7 Days and 7 nights

Gah, I can’t believe there’s only 7 days left until the real start of my crazy Tough Mudder challenge.

I’ve come a long way since I decided to do this back in October of last year. When I decided to do this, I really didn’t have much confidence in it. Confidence that 1. I wouldn’t be able to do it and 2. That it would take off.
Well, 6 months later and I’m pleasantly surprised. I’m now fully determined to do this. I’m committed to it now. I spend all my time thinking about this. It’s basically taken over me.

My training has been going pretty good. I’m as ready as I’m gonna get for these first two. The good thing is that after these two, I’ll know my weaknesses and what i need to work on. The only thing, I think, that is holding me back is my lungs. I’ve been smoke free for 17 months now but the damage was done. Trying to reverse the effects of 20 years of smoking will take more time and I do feel miles better than last year. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna make excuses or let it hold me back because even though they are damaged at least I’m whole. The charity that I’m doing this for helps people who have lost limbs and various other injuries to make a comeback and learn to have a life again. I’m proud to do this. It makes me feel good.

I’ve raised over £600 so far Help for Heroes. What’s great about that is that the events haven’t even started yet. I’m confident that once I get a few TM’s under my belt, and gain more exposure, then hopefully people will think this guys seriously gonna do this, and will be more inclined to donate. After all, this is the reason for the season.

So I’ve entered into a bit of a sponsorship deal with iON cameras. Basically, they’re going to give me a headcam to film all these events with. They want me to a sort of video diary throughout this challenge. Film bits of my training but mostly my thoughts and feelings coming up to each event and how I’m feeling afterwards. They want interview me before and after each one too. All this will be uploaded to the iON website and YouTube. Doing this will give me a lot more exposure to get my fundraising out there since they are the official sponsor of Tough Mudder. This is what the cameras look like. Really cool, slim and lightweight. It’s all one piece, so you don’t need a protective case like other cameras. It’s 1080p and 720p.

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Everybody keeps asking if I’m nervous. I don’t know. Maybe the scope of this hasn’t hit me yet or maybe I really am just a wee bit mental but I’m not really nervous. I’m definitely excited and ready for this to finally start. I’ve been waiting 6 months. I guess I’m a bit nervous about Sunday if anything. I remember how sore I was last year after TM. I think I’m more prepared for it this year though. I figure that I’ll definitely be sore and tight but after about 45 minutes or an hour, I’ll loosen up and be alright. Monday? Fuhgetaboutit…. I’m not leaving my bed. I’ll do some video editing and uploading and blog posting but that’s it. Maybe order myself a large Dominos pizza. I think I’ll have deserved it.

Oh snap, time to go. Gotta get off the bus. Well, you probably won’t hear from me until after the events. So until then, be well.

Aaron

Balls to the wall

Ok, so I know it’s been like two months since you last heard from me, and I know what I said about trying harder. Well, what I’ve got to tell you, will make up for the long absence.

As of this moment, I’ve got exactly 21 days until my first Tough Mudder of the season. Since my last post, there honestly hasn’t been much going on apart from the normal training and fundraising. That is, until Thursday…

Let me back up a bit. The charity I’m doing all this madness for, Help for Heroes, told me a while ago that Tough Mudder HQ was looking for the crazy guy doing all 16 events. They passed my details onto TM and the wait began. Fast forward to this past Monday and I receive an email from a lady on the TM PR and Media team. After a bit of email tag, we finally were able to settle on a time for her to call me. Thursday afternoon my phone rings.

After a minute of chit chat, she asked about me. My background, things I’ve done before, etc. I began to tell her I’m an 8 veteran of the US Army with 3 years served in Iraq which is why I’m doing what I’m doing. For the soldiers. I grew up riding a skateboard, snowboard and wakeboard and that there’s always been an extreme side to personality. So as soon as I heard about this thing called Tough Mudder, I knew I had to do it. So I did One last year and thought that it was amazing and I’m definitely at least 2 or 3 next year. That’s when she stopped me and said, “wait a minute, are you telling me you’ve only done 1 Tough Mudder before?” Yea. “And you’re doing 16 now?” Yea. “I suppose I don’t need to tell you that you’re crazy.” Nope.

