As a kid I relished the chance of playing in the mud, waiting for the rains to come to create that oozing, chocolate slush that you could roll in, throw at your mates, and of course get a dressing down from your Mum when you got home with clothes so dirty they needed two wash’s to get clean.
Surely I wasn’t alone in this pleasant past-time? And if the rise and success of the various adventure races, the ones that invariably have numerous mud pits strategically placed around the course is any guide to go by, then clearly I wasn’t.
Recently, my 12 year old son, TomO, and I headed off to compete in a Tough Bloke Challenge which was staged just to the south of Sydney. And I do use the word compete lightly as this was intended to be a fun day out and whilst there were some serious looking competitors’ lining up at the start, for the most part everyone was similar to ourselves, eager to get down and dirty!
The first challenge was almost on the start line and required us to scale a stack of hay bales, and then on to a 3-kilometre trail run to warm us up for what lie ahead. There was mud trenches covered with barbed wire, dark concrete tunnels, monkey bars to negotiate, flying foxes to ride, and all this along a 7-kilometre course. We egged each other on, laughing our way around the course, jostling with thousands of others sloshing through the mud.
A lot of time could be spent hypothesising on what has encouraged so many weekend-warriors to line up with their mates, seemingly happy to put themselves through a gruelling work-out just to receive a medal, and a cold beer to drink a toast to crossing the finish line. But let’s face it – rolling in the mud is just great fun!
Don’t you think so?