’m guessing they’d lead to instant disqualification. Phew. For the complete set of exercises, click here.