This is when it started to get good. My names been going around the TM HQ for some time now. First, they want to feature me on the website and social media, which that alone would be awesome. She was contacted by a reporter from a very well known and well read national newspaper, (no names yet…) who wants to write a story on TM but wants to run one so she can write about the experience rather than just a story. She asked TM if there was anybody they had in mind to run the course with her. They said we’ve got the perfect person. So…. My details will be passed on to her and she will be in contact. Hopefully there will be more press as the events go on, because the more exposure I get, the more money I can raise for the charity.

There will be more to come, as we move along. I think once I get the first 2 out of the way, it will start to pick up more. More people will want to support and donate money to the charity.

Sooooo…. Now that I’m going to have more to write about I the next 6 months, you’ll be hearing from me more.

Exclusive Interview | My Hero

aaronsmudder:

Here is an interview my wife did with me for her Beauty/Fashion blog

Originally posted on livelifelovelipstick:

This year for the 1st time ever in the UK, 1 person will attempt to run all 16 UK Tough Mudder events raising money for Help for Heroes.

The obstacles include electric shock, swamp like mud and sub zero water spread over a 10 mile stretch.Who the heck in their right mind would do that??

Sharing the other side to fitness and fundraising I welcome, Aaron German, all round good guy with a touch of crazy and who happens to also be my husband. Meet Mr A <3

Men’s Edit | Skincare

As this is a beauty/fashion/lifestyle blog I can’t not ask you about your beauty regime; do you have one?

Yes I do I love a good pampering! But my routine is pretty basic; cleanse and moisturise, and if I’m honest I sometimes forget to moisturise but always regret it later. I suffered with acne growing up and mistakenly…

View original 807 more words

You’ve got another thing coming…

Wow. It’s been almost a month since my last post. Honestly though, at the moment, there’s not a lot of new stuff going on.

Training is going pretty well. I had to take a bit of a break from running. I had some shin problems for about a week. All better now but while I was recovering, I realised that I needed to spend more time in the gym as well. If you’ve read my posts before, you’ll remember the Drop 5 workout that I invented. If not, I’ll put up another pic of it.

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Yes it’s rather brutal but it feels really good at the end. It’s a full body workout. I’ve made a few tweaks since that photo was taken.

Fundraising is going great! The events haven’t even started yet and I’ve raised over £500 for Help for Heroes charity! I’m amazed by the support.

I’ve been told by the charity that Tough Mudder HQ is looking for me, so my details has been passed on to them. Waiting for them to get in touch with me. Apparently they want to do media stuff with me, which is really exciting.

My parents donated the money for my TM season pass and I have signed up for the both days of London West in April. I can only sign up for them one event at a time, because right now it is all coming out of pocket and I can only afford to sign up for each event one at a time. I have to pay for my travel and accommodations, which is going to end up costing quite a bit. Especially to get to Edinburgh, Dublin and Yorkshire. I’ve had a few people offer a couch to sleep on in Yorkshire, which is awesome. I’ve been trying to get in contact with hotels and inns around the areas, to see if they would donate a room. No luck. Nobody has written back.

My wife and I have gathered stuff we don’t need anymore and we are going to have a jumble sale and we’ve got stuff were going to sell on ebay. If you would like to donate to help fund my endeavour, email me and we can discuss. Aaronsmudder@gmail.com

If you would like to donate to the charity, Help For Heroes, you can do so here: www.bmycharity.com/aaronsmudder

Thanks everyone for the continued support.

Aaron

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

Eh, how you doin? 

You thought I collapsed in the woods somewhere, never to be found again, didnt you? Admit it. maybe you thought I’d given up. Well, sorry to disapoint you. Im still here. Alive and better than ever. Ive got too much riding on this to quit before it even starts. Im too amped up for Mudder.

