Conquering our challenge

This is a guest post by Idil Osman.

Taking on Tough Mudder was one of the most challenging days each one of us have had. It was both emotionally and physically taxing, but yet immensely rewarding. The challenge to do Tough Mudder was of course our brother Bashir’s plan. He embarked on a fundraising campaign to build 50 wells across some of the driest and drought prone areas in east Africa. He had a fun raising target of £165,000, which he hoped to achieved by asking people to sponsor him to undertake Tough Mudder.

Sadly he passed away in July last year. At this time he had already raised more than half the funds and was well on his to becoming fit for Tough Mudder. It was an extremely difficult time: for us, for his friends, his colleagues and the thousands of people whose lives he had touched. But we didn’t want Bashir’s efforts and legacy to die with him. We as his siblings therefore decided to continue his fundraising and participate in Tough Mudder on his behalf.

The fundraising target by the grace of Allah was achieved within weeks of Bashir’s passing. Getting ready for Tough Mudder proved to be more tricky, at least for me. My younger siblings were generally quite fit; my brothers play a lot of football, while my sister is a marathon enthusiast, having run a number of half marathons already. I on the other hand am a workaholic and tend to dedicate very little time to other aspects of life. This had to change.

I joined the local gym, consulted a personal trainer, got a medical check up and diet advice. I felt very motivated but this came crashing down on the first day I hit the gym. I came face to face with how unfit I was and spent the next two days nursing some serious muscle ache. Determined, I went back to the gym that same week and soon started to feel the benefits of regular exercise.

Within a few weeks I was able to start running in the park which helped me to build stamina. In the gym I did 3 cardio classes and spent two days doing strength conditioning exercises. I would precede the cardio classes with a run. I did this for three months until Tough Mudder day came. My siblings had a similar training regime with some of them opting to do more running and others doing more of the football games they normally play combining it with weight lifting.

When the day came, none of us felt quite ready, but we were determined to finish it however long it would take. The Tough Mudder course is 12 miles long. There were some gruesome challenges: from the icebox challenge to the several 10-12 feet walls we had to climb. Everywhere was muddy, filled with periodic mud hills we had climb over and there were too many cold mud pools we had to walk through. If that wasn’t enough, Tough Mudder ensured electrocution was awaiting us at the very end. Our clothes were torn. I lost a leg of trousers halfway through and a shoe towards the end.

But the joy of all that anguish came when we passed the finish line and completed the course. It took us four and half hours. We needed a good few days to recover from the muscle ache and I don’t think any one of us would rush to do it again, but we are very happy to have realised our brother’s intention. We hope he would be proud.

Idil, Abyan, Muad and Mohamed


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