In July I took part in a training morning with The Royal Marines which was run by Fortitude Fitness Centre based in beautiful Cambridge.
Fortitude Fitness run obstacle course training sessions but on this particular Saturday morning The Marines were there to put us through our paces so I was nervous to say the least. I went with a friend who had done many of these before and she reassured me I would be fine, but having not done anything like this before I was incredibly apprehensive.
The setup included woodland and a field with 26 obstacles including monkey bars, a rope wall, water runs, tunnels and cargo nets. I am not afraid of getting muddy or soaked, but the height of some of the obstacles for a 5′ 1″ me looked daunting.
We were thrown straight into it with our warm up of jogging, walking lunges, sprints, push-ups and military crawls. When we were suitably warmed up and huffing and puffing we were led to the woodland area where we ran circuits around the undergrowth and waded through the water and mud trenches.
Now suitably wet, muddy and worn out we were put through our paces with a lot more running, squats, push-ups and planks. I think it was here my first thoughts of I can’t do this started to fill my head. It was now time to tackle the obstacle course – The Marines showed us how to complete them successfully making it look like a walk in the park and then it was our turn to do it. I feel I did pretty well apart from the higher obstacles such as the hangover wall – as high as I jumped I just couldn’t reach the top so I had to be boosted by one The Marines (who can complain about that?!)
Obstacles done it was time to venture into the woodland again but this time with a weighted object – either a sledgehammer, a weighted backpack or a weighted amo box. If jumping over tree roots and crawling through thick mud wasn’t tough enough already it sure was with some extra kgs to drag around! I hoped I wouldn’t be passed an amo box as it looked like the most awkward to carry of the options, but I was out of luck.
One of the last and least enjoyable tasks was to do push ups above a mud and water trench, and everytime you press down you were shouted at to dunk your face in. The session ended with holding planks whilst being shouted at and by this point everyone was struggling to hold it together. All in all we spent two hours being trained by The Royal Marines, who were incredibly helpful and encouraging and supported us all along the way.
I look back on this day and think of it as such an amazing experience – it isn’t everyday you get to train with The Royal Marines. Two hours of pushing yourself mentally and physically really ingrains into your brain and I still look back with pride. This was the fist time I think I’d ever pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone, and it has led me to take part in other events such as The Major Series and a half marathon. Don’t ever underestimate yourself and always strive to push yourself!
Images by Epic Action Imagery.