Ok, so its been 2 weeks since you last heard from me. I had ten days off from work and it was great. I ran and ran and ran and rested and rested and rested. I ran so much I thought I was turning into Forrest Gump. I just kept on running. I may have ran too much though. Towards the end of my time off, my legs started hurting quite bad, so i had to take a few days to let them recover. Theyre fine now. I know what the problem was though. I was doing a proper warmup and so I was pretty much running cold. I know its bad and I dont know why I wasnt really warming up. Anyways, lesson learned. Although, I shouldnt say lesson learned because I already knew it. I just wasnt doing it.

It wasn’t all just running and resting though. It was quite productive on the community outreach side. Me and the Missus went around locally and hung posters with my charity information. We put collection tins in some local shops. Weve contacted local businesses for sponsrship and Im happy to say we have 1 business right now, interested in helping out. I’ll spend some more time in the coming weeks trying to get more community help. I’m trying to get hotels and Inns near the events to donate a room for the night. I’m trying to spend as little of my own money as possible. My parents are paying for my Tough Mudder season pass, so thats 200 quid I dont need to spend. Thanks Mom and Dad!!! I have raised over 300 for Help for Heroes which is great, but I want to raise alot more.

Ahh, I just noticed the time. My lunch break is almost over. Gotta jet.

Aaron

www.bmycharity.com/aaronsmudder

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new year!

Well, by golly gosh, it’s 2014!

How’s everyone’s resolutions coming along? Have you quit smoking? Stopped drinking? Bought your brand new gym membership yet?

As I said in my last post, my New Years resolution was to be more focused in everything I do. Anyone who knows me, knows that i have always found it difficult to focus. I’m the kind of guy who gets distracted very easily. Very easily. (Mom and Dad are nodding in agreement as they read this). Well, so far so good, I guess. I have found myself with more motivation. I’ve got 10 days off and I’m definitely using it to my advantage.

I’m pretty lucky because it’s been raining a lot lately. I know what you’re thinking… Lucky? Is this guy crazy? Well, yea I am lucky, because the more it rains, the muddier the trails get. There’s no better way to train for running through the mud, then by running through mud. I love it. Always have, I suppose. Like any typical kid, I always loved getting dirty. Tough Mudder is a way to be a kid again, except ALOT more hardcore than anything I ever did when I was a kid. I’ve got a lot of amazing trails around my house and they are dirty, dirty, dirty.

Oh, I’m almost forgot! I got a new toy! Since I started this, I always thought that I really need to film each of these events. I need to get a GoPro camera! One problem… I don’t have a spare £300 and neither does anyone I know. So I’ve been researching and reading reviews and watching YouTube videos and finally decided on one I could afford. And I got it for 50% off. I decided to go with a Hitachi action camera. It’s not much bigger than a GoPro and the quality of the filming is just as good. 1080p full HD. I took it for a run this morning to test it out. I’ve gotta say, I’m very pleased with the camera itself. However, the chest mount that it comes with is not good for running. Since it’s strapped to your chest, it moves wherever your body moves. Which means it’s back and forth, back and forth. Not good for your viewing pleasure. It would probably make you sick. So…. I’m going to make myself a head mount, so I can strap it to my forehead. Either that or a helmet.That way you can see exactly what I’m seeing. I think it will be more stable that way, but I’m not sure if I want to run 12 miles through the mud and water with a helmet on. I’ll figure something out.

It’s weird because I’m no longer saying, next year I’ll be running all 16 Tough Mudders. Now I’m saying this year. It’s getting closer, but ya know what, I’m not that nervous. I’ve done one before, so I Know what to expect. Its the next day, getting up and doing another one which makes me more nervous. And then doing that 8 times! Yikes. I’ve got a lot of people behind me now, so i can’t disappoint them. I can’t disappoint myself and most importantly, I can’t disappoint the ones I’m doing this for. The injured soldiers.

If you’re new to my mudventure, I’ll quickly tell what and why I’m doing this. I’m attempting to run all 16 UK Tough Mudder events to raise money for Help for Heroes charity. If I complete it, I will be the first to complete all 16 in one season. If you want to donate, to the charity through me, you can do so here
If you would like to sponsor me, by helping fund expenses such as travel and lodging, email me at aaronsmudder@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter @aaronsmudder or

on Facebook at Aaron’s Tough Mudder

Well… Keep on muddin on!

