Today was a good day, it was the day I returned to Fit4OCR (an obstacle course training facility), after a year of being absent from the arena. After months of just focusing on cardio, this summer my focus is to get back my physical strength and returning to Fit4OCR is part of that plan.
Fit4OCR is a obstacle course training facility where you are able to practice and learn technique to get over obstacles. From tyre mangles to monkey bars – you are taught and encouraged to overcome many obstacles you would face at an OCR race, whilst having fun.
I first discovered Fit4OCR around 18 months ago, when a group of boot camp friends and I made our first visit to the facility in Baldock. Within the first five minutes of arrival I knew this would be my new playground. Run by an extremely friendly team – Gill and Marc – and a bunch of like minded participants, we had fun from the get go. Throwing ourselves over walls and into water filled trenches, we came away cold, muddy and buzzing. Safe to say we came back several times over the next few months, bringing along other friends each time. And each time we went, we had a blast. No matter who went, you were made to feel welcome, everyone introduced themselves and it had a great team spirit – no matter who you were grouped with.
So the fact that it has been a long year since I have headed up to my favourite playground saddens me. But with a serious illness to overcome and then fear of developing an injury before the London Marathon – I simply had to prioritise and put my OCR training to the back of the list.
My performance at Dirty Race Race Weekend proved that I needed to get back to it, get dirty and harden up my now super soft hands. And that’s what we did today.
On a beautiful sunny Sunday morning Jo and I headed up to the new location, ready to build back our strength – mine neglected due to recent events and Jo missing paying attention to her own training due to training others – we were ready to throw ourselves at it. And that’s what we did. Albeit – slightly slower than the other participants taking part today, and probably looking rather soft with our gentle approach to the obstacles, we made our way round – excited to see the new arena and just to be back.
Slightly cautious at first, but then starting to throw ourselves at the obstacles – with Gill’s guidance – we began to fall naturally into our happy place. There is nothing quite like looking at an obstacle in front of you thinking “that is not possible” but then remembering that anything is possible if you practice, practice, practice. And that’s what we did today – quickly hardening the calluses and even ripping the skin, which put a stop to further activity on the monkey bars and the rings – which were not available at the previous location. That did not deter us though, we kept on, throwing ourselves at other obstacles – our muscles remembering we can overcome them with ease and summing up those we could not for next time.
We came away from the session, as we had done before, buzzing, determined and ready to come back and try again. In the meantime we have put a plan in place to keep the practice going. To harden up the hands and get them used to the motion of monkey bars we will be heading back to the local town parks to practice, practice, practice. We have achieved our goals before and we will do it again. The goal for next time – to conquer the rings like a true ninja warrior.
If anyone is looking for strength training or is planning on their first OCR race I would thoroughly recommend looking Fit4OCR up. There has not been a session we have walked away disappointed. Every time we go we achieve something new. Today, I climbed the cargo net after falling from one at Dirty Rat Race Weekend thinking I would have to come back down the way I came. But I didn’t. I was shaking at the top for some time, trying to calm myself down and work it out. But there was no pressure, Gill was there at the bottom, not rushing me, not saying a word and eventually I made it over the top and back down to ground level. I overcame a new found fear, simply by being there today. So when they say the best thing to do is “get back on the horse” they are right. That’s not to say there was no fear, there was. I was still slightly shaking when I got back to the car, but it is the tactics they use at Fit4OCR that enables you to overcome an obstacle that makes them special.
That and the fact that you feel like a valued family member every time you go – it is simply the best place to train.
I can’t wait to go back and overcome more! In the meantime, it’s off to the park we go!