Nettle Warrior 2007

Me and my dad just got back from completing the Nettle Warrior 2007 Tough Guy challenge (www.toughguy.co.uk). I have to say that it was pretty tough! The whole course was about 8 miles, and the obstacles were pretty crazy. It started off with the 'country miles' which we thought would be a nice trot through the country, but as we headed into the woods area there was mud everywhere. I stepped to something that i thought would be a puddle and ended up waist deep on my face caked in mud, followed by 'wahhhaayyy!' by many around, and it was all downhill from there!
It was a really good event, very well organized and there were around 2500 other competitors so obstacles were literally jam packed. There were electric fence wires that you had to run through, barb wire to crawl under, logs to swim under, rope obstacles to traverse, 30 foot long pipes to crawl through in pitch black, crazy mud ditches to jump in and scramble out of.....it was a really crazy event. The entire course would have not too bad but the other 2500 competitors and mud covered obstacles made it harder. I have to admit as well that at the top of the bigger structures it was pretty dodgy at times because it would have been pretty easy to misplace a foot. My dad said that the lake we had to swim through had a huge dead fish floating next to him....god knows what is in that water!
Like anything else i did come with my preconceptions of this event, and it was similar to what i thought, although actually more challenging than i anticipated. After plunging into the lake and swimming under logs and platforms, i was affected by the cold more than anything for the rest of it, especially since it was 2 laps. At the end i couldnt hold the camera still and i was shaking all over the shop!
Really great event though, was exhausting and felt rinsed the rest of the day. Was nice to randomly see fellow northern traceur luke there too!
All in all took 3 hrs to complete, including getting all the stones and grit out of my sandals! (My dad overheard someone say i looked like Jesus lol).

Pre-event recce of the course: Just some of the many obstacles:

These tunnels were pretty nuts and it was hard to find the best technique to get through.
Pretty strange sight, sums up the day really!
My dad and his spartan sandal-esque shoes (eveyone else had trainers and trail shoes)

Looking nice and clean before the event,
Check out the new brown apparel!
My trusty Jesus running sandals, blister-tastic!


Life Is Movement

"The fundamental phenomenon of all organic life is change of form (or movement), sometimes so slight as even to evade the microscope." - Eugene Sandow

Stagnation of any kind inhibits progress and growth. Stagnation of mind, and of movement. Thinking back many years ago, it seems that we are all naturally lazy, as a species. Over time, especially the past 50 years or so, technology has adopted many of the chores that we were so used to doing.....food, travel, entertainment; all provided by money and technology. We are often hearing of the growing crisis of obesity and illnesses, especially in western countries. While many in the west are dying from eating too much, others elsewhere are dying from not eating enough....pretty crazy i think.

China is a good example of how modernisation is changing people. With a change in power from chairman Mao and Communism, there has been a rise in expendable incomes. Rates of obesity and coronary disease in China are growing because people now have more money to spend on luxuries such as cigarettes and more food.

Back to the point though, movement is the producer of change and progress. Modern, western society is encouraging less and less of our own efforts for movement because it offers alternatives which are initially more attractive. We don't actually have a need to say a active anymore because we have everything provided for. Money and technology have replaced movement.

Physical movement is expendable for everyone now, as is the need for religion. I am not religious, but I think that a lot of people really need to think about what is going to happen after they die. For a lot of us it is TOO comfortable, compared to what life WAS like or IS like as the case is for many in the world. No one really has to think about what will happen after they die because everything is catered for here, we are distracted. I think its pretty crazy to think that there are still people alive today who were involved in a global war just over 60 years ago.....60 years is nothing! If we were thrown into that situation now, I know that I would be thinking outside of this life a bit more. I am saying this because I think its too easy to get on with this life and forget about after. I am trying to find definite ground for my beliefs on what is and what isn't going to happen after I die so that I don't have to be terrified of death when it comes. Basically I think that people should take time to think seriously about things outside of this life, because its too easy to forget about it and get on with what is currently happening, even if it is all short lived in the grand scheme.

As for physical movement, like a stagnant pool of water infested with mosquitoes and bacteria, this is what our bodies can become if we mistreat them. They need to be active! They need to be fed well! The human body is incredible and can take a lot of punishment, but inflicting this punishment on the self by misuse (or no use) is ruining something which has so much potential for giving happiness. Anyone who looks after themselves and exercises knows how much of a pleasure it is to feel the benefit of their efforts and to use their body. As Sandow says, 'the spirit or soul that occupies a bodily dwelling filled with the divine music of health makes a little heaven on earth within its own body'.

As Williams Belle from the Yamakasi Generation documentary comments, the true and best things are so close, too close for many to even see! We have concepts of happiness pushed onto us by advertisements and consumerism, but the simplest and most free things are always the most rewarding in my opinion. Using your body to move and making it something which is enjoyable to use and reside in (depending on your metaphysical beliefs...) is so simple and something which we always have. The body has so much potential and is such an obvious vehicle for happiness that many are blind to this! External things such as products and lifestyles etc are more visible because they are pushed in our faces.

"Man was ordained to wrest his food from the earth by his own muscular power, and his muscular system was given him for that purpose, and also partly to convert his food into motive power by digestion and assimilation...It is as if the Creator wound up the clock of Life and handed us the key in the shape of a muscular system, which has been given us for re-winding it again from time to time, so as to keep the 'works' of life going smoothly, and enable the 'clock' to show correct time throughout life".
- 'Life is movement or the physical reconstruction and regeneration of the people' by Eugene Sandow.



Just a page archiving my videos so far, will keep as a link for the future,

May 2008 Small Nanjing Video

January 2008 Nanjing Sampler

Summer 2007 Egypt

Summer 2006 Tricking

2005 Owen and me

Boxing day 2004

L'art Du Deplacement

TCT Summer 2004


A lot to chew....

Just a few days ago, i did another longish crawl for my training for the 10th of august crawl (need more donations!!). This crawl really put into perspective just how much of a damn mission this is gonna be, it destroyed me.
It worked out at 2.23 miles, just over half of the 4 mile crawl. By the end i was such a wreck that a woman on my road asked if i was ok and said she thought i was dying haha. It took me about 10 minutes to get down the last road which takes about 30 secs to walk because my palms were so damn sore so i had to change between palms and fingertips. All in all took just around 2.5 hours. Anyway, have a look at the map below to get an idea of the distance, I could have sworn a mile was shorter than this!
This is honestly going to be a real challenge for me and this crawl woke me up to that fact.
More donations please!!!!!!