Til next time, I’m outta heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere

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Goodbye 2013, Hellooooooooo 2014

Well, 2013 is almost over. 2014 is getting ready to launch. It’s been a great year for me and I really didn’t expect it to turn out the way it did.

My New Years resolution was the same as always. To finally quit smoking. After 20 years, I knew I needed to but I just couldn’t do it. I’d tried everything over the years. The patch, the pill, the gum, cold turkey. I even switched over to chewing tobacco for a bit in some twisted logic. My thinking was that if I could go without smoking cigs, then the chew would be no problem. Wrong. There’s quite a few reasons I was never successful and they all pretty much boiled down to the Army. Most people smoke in the army and that alone makes it difficult. A cigarette was also a fantastic stress reliever and it’s not like the military is stress free. We drank a lot in the army and you can’t go out without a full pack of smokes. And ya know what, I just didn’t want to quit. I enjoyed smoking. He was my little friend. He never let me down. He never made me sad. He was always there for me. He was there in the good times, and he was the first I turned to in the bad times. He made me feel better no matter what. I have a lot of memories and Joe Camel was alway right there in the middle of em. He was my right hand man, my best friend and confidant.

So New Year’s Eve, I thought ok I’ll give it another go. At 11:55 pm I had my last smoke, broke the rest of the pack and chucked it in bin.
Day 1, sure wouldn’t mind a cigarette with my morning coffee. Nope. Don’t do it. Oh I don’t have any anyways. I can do this. Day 1 over. Easy enough. I’ve gone a day without smoking before. I got this.

Day 2, yea I’m not sure if I can do this. Yes you can, Aaron. Stop being weak.

Day 3, I can’t handle this. GIVE ME A CIGARETTE!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh that’s goooood. What was I thinking, trying to quit. Wait, STOP! What the hell are you doing? Why did you that? I don’t know… I’m weak.

Day 4 and 5, I can’t think, I can’t see straight, I’m shaking, sweating and I feel sick. Is this what it feel like to kick heroin? Sure feels like it. It will pass.

Day 6 and 7, I feel better. I’ve gotten over the hump. It’s been a week. Next milestone, 1month.

1month, I’ve done it!!!

Now it’s been almost a year and I am extremely proud to say that I am smoke free. It was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’ve never felt better. Now, I have to repair the damage done.

2013 for me was a year of getting healthy. Quit smoking, start exercising, and start eating healthier.

My diet really started to change when I found out how Aspartame (the sweetener) is made. I started watching documentaries and YouTube videos on the origin and production of our food. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Right, time to go organic.

Now, the more I read about how much can be fixed just by eating fruits and veg. I’m rather amazed.Our bodies have the power to heal themselves, you just need to give them the right tools and optimal environment in which to do so.

I did my first Tough Mudder in April. I knew I was hooked as soon as I put that orange headband on. What a feeling. I made the very easy decision that I was going to be getting a season pass and doing at least 2 or 3 next year. I just needed to train a lot more.

In July, I started a new job with a great new company. I joined the Loss Prevention team for Urban Outfitters Europe. Im really excited for the future with this company. It’s growing and growing and I plan to grow with it.

Now, let’s get to what brought me into your lives. My decision to undertake what will probably be the hardest challenge of my life. In October, I decided to attempt all 16 Tough Mudder UK events.

I have 2 reasons for doing this. First and foremost, is to raise as much money as I can for Help for Heroes charity. H4H is a wonderful charity who provide wounded soldiers with rehabilitation and prosthetics and opportunities outside of what the government does. As an ex-soldier myself, with 3 Iraq combat tours under my belt, it’s a cause that is very dear. I was lucky enough to not get injured, so I’ve decided to pretty much dedicate a year of my life to helping those who weren’t as lucky.
#2 is for me. It’s a personal challenge that I’ve set myself. Once I finally quit smoking, I realised, if I can do that then I can do anything.
But I couldn’t do this without the support of family and friends and complete strangers around the world. I’m humbled at the support I am receiving and look forward to seeing how much more support I can get. I especially couldn’t do this without the full support of my amazing wife. She has helped me in all areas from fundraising, to social media to motivation. She’s been wonderful.

