As you approach the angry beast, you can hear it clicking its 1,000 yellow tongues at you, just waiting for you to run right into its gaping mouth. Others go ahead before you and for a split second you think it will all be okay—hey, look, that guy’s making it through fine. But you can feel the sweat on your brow as you realise, holy sh*t it’s your turn. You’re about to dash through 10,000 volts of electricity and you have no cover.
That’s how Electroshock Therapy may seem in your head. But by the time it’s all over, you have your hard-earned finisher drink in your hand and your new headband wrapped around your forehead soaking up that nervous sweat, and you actually feel damn proud. What was all that fuss about? If you face your fears before you even get on-course, you’re two steps ahead of the game. But once it comes time to actually make it through Electroshock Therapy, use these tried and true tips.
1. PSYCH YOURSELF UP
There are some times in life when psyching yourself up is good—mustering the courage to ask someone out on a date or getting ready to plunge into Arctic Enema come to mind—but few times are as necessary as right before taking on Electroshock Therapy. There’s nothing quite like pure adrenaline to get through an obstacle that can bring grown men down with a few well-placed snaps. Don’t think too much. Just jump up and down, yell your battle cry if you need to and barrel through it Braveheart-style, with nothing to lose. Which brings us to our next tip…
2. RUN LIKE HELL
Remember the neighbour’s dog you always hated/feared? Pretend he’s right behind you. We’ve seen people attempt to dodge the wires in a strategic dance, trying to avoid them altogether. But the reality is, it’s not happening, friend. Make your peace with the fact that you will get shocked a few times. Depending on how nice the course manager is feeling (read: how high he’s turned up the juice) if you run as fast as you can and are sure to stay agile, you’ll be in and out of there so fast you will barely remember what hit you.
3. COVER YOUR FACE
Covering your face as you run through the wires might seem vain, but it’s actually brilliant. If you keep your head down low and put up one of your forearms to cover your face while using the other one to help you balance, your shielding forearm will absorb the pain. Think about what hurts worse: a smack to your face or a smack to your arm? Now multiply the smack times 10,000 and you’ll see where we’re coming from.
4. DON’T LOCK ARMS
Teamwork is a great thing. Except when it’s a team of 20 people locking arms and trying to run through Electroshock together. We’re not saying to go through without your teammates. We’re just suggesting that making a wall of Mudders may not be wise – unless you all happen to be roughly the same height and also have phenomenal synchronised running skills. Instead, we recommend running behind or next to your teammate to help him get up if he falls. And finally…
5. GET BACK UP
As in life, and in that cheesy Chumbawamba song from the late 90s, if you get knocked down, you get back up again. Don’t lie on the ground and tap out because you caught a little buzz (literally). Pull it together, and if you need help, call out to your teammates or another Mudder nearby. You might find out who your true friends are if you end up needing their help on this one.
The bottom line: Electroshock Therapy’s bark can be worse than its bite, but don’t count on it. Instead, be quick and nimble and keep your eyes on the prize.
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*This obstacle is only found on the Tough Mudder Classic course and is optional.*