July 2022

It was a typical British Sunday summer morning, with a thick fog lining the grim grey skies. The visibility to the site was not reassuring. Upon viewing the Skipton brush stroke palettes of green, orange and brown, the SMR Crew knew that they had arrived for Tough Mudder 2022. Only missing one person in action. 16 out of 17 Soldiers made it for registrations. That was the easiest part before setting off running up grassy mounds and sliding down muddy slopes. At first, they tried to avoid getting too much soil on their feet and beloved SMR titled black uniforms. But that was a redundant battle. Once they had belly crawled the second obstacle with mere inches of space between their heads and barbwire, everything and everyone was tainted with the Skipton agricultural soil.

They pushed each other, carried each other, and pulled each other.  Forming human pyramids to climb the loftiest contraptions made for inevitable falling. Leaving no architect behind.

The challenges were built to overcome phobias such as altitudes, claustrophobia, and electricity shocks. Using laughter to conceal the pain of the shocks, SMR ran through most of them with proficiency and lunacy. What they lacked in physicality they made up for it with grit and absolute stubbornness to never give up. At the end of the race, crossing the final line, they were rewarded with the coldest beers and greasy filling of shawarma.  They swallowed the food whole and inhaled the alcohol. Sitting down for the first time all day, staring back at the colossal obstacles scaling the climbers to look like crawling ants. Pondering was it worth it for all the spicy elbows and knees, bruised shoulders, and dead legs.  Observing their camaraderie, knowing that they had each other’s backsides in the line of action. Nobody was dropped, and nobody cried. By conquering Tough Mudder, SMR crew knew that they were the toughest!

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