I need everyone’s help now. I need you to spread the word to all your friends and family and followers. I need donations to roll in no matter how big or small. Every little bit helps. You can donate at www.bmycharity.com/aaronsmudder
My twitter profile is @aaronsmudder and my Facebook page is Aaron’s Tough Mudder

I hope your year was good and I wish you all a very prosperous 2014. Thanks for reading my little story.

Aaron

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Everyone loves a Ho Ho Ho

First off, let me start by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

So I’ve got some totally radical news. On Tuesday, I had my very first newspaper interview!!! The Bromley Times, here in SE London, is going to run a feature story on me and what I’m doing. So Tuesday, I had the interview and on Thursday, I met with a photographer in the park and we went into the woods where I do quite a bit of my training. Did quite a few “action” shots. Let’s just say that by the end of it, I was pretty muddy. Not Tough Mudder muddy, but pretty muddy.

I don’t know when the article is going to come out but when it does, I’ll post link on here as well as twitter @aaronsmudder

This ones gonna be short. Not much has been happening, apart from that and the normal training. Christmas is literally around the corner, and I’m going to try and restrain myself with the food. We’ll see how that goes. The in-laws are Italian, so my chances of not eating much are pretty slim. At least it will be really good food.

Ok, I’m going to write again in the new year. I’ll have an awesome announcement to make January 1st. So until then…

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

P.S. Don’t forget to spread some Christmas cheer and donate to Help for Heroes

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Well boys and girls, winter is definitely here. It’s so much harder to train when it’s cold out. How do you get the motivation to get out of your warm bed in the morning to go run when it’s so damn cold? I’ll be honest. It’s not easy but I hate running on a treadmill. It’s soooo boring running but not going anywhere. I love running through the woods. It’s quite therapeutic actually. The running is coming along though. I’m up to about 8 miles now. I need to get to comfortably running 12 miles, since the Mudder events are around that. Gettin there.

I’ve come up with a workout plan and it’s really tough. It’s kicking my butt. In a good way. I call it the Drop 5. It’s mostly body weight exercises but some require weights. You can use as much as little weight as you like but you have to do ALL the reps. No matter what. Are you ready for this? It’s pretty mental. Ok, you asked for it.

100 crunches
95 Jumping Jacks
90 Knee ups
85 Calf raises with or without weight
80 Tricep extensions w/ weight
75 Shoulder presses w/ weight
70 Deep squats with or without weight
65 Shrugs w/ weights
60 Lunges
55 Russian twist
50 Bicep curl with weights
45 Back extensions
40 Push-ups
35 Front claps with weight
30 Inverted Row
25 Push-ups
20 Sit-ups
15 Wide arm Push-ups
10 Dips
5 Close hand push-ups

I do it with 20-30 seconds rest between exercises and it takes about an hour. After the first time, I was sore for a week but it’s good because it covers all the body parts and because it’s almost non stop, it’s quite intense. Today, for an hour afterwards, I felt like I was gonna puke. That’s when you know you’ve kicked your own ass.

I’ve gone through a few different workout plans since I’ve started this thing but I really enjoy the Drop 5. It’s intense but I can see where I can improve my strength and endurance quite quickly. That coupled with the running should whip me into shape pretty good.

If you’re new to my blog, let me explain what’s going on. I’m a U.S. Army veteran living in London. Starting in April 2014, I will be attempting to run all 16 Tough Mudder events to raise money for Help for Heroes charity. The charity raises money to give wounded combat vets help with rehab, prosthetics, and whatever help they made need. The donations are coming in. I’ve raised £235. You can read my full story and donate by clicking HERE

My twitter @aaronsmudder is doing great. I’ve got over 500 followers in under two months. The support is wonderful.

I’m gonna leave you here, as it’s getting late, and I am seriously tired.

So, until next time, Ta-Ta.