Updated: Jan 15, 2020
What started as a post on Tough Mudder and its possible demise has evolved to a discussion on barriers to behavior change and I'm excited to keep talking about this. When I last left things, I had some ideas on how to address the barriers. So as promised, here we go:
Run more seminars that introduce people to obstacle course racing: Spartan has a Workout Tour series, and I attend a lot of these as an SGX coach to help the attendees. These tours are well attended by people of all shapes and sizes, so they're doing something right there, but I wonder how often it results in people signing up for the races. These workouts show people how to train for an obstacle course race, but they don't introduce people to the obstacles themselves. One of the best events I ever attended was a seminar at an obstacle course gym that showed me how to complete obstacles. Unfortunately obstacle course gyms can be hard to come by. That's where people like me come in--I can bring the obstacles to you.
Put more focus on the corporate teams: I love the corporate team aspect. People spend so much time at work and engaged employees are important (or should be) to employers. People will try things that their work friends are trying. Catered lunches and happy hours are fun, but encouraging people to have fun through activity can be refreshing too. Yes, obstacle course racing can take you out of your comfort zone. Instead of fighting that, people should embrace it.
Go to where the "couch people" are: This is very simple. If the "couch dwellers" aren't going to come to you, go to them. Where do they congregate? One idea that comes to mind are weight loss meetings. If people have made a commitment to lose weight, they just might be ready to try an obstacle course race. Maybe you can't run a race just for them, but you could certainly help them create their own team or run an obstacle course clinic (run by me, of course). This addresses many of the barriers I cited--they have a built-in support system, you can show them how to start, and you can address the intimidation issues.
Bottom line? It doesn't have to be complicated. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective. What additional ideas would you suggest for addressing the barriers I've cited?