Long time supporter of Pilgrim Bandits, Matt Trussell was introduced to us by one of our injured lads ex Sappa Jimmy Wilson.
In his own words here is his account of taking part with friends in the Tough Mudder Midlands 2017 to raise valuable funds.
When it comes to meeting up with old Armed Forces friends, often little excuse is required. As anyone that’s served will know, you pretty much can pick up where you left off regardless of how many years have passed. Granted, you’ll struggle to get everyone there – but those of you that make it have a great time.
When the Whatsapp chat was set up, initial thoughts were: “What’s this about?!” It soon became clear – they’d like to participate in Tough Mudder in a few month’s time. Of course, I said yes, and the team started to assemble.
With something like this though, it felt right to try and use the opportunity to raise some funds, so Pilgrim Bandits were selected due to the great work they do – with a friend of mine having participated in some expeditions previously. He was able to sort us out with some t-shirts; unfortunately the colour wasn’t the most ideal selection though.
As someone who was never the fittest bloke while serving (understatement of the century), the doubt did set in during the build-up – hitting the gym a few weeks in advance and a few weeks before that going on a few runs. That said though, I had a feeling it was going to be okay, after all, a bit of aggression and teamwork can see you through any adversity.
When the big day arrived, there was a nervous energy in the air. As I’m sure you can imagine, looking around you’d see some keen looking individuals, donning their headbands like the scalps of their enemy. ‘All the gear, no idea’ sprang to mind…
After an energetic warm up, we set off – and it didn’t take long for one team member to throw a clump of mud at another. I hoped that wasn’t setting the tone, as when I’m dying a death during physical activity, flying clumps of mud are the last thing I’m hoping to concern myself with.
We progressed around a mile and hit our first proper obstacle, which was a sloped wall of around 8ft. Having scaled similar numerous times, we heaved ourselves over, and proceeded along the route.
• A container filled with ice, which you slid into – then had to proceed under a beam in the middle
• A steep slope with a small piece of wood in the middle – a human pyramid was required to scale it
• Dangling wires carrying a reported 10,000 volts – enough to literally knock people over, as a teammate discovered when he blacked out – twice!
Overall, it was a challenging endeavour, but great fun too. It was a very muddy experience, and presented ample opportunity to test strength, grit and balance – there were plenty of sections where we were reduced to sliding through sludge. A wall was definitely hit, but at no point did anyone give up which was great to see.
In total it was around 10-12 miles of jogging, obstacles and silly shouting from our resident clown – and it felt great being together with old friends and even better to have raised money for a fantastic cause.
Hopefully the funds can now go towards providing some injured veterans with their challenge – who are capable of so much more than the rest of us, having gone that extra mile time and time again.
On behalf of us all Matt, thank you .. Always a